We all have those moments in our lives when things aren’t going as expected. You might think, “I just can’t seem to get it right today.” We’ve all been there at one time or another. You turn on the news to be greeted with tragedies. You hear of a friend down the street who is having a bad turn of events. You miss an appointment you thought you had written down. To top it all off, your car won’t start and you locked the keys in your house. If you find yourself feeling pessimistic about all the missteps happening, it’s a natural response. No matter how uplifting we try to be on a daily basis, sometimes our positive outlook can take a hit. Letting your sunny side fall away for a while isn’t something you have to completely avoid—it’s important to safely discharge negative emotions. However, switching your worldview over to pessimism for too long can have a negative impact on your life. Retaining a sense of optimism even in the face of negativity can have a powerful impact on how you go through your daily life. We can find that balance—being realistic while still maintaining a sense of hope. Here are a few reasons why you should hang onto optimism:
Optimism and health
Can simple optimism improve our health and well-being? Optimism has a positive impact on your general outlook from self-acceptance to acceptance of what happens around you. This, in turn, gives you a positive psychological boost that has been linked to decreases in cardiovascular-related health issues as well as better cholesterol readings. An optimistic attitude improves our outlook on both life and ourselves which translates to all areas—physical, emotional, and mental health. That’s one thing we can all appreciate.
Calm, cool, and collected
Have you ever encountered someone who stays calm no matter what the situation? Optimism is most likely a factor. Studies have found that people with optimistic outlooks on the world produce less cortisol while under duress. Cortisol is most commonly called the stress hormone. Less cortisol means less stress when faced with a difficult situation. If you continuously see the negative in life, gradually even the smallest event can trigger stress. Reminding yourself of times when you successfully handled stressful events can help you regain confidence so you can focus on positive solutions to troublesome situations. Part of optimism is believing in your ability to tap into inner resources to solve a problem. I have some great guided imagery exercises relating to this idea—feel free to contact me with questions.
One of the biggest benefits of being a generally optimistic person is your willingness and readiness to take on whatever comes down the road. Optimistic people can handle the highs and lows in life with an adept hand while continuing to move forward. Whether you’re looking forward to a job promotion, a new move, reaching a fitness goal, or learning something new, optimism will help you get there easier than with a pessimistic perspective. With self-confidence in your skills, knowing you can reach that next level can make a huge difference in your approach to life. The good news is optimism is something we can employ—even primarily pessimistic people can find more balance if they are open to change and willing to try on a new perspective.
May you find a sense of balance with realistic optimism.