Is your glass half-empty? Changing that negative perspective can be good for you.
Optimists (who see that same glass as being half-full) have quite a few advantages over their pessimistic counterparts.
Their happy-go-lucky attitude helps them meet life’s challenges head-on, be more resilient when disaster does strike, and be happier in general.
Pessimists expect the worst out of a given situation, often missing the good things along the way because they’re braced for the bad that may never come.
Faced with the same situation, optimists expect things to turn out all right in the end—which they often do. And when they don’t, these lucky people can use their positive outlook to ease them over the rough patch.
Perhaps even more compelling is the physical evidence illustrating the power of positivity: Optimists tend to:
- be healthier,
- have stronger hearts,
- live longer,
- be more resistant to colds.
It may not be easy to change a lifetime’s worth of negative thinking, but it’s well worth the effort. And the good news is that our brains are not pre-programmed to be either optimistic or pessimistic. That means an outlook overhaul is within your control.
Here are three tips to encourage positive thinking:
- Meditate. Research has shown that daily mindfulness meditation, during which you focus on the moment and filter out distractions, can help you learn to accentuate the positive.
- Think in threes. Three positive moments can counteract one negative one; make a point of doing a trio of happy, positive things when you’re feeling pessimistic.
- Keep a journal. Writing down positive moments, both big and small, that you experienced throughout the day can help you be more aware of the good things in life.