(As seen in Women’s Health & Fitness Magazine)

Have you ever wondered why some people just seem to have this never-ending smile plastered on their face, as though their life is, quite simply, incredibly perfect? You know the ones… They always have something that they’re looking forward to, and opportunities just seem to fall squarely in their lap. And then there are the other ones… Those people are always moaning about what’s going wrong in their life, complaining about anything and everything, and blaming everyone else for their mediocre existence. I’m sure you know people who fall into either of those two groups, and I’m sure you enjoy hanging out with one of those groups more than the other, huh? So, which one are you? Are you the sunny optimist, or the cloudy pessimist? And, if you acknowledge that perhaps you are a pessimist, how can you turn the tables and become a happy optimist? Look, there are so many reasons why it’s more beneficial to be optimistic than pessimistic. Take, for instance, the fact that optimistic people earn more money. Yes, that’s right! Did you ever hear of a millionaire who walked around with a frown on his face and didn’t think he could do it? And research has found that optimistic people get sick less often, and if they do succumb to an illness, they certainly recover a lot quicker than their pessimistic counterparts. And those reasons are only the beginning! Lucky for us, optimism is not actually an inherent trait – it’s something that can be learned. Here’s how to become more optimistic right now…

Walk tall

Imagine you can see two people walking down the street. One of them is walking quickly, with purpose to her stride, her head held high, and a bright smile on her face. The other is dawdling, slouching, looking at the ground, avoiding eye contact, and wearing a nasty frown. Which one would you be most drawn to? My guess is that you wouldn’t even notice the second person because you’d be so busy checking out the first! Optimistic people look the part. They dress smartly and care about their appearance, and their infectious energy lights up a room. Unlike pessimists, who seem to create their own world of negativity and thus attract other negative people to them, optimists are like a light-house in the dark. People are drawn to their beacons, and their positivity creates more positivity around them.

Use positive language

Optimistic people say very optimistic things. Their cup is always half full, if not completely full, and they excitedly share their views and dreams with other people, often reeling them in to their way of thinking at the same time! They make an effort to sound upbeat and happy, and this in turn helps them stay on top of things. You will most likely hear an optimistic person talking about all the things they “can do” rather than “can’t do”, and they speak in glowing terms about their situations and their futures.

Choose your thoughts

Pessimistic people see issues and problems in situations, often before they even exist. Some would even suggest that they create problems to satisfy their need to feel down in the dumps. Optimists, on the other hand, actively seek out solutions and look for opportunities in every situation. They turn negatives into positives, and seem to have an upbeat answer for everything. I’m sure you’ve heard stories of babies who have fallen from great heights, only to end up with a couple of small bumps and bruises. Many would argue that they are still alive today because they either didn’t know what to expect, and therefore didn’t tense up on the way down out of fear, or they have this inherent idea that everything in the world is good, and so why should they worry? Pessimists tend to spend a lot of their time worrying about the past, the present and the future, conjuring up all kinds of gloomy thoughts, always expecting the worst. Optimists, on the other hand, have no time for this self-defeating past-time. They create bright thoughts and expect positive outcomes. This is simply a choice, and pessimistic people can choose to halt their negative thoughts as they enter their head, trading them in for happy ones. What about the Little Engine That Could? How do you think he would have gone getting up that hill if all he thought was, “I don’t think I can, I don’t think I can…”?

Expect the best

If you focus on what you want, the likelihood is that you’ll actually get it. Likewise, if you focus on what you don’t want, you’ll probably get that too. Just as, if you expect the worst, it’s easy to wallow in doubt and negativity, if you expect the best, it becomes infectious! Optimistic people who think this way create burning desires and a real sense of ambition. Because they don’t allow roadblocks to stand in their way, or fears to hold them back, they are able to develop clear direction and a true mission. Doesn’t that sound like more fun than the alternative?

Samantha McDonald

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