How are you looking at your life and the world these days? You have lots of stressors like all of us – they may be the price of heating oil and groceries, work demands, family busy-ness and even ISIS and Ebola. Living a life of adventure means that you are able to look at all these things realistically and still keep your optimistic outlook.
Optimism is sometimes defined as happiness about the future. It can show in someone as joy, a sense of humor, playfulness, enthusiasm or even just a high energy level. The basis of optimism is are very particular thinking patterns that can be learned if they are not natural to you.
When you use your optimistic side, you explain the good and bad events in your lives in certain ways. When something good happens, an optimist believes that event had a permanent cause. This might sound like, “I had a huge income tax refund because I am so good with numbers and finding the loopholes.” Or “That conversation went so well because I really do have people skills.”
Your optimistic side also thinks about good events as having universal explanations – that the good is not confined to just one area of life. Try statements such as, “Things are really starting to go my way” in response to good events. Another example is that an optimist might also think about how good life is in general in response to praise from his or her boss at work.
When bad events happen, your optimistic side also will show characteristic ways of thinking about the misfortune. These thoughts are the opposite pattern of those for good events. Optimism explains a bad event by believing it has a temporary cause. For example, “My boss is in a bad mood today” rather than “My boss doesn’t like any of my ideas”.
There are also specific explanations for bad events according to optimistic thinking. After an unsuccessful sales call, when you are being optimistic you might think, “I really didn’t do my homework on that one” rather than, “I just am not cut out for sales”.
Here’s a summary of how to increase your optimistic thinking:
Believe good events are permanent and widespread.
Believe bad events are temporary and specific.
Use these ideas to check out your current view of your life and our world. You certainly CAN tweak your thinking if it is not where you would like it to be in terms of optimism. That pessimism in you does NOT have to be permanent or widespread!
How are you doing with optimistic thinking? Let us know in the comments your thoughts about optimism and ways you plan to bring more to your life.
Image courtesy of bigjom at FreeDigitalPhotos.net