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4 Ways To Focus On Being More Optimistic

Optimistic people always appear happier don’t they? Could it be that they attract good things whereas negative or pessimistic people attract negative things? Here are 4 ways to focus on being more optimistic written by Deborah Kotz for Boston.com, as she reviews a book called Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain: How To Retrain Your Brain To Overcome Pessimism And Achieve A More Positive Outlook, written by neuroscientist Elaine Fox.  She explains how optimism plays a key role in success in life.  According to scientists, whether we have an optimistic or pessimistic outlook, only 30-40% of that is determined by our genes, which means that there are measures we can take to becoming more optimistic people.

1. Make a daily tally of negative and positive events. Create a list — starting from when you wake up in the morning — of all the little things that go right and all those things that go wrong, from burning the toast at breakfast to running into an old friend on the train to work. “People prone to feeling depressed and down tend to be surprised at how many good things happened to them that day,” said Fox. “Something as simple as making a list can help people gradually, over time, notice the good things when they happen, drawing the brain’s attention more and more to positive things and away from the negative.”

2. Aim for three positive experiences for every one negative one. Most optimists engage in three enjoyable activities for every one they wish they could avoid, whether it’s drinking their favorite brand of coffee, taking a yoga class, or watching a short clip online of their favorite movie just before they have to tackle that dreaded phone call to an irritated relative. The key is to build things into your day that you look forward to and to cut back on things, when possible, that you don’t.

3. Exercise every day. Getting some sort of physical activity every day works like a natural antidepressant to boost your mood, giving you a more positive feeling about life, thanks to an elevation of certain brain chemicals such as serotonin and BDNF. Yes, you should engage in activities that are pleasurable – take a dance class if you hate jogging – so you don’t violate step #2.

4. Engage in mindfulness meditation. Learning to be present in the moment can help build regions of the brain responsible for mediating your emotional states, research has shown. Those who practice mindfulness tend to feel happier and more at ease in life simply from focusing their brains on the present rather than mulling over the past or fretting about the future. Take a class or check out this video to learn the basic techniques.

The first two of these 4 ways to focus on being more optimistic were original ideas and at first glance make a lot of sense. I wasn’t surprised at all to see exercise featured in these suggestions, were you? It appears on a daily basis as an absolute basic requirement for our brains and all of our other vital organs to function properly. As well as helping you achieve your goals, I’d say that optimism is closely linked with the Law Of Attraction I touched on in the opening sentence to this post.  As Anthony Robbins advises, if we focus on what we want, rather than on what we don’t have or want, then we will achieve what we want.

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