By Abdul Moiz,
Research shows that optimism is to be found inherently in human beings, which means that people are more optimistic than pessimistic on average. Optimism is a commendable feature that bears positive fruits on an individual’s psychological and physical health. It helps curtail stress levels and enhances longevity by immunizing people against negativity, illness, fatigue, depression, hyper-tension and nervous breakdowns.
What is Optimism?
Optimism has numerous definitions but one that might be best suited to local readership can be read as having a healthier and positive outlook towards one’s life. A rather different definition might suggest that optimism, the quality of having a positive outlook or approach towards future outcomes, present case scenarios and even past happenings, whichever one might want to opt, is a characteristic, either innate or circumstantial or adopted, of a person with a conceivably better perspective than most on average.
Optimism is all about having a positive and healthy perspective towards whatever happenings that characterize one’s life. it is a way to look at things that builds and sustains confidence, vigor, heartiness and hopefulness, away from the negatives that mostly dominate our lives. Optimism is opting for a more favorable side of any event despite the presence of the dull and dreary side of it, and anticipating or awaiting the best possible outcomes and results for any situation.
10 benefits of optimism:
Though the benefits of optimism and staying positive are numerous, I would inculcate here only some for the sake of relevance;
- According to a research conducted by Dr. Alan Rozanski, a cardiology professor in New York City, optimistic people have a 35% less risk-probability of getting a heart disease when compared with pessimistic ones.
- Optimism leads to adeptness in problem solving (dysphemism for life) and development of coping mechanisms for stress handling.
- Optimism incentivizes emotional intelligence. It helps one keep a check on different inherent and circumstantial emotional states which might lead to anxiety or stress disorders.
- Optimism induces determination, persistence and perseverance, all of which are essentials for goal realization and success.
- Optimism is a proponent of healthy living because a healthy mind guarantees sustenance and motivation for a healthy body and vice versa.
- Optimism accounts for a serious increment in productivity.
- Optimism strengthens self-belief and self-reliance. It also boosts self-esteem.
- Optimism increases proactiveness and helps gain a meaningful and positive insight into the different experiences lived by one.
- Optimism enhances tolerance levels as it is made difficult to be irked and annoyed by trivia or matters of little importance.
- It helps develop the habit of being grateful in life. For all that happened, that’s happening and that will happen.
How to be Optimistic?
Since optimism is a mindset, an outlook and a way of life, it is not dependent upon one’s innate nature but rather can be acquired and learned through practice and with time.Below I’ve enlisted ten ways to developing positive thinking, inspiring positive change and learning how to be optimistic;
- Adopt or create positive mantras. (Repeating “All is well” with your right hand on your heart can be a good positivity mantra from the movie “3 idiots”. Repetition of positive mantras breeds a positive change in oneself and wards off negativity. You can make your own positive mantras from your own imagination that would often help you in times of crisis.)
- Focus on success with a keen eye. (“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal”-Henry Ford. Obstacles frighten us and thus make us have second thoughts. When a goal is set, its materialization process demands you to see afar the difficulties that might prolong the journey. It is essential for us to always have a clear and sound picture of whatever we want to achieve in our lives.
- Getting yourself a positive role model can help achieve optimism. (To find yourself a role model, think of the most exciting and cheerful personality that you can imagine. One who represents him/herself as a heterogenous mix of positivity, proactiveness, calmness and wisdom. Take Tony Stark or Captain America for instance. You might as well take any of your close associates such as friends, family or teachers that appear to you as a perfect role model. After choosing a role model, think of walking a mile or two in their shoe and when crisis hits, manage that situation by thinking, “How would he/she, Mr. Stark or Cap would react to this crisis?”.
- Try to derive the positives out of any situation or crisis. (People often forget that its not the situation at hand that predicts the outcome but rather our perception and interpretation of it. Even if everything is going to dogs, a positive interpretation can help us focus on the good things only thus, deriving only the positives out of the situation. With a focus on positives, you can always be hopeful for betterment and vice versa.
- Leave the future to God, don’t try and predict it. (In this contemporary modern world, man is rushing after “the knowledge for everything”. For this purpose, man analyzes available data for predicting the future based on possibilities and the statistical probabilities for those possibilities. Since the available data is not sufficient, any accurate or even near to accurate future prediction is impossible. But why should we stop? Why shouldn’t we keep on trying? Because stopping and trying to live and revel in the present might save us the millions of headaches that make us anxious and pessimistic all the time.)
- Don’t overthink. (Our brains are problem solving machines. Like computers, but infinitely more advanced. When a problem, situation or a crisis arises, its Christmas for our brains. Thinking is food for the brain. But when there’s none at all, the brain generates problems, forcing us to overthink and hence creating problems out of those. So, think we must but with a limited scope or limit that doesn’t cross the red line of “Over-thinking”.)
- Problem solving should be the focus rather than the problem itself. (People with a negative mindset and a pessimistic outlook tend to focus more on the problem and issue in consideration rather than the solution itself. Their lengthy debates on problem analysis creates branched problems and sub-problems out of a single problem. On the other hand, an optimistic person tends to look for results and solutions because a problem solved is a problem no more.)
- Stop dwelling on the past. (Whilst I was watching the famous Marvel series known as “Daredevil”, some very interesting narrations caught my mind. Daredevil wishes that if he could jump back in time and just erase or rewrite his past, he would now be spending a guilt-free present. On this, his mother says that “if God allowed undoing mistakes, then there would be no future. Just people endlessly rewriting the past”. This explains that the past is not rewritable and why it is not rewritable. It is only amendable. It can’t be changed but it can be taken as a moral lesson that provides improvement in one’s life. And whosoever make it a goal to make improvements to their own selves and to their own lives, always live an optimistic life.)
- Be grateful. (People often advise in favor of keeping gratitude diaries or making gratuitous remarks in front of mirrors. Guess what? It works. How often do you leave a negative thing that happens in your life go unattended? You just get out on the highway and shout to the top of your voice so the earth listens to whatever misery you have gone through. But what about the positives? How often do you admire the good things that happen to you? Not much I assume. Well start being grateful for the many positives that characterize your life and have a happy mood about it all because being grateful will keep you happy and being happy keeps the mind healthy.)
- If you don’t feel like it, then act or fake it. (Optimism isn’t a thing that just develops overnight. It’s a mindset that requires effort and deliberation. Researchers have found that it is possible to avoid misery and grievance by not acting the normal way or normal emotion in a crisis or situation but rather going out of the way to act happy. Smile often and speak in a positive and energetic tone. Why do all motivational speakers look so happy and speak so aloud? Think!)