How can I teach myself to be optimistic?

Optimism is the tendency to have positive expectations. Optimists pay attention to the things that go well and anticipate potential for positive outcomes, fostering hope and a positive mood. In depression, individuals tend to expect a bad situation to remain the same or worsen (pessimism) and become highly attuned to things that went wrong during their day, failing to notice the many things that went right. Pessimism fosters feelings of sadness, hopelessness and despair. While some people are naturally more optimistic than others, optimism can be a learned perspective. How? This can be done by shifting attention to focus on the positives of a situation.

Here is a good optimism activity: Reflect on the events of the day, identifying what went right. Initially, it may be challenging to identify these positive events because we take for granted the things that went right -- they escape our notice and don’t receive proper credit. For example, we may take for granted and fail to appreciate getting out of bed, finding a good parking space, or making it to an appointment on time. What went right for you?

Continue Learning about Mental Healing (Positive Thinking)

What are some benefits of optimism?
Dr. Kathleen HallDr. Kathleen Hall
Here are some reasons to be optimistic: First, you will have a richer life and have more fun.Second,...
More Answers
How can optimism affect my health?
Studies show that optimism can affect your health in these ways:  Optimists are less likely to b...
More Answers
How can I have a positive attitude while commuting?
Robert DeVitoRobert DeVito
Commuting can be a drain.The first step to minimizing the negative aspects of this is to know that t...
More Answers
How can I be more positive?
Robert DeVitoRobert DeVito
Positivity is a habit.In each and every situation that you encounter, you must do your best to take ...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.