You already know that looking on the bright side is way more fun than being a Debbie Downer all the time. But what if it’s just not a part of your nature, and instead of seeing the silver linings, you’re more prone to seeing the big gray cloud hanging over your head? Well, you’re in luck! Author David Mezzapelle shared 10 ways that even the worst pessimist can try to be a little more optimistic.
- Be Thankful: If you aren’t aware of the good stuff you have going on, it’s hard to be happy with your life. Take stock of what is going right in your life, and what is going wrong. This will make you value what you’ve already got, and help you figure out how to turn those not so great things around. Hopefully 6 months from now, those awful things will be lessons that taught you something great that you can appreciate after the hardship is over.
- Tell Others Your Stories: By telling other people about the times you really messed up and how you coped, you pay it forward, making it easier for someone else to avoid those pitfalls you found first (and just in case you didn’t know, paying it forward will make you feel pretty good too).
- Don’t Hold Grudges: When you carry around bad feelings towards someone else, the only person they will make feel bad is you. Forgive and move on because while you can learn from it, you can’t change what’s happened in the past.
- Really Listen: Don’t half-listen while you play a game on your iphone. When you’re distracted, you send others the message that you don’t care about what they’re saying, and block yourself off from learning new things.
- Use the Green Monster: When you’re jealous or envious of what someone else has, that probably means you want something they have. Instead of festering about it, pick their brain and figure out how you can get it too – take that negative energy and use it to get what you want.
- Smile More: When you smile (even if you’re faking it), your body releases serotonin that will boost your mood. Frowning just gives you wrinkles.
- Lead a Healthy Lifestyle: Try to be active, eat healthy nourishing food, and get a little sunlight most days. Park farther away from the store. Take the stairs. Grab a pack of almonds instead of a candy bar at the drug store, and use that lunch break to go get some fresh air. Your body will thank you with better focus, higher levels of vitamin D, and a boost of energy.
- Think Good Things About the Future: Try not to always jump for the worst case scenario. Picturing the opportunities that will open up ahead of you instead of doors slamming in your face will help you see your life in a more positive light. Reposition the situation to one that has (even if it’s really tiny) some sort of pleasant effect on your life at the end, even if it sucks going through the steps you need to get there.
- Take Charge: Don’t blame things that are going wrong in your life on other people, the economy or politicians. If you decide you’re in control of your own life instead of looking for a scapegoat, you’ll be more open to opportunities that might come your way to get you out of that scenario.
- Know that the Past does not Predict the Future: If you had a crappy childhood, that does not mean you’re doomed to a crappy adulthood. If you screwed up your last relationship, it doesn’t mean you’ll fail at the next. When you go through something difficult, you typically learn something. Instead, think of it as a hurdle you’ve already jumped. Now the path is clear to move forward unobstructed.
What do you do when you’re in a funk, and want to look on the bright side?