We all have heard that there are two types of people in the world- those who see the glass half full and the those who see it half empty. The ones who see the glass half full are called Optimists, and others who see the glass half empty are called Pessimists. The difference between the two is very basic- the difference in mindset. On the one hand, where a pessimist is more commonly focused on negative thoughts and worries, an optimist on the other hand, is more commonly directed towards positive and hope-filled thoughts. In the present situation, with COVID still affecting our lives immensely, many people have complained about having a hard time being optimistic. Complains regarding an increase in the negative thoughts and also a change in overall attitude are becoming rather common.
There are a number of reasons why people are becoming less optimistic these days –
- Being restricted to staying inside the four walls of their homes due to lockdown for a long time
- Stress and fear regarding the present and future
- Fear for friends’ and family’s health
- Sudden changes in lifestyle and daily routine
- Stress-related to work and school
- Decrease in productivity
- Struggling with procrastination
- Lack of motivation
- Increase in the rate of morbidity around us
- Mental fatigue caused by distressing news
- Being overworked and underpaid
- Having no proper outlet for their emotions
- Having no one to actually talk to or vent
The current situation is hard for everyone, but more prominently for those who are struggling with mental health issues and were taking therapy or counseling sessions regularly. Sudden change in the environment in any form can cause an increase in anxiety issues and resurfacing of trauma. The good news is that one can always learn to be positive and hopeful by changing just a few things in their daily lives. It might not sound easy at the moment, but with consistency it can be achieved. After all, nothing can be achieved without a bit of self-leadership and self-awareness.
Here are some ways to boost your optimism:
- Start your day with good thoughts: The first thing most of us do unconsciously after waking up is to check our phones and get stuck in the endless cycle of scrolls. Yes, the internet helps us to stay connected with our loved ones but these days it can also be a source of negative news. So, avoid checking your phone as soon as you wake up but if on some days you really have to, stop yourself before entering the endless cycle. Maintain a gratitude journal. Write down things that you are grateful for. Read it first thing in the morning. It’ll help in starting your day on a rather positive note.
- Meditate to cast away negative thoughts: Meditation has many benefits for everyone but it has proven to be especially beneficial for those who are struggling with mental health. Meditating daily even for 15 to 30 minutes can help in casting away the negative thoughts and help in increasing productivity.
- Stay physically active: Being physically active is important for a healthy lifestyle. Incorporating any form of exercise such as at-home cardio, dance routines, or even at-home strength training can prove to keep a person motivated.
- Focus on your hobbies: There are times when there is no motivation to do anything and you feel stuck in a sort of slump zone. In those times, it is suggested to take a break and enjoy hobbies like painting, reading, gardening, sewing, etc. These hobbies will help you be productive and even lighten up your mood. Hobbies also tend to give you happiness even in the tiniest form.
- Find work-life balance: People these days are also struggling to strike a balance between their personal and professional lives as many are still working from home. The best way to find balance is to make a to-do list, do that you can see the progress and channel your productivity. Time and task management also help in this case.
These changes in daily lifestyle can help a person through anxiety, stress, and fear which generate negative thoughts.
Other ways in which you can work on becoming more optimistic include:
- Focus on positive thoughts
- Celebrate your success
- Surround yourself with positive people
- Challenge your negative thoughts
- Be grateful for something every day
- Stop worrying about uncertainty of the future
- Interact with your family and friends
- Find solutions to your problems
- Stay hopeful
- Be kind to others and yourself
- Talk to a professional if need be
Negative thoughts are becoming very common these days and so, it is important that we find ways to stay positive in these tiring times. Having an optimistic outlook towards life does not mean that we ignore the problems or stay in denial. An optimistic person is hopeful towards a better future and works towards the challenges in order to achieve a better future.
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