Health + wellbeing

Optimism – could this be the ultimate superpower in all our lives?

- July 27, 2021 3 MIN READ
optimism

‘At its core Optimism is a belief that good things will happen and that things will work out in the end and if they haven’t worked out, then it’s not the end’

Project Optimism was born during COVID with the aim of encouraging people to stay positive during these challenging times. Of course, life is full of challenges and it’s always good to practice the art of staying optimistic. It is a skill for life.

We believe in realistic and practical optimism. There is no denying that life can be very dark at times. An Optimist however believes that bad times are temporary and that there is light at the end of the dark tunnel, even if they can’t see it right now.

You’ve got to keep going and you’ve got to have hope. When we move forward in life we can do so optimistically or pessimistically.

Do you know that even if you are pessimistic about an outcome you are just as disappointed if things don’t work out? Pessimism doesn’t protect you from disappointment.

In fact, you might just get to that outcome a little faster and in a better mood, if you are more optimistic.

Why be Optimistic? Is it really going to help your health and mental wellbeing?

There is a lot of recent health science and research from all around the world to support this aspiration. Let’s have a look at some of it now:

2019 University of Illinois

” People who are the most optimistic tend to be better sleepers…”

2020 Vienna Medical School 

” Better sleep helps enhance optimism”

2021 American Heart Association

” Optimists persevere by using problem-solving and planning strategies to manage stressors.”

2019 Boston University School of Medicine

” Individuals with greater optimism are more likely to live longer”

2021 Hebrew University

” that being optimistic continues to confer a survival benefit irrespective of advancing age”

2021 Monash University

” Optimism is associated with lower risk of all-cause mortality”

And if the science doesn’t convince you maybe a quote from the Dalai Lama might?

‘Choose Optimism – it feels better!’

Listen now: Jenny and Noirin on the power of optimism

What if you’re not a natural Optimist?

What if optimism doesn’t come easily to you and you’re not what they call a ‘natural optimist’.

That’s ok – we are all different and some people find it easier than others to be more optimistic.

The good news is that you can learn to be more optimistic and it can become more ‘natural’ for you in time. To achieve this outcome though you need to consciously choose to be optimistic and you need to practice some new habits too.

 14 habits to cultivate optimism into your life

They are easy habits and natural to adopt:

Habit 1: Smile like an Optimist

Habit 2: Laugh like an Optimist

Habit 3: Ask yourself ‘What makes you optimistic?’

Habit 4: Think like an Optimist

Habit 5: Ask others ‘what makes you optimistic?’

Habit 6: Daydream like an Optimist

Habit 7: Use the language of Optimism

Habit 8: Write and Share Positive Affirmations

Habit 9: Surround yourself with Optimistic People

Habit 10: Manage your News Intake like an Optimist

Habit 11: Share stories of Hope and Optimism

Habit 12: Forgive like an Optimist

Habit 13: Practice Gratitude like an Optimist

Habit 14: Learn and Innovate like an Optimist

We suggest that you look at one habit at a time, think about it, embed it into your life and practice it. After one month – review what has changed for you and then choose another habit to embed into your life.

Enduring, worthwhile and lifelong change happens bit by bit and with commitment too.

Over the next few months we will be looking at these habits one by one. Feel free to look at the free resource, the habits of an optimist course on Project Optimism www.projectoptimism.com.au to get you started on the habits.

In the meantime we’d like you to start with one habit ‘What makes you optimistic’?

Ask yourself and a friend that question and see how it makes you both feel?

Have a wonderful month, stay safe and remember, Optimism might just be your superpower!

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