Life does play cruel tricks on us and can lead us into a downward cycle of sadness and depression the longer a problem persists. Some people are fortunate enough to be born more optimistic and positive than others due to a particular allele of the OXTR gene. Of course, attitude, behaviors and circumstances alter the equation. This is why instead of letting life stress dominate to keep us in a rut, here are some useful ways in how to develop optimism that can improve the situation.
Though it feels impossible to be hopeful when life falls apart, you need to work at learning how to develop optimism just like you do anything else new. The first thing is thinking of all the good things in your life and jot them down. The moment you feel overwhelmed by that problem is the time to pull out that list to remind yourself of all the blessings you have. You just might surprise yourself at what you see and need reminding of such as a healthy family, a great job, a beautiful home, money in the bank, etc.
Instead of dwelling on the problem, another way to develop optimism is examining what just happened from another prospective to find some good despite the bad. For instance, you may have been involved in a minor car accident that will cost you money for repairs to avoid having your insurance raised by submitting a claim. Naturally, this is stressful, especially if you don’t have the money to afford it. However, the bright side is that no one was hurt or worse killed. Cars and their parts can be replaced unlike people.
Focusing constantly on what makes you unhappy and angry due to the situation are nonproductive. All those negative feelings you have because of the problem or what others have that you don’t only drains energy and compounds all the bad. Accept what you have and forget other people you may be jealous of if you intend to move forward. After all, concentrating on nothing but the negative is what can block creativity and solutions.
A better way to escape the problem is to fix your attention on trying to eat a healthier diet, which is especially more important when stressed since it increases the body’s metabolic needs while eliminating excess nutrients. Meditation and exercise also can help give clarity and strength for how to develop optimism and fight your way through it.
Walking, talking to friends, reading, crafting or watching television serves the same purpose of redirecting sad thoughts. Your mind needs space away from the problem.
Holding onto a grudge is destructive. Nothing ever gets solved when resentment is allowed to build and harbor. If you hope to develop optimism, how to accomplish that is learning to forgive. Forgiveness doesn’t come easily all the time, but it is necessary if you hope to free yourself from the pain. You might say forgiveness gives a fresh slate instead of clouding solutions.
Something else that helps is trying to lift another person’s spirit when feeling bad. You may doubt this, but offering a compliment can work a miracle to usher in happiness. The recipient of that small bit of thoughtfulness will feel happy that can be evident from a smile that can be contagious.
Learning how to develop optimism can take some doing, but it is worth the effort to shrug out of pain.