Is your glass half empty or half full? How we look at the world can often impact our experiences. With a positive mindset, we can shape our outlook on life and rewire our brains to frame our experiences with hope, optimism, and confidence.
In this post, we’ll explain why optimistic thinking is so important and how to practice it in your everyday life.
Why is optimistic thinking important?
Looking on the bright side of life doesn’t mean we have to ignore any worries or problems in our lives. A positive mindset can help us to cope during challenging or stressful times and have an overall impact on our wellbeing. Turning obstacles into opportunities and challenges into chances leads to self-acceptance and being less critical.
A study by the University of Wisconsin found that when people are emotionally distressed, the most active parts of their brains are those relating to emotions and hypervigilance. By comparison, those with upbeat, positive moods saw less brain activity in these areas.
What is the Law of Attraction?
In New Thought philosophy, the Law of Attraction is the idea that positive or negative thoughts attract positive or negative experiences. It’s based on the understanding that what you give out into the world is what you receive, and relates to many of the benefits of optimistic thinking.
How to practice optimistic thinking
You may be thinking that an optimistic lifestyle is easier said than done, but there are simple and easy changes we can make to attract positive energy and have a better outlook on life. If you often find yourself catastrophising or focusing on the negatives in your experiences and filtering out the positives, here are some tips to change your thinking.
Surround yourself with positive people
Smiles and laughter can be contagious, but negativity can be contagious too. The people you surround yourself with can have a big impact on your mindset. It can be hard to sustain optimistic thinking if a friend is always focusing on what could go wrong.
Have a different approach
Faced with a new task you’ve never tried before? Rather than thinking ‘I can’t do this’ or ‘I don’t have enough experience for this’, try seeing it from another perspective: ‘This is an opportunity for me to learn something new.’
Or, try shifting your attitude from ‘This is too hard’ to ‘I can find a new way of doing this,’ and put your optimistic thinking into action.
Positive affirmations are optimistic words or phrases that motivate or inspire us, helping to boost self-confidence and challenge negative thinking.
Examples of affirmations:
‘I choose to be happy’
‘I accept and love myself’
‘Nobody but me decides how I feel’
Try incorporating one into your next meditation or writing one onto a post-it note and sticking it to your bathroom mirror.
Reminding yourself about what you’re grateful for when you’re meditating is another way to bring positivity to the surface. It could be a recent achievement in your work or personal life that you’re proud of, or something as simple as having a roof over your head and family close by. Often it’s the smallest things that we take for granted, so focusing on these can lift your mood.
Spot where you can improve
You don’t always need to look at life through rose-tinted glasses. Being honest with yourself and catching yourself when you’re slipping into negative thought patterns or tendencies can help you to identify what might be causing them. For example, are you always in the same situation, or with the same people? Realising where you can improve is essential for making progress with optimistic thinking.
Optimistic thinking for professionals
If you’d like to see your working life in more of a half glass full kind of way, this course is for you.
Optimistic thinking can be learned and actually rewires your brain. It helps motivate professionals, give them the confidence to take risks, and inspires them to pursue their dreams.