The Perks Of Being An Optimist

I am a half glass full type of gal. I don’t think I’m annoying about it. I don’t think I’m an “EVERYTHING IS JUST GREAT!!!!!!” type of person. I just generally choose to find the silver lining in most situations.

It’s easy to be an optimist at the Heatley Cliff because everything is so wonderful and lovely and I don’t have to cook dinner every night or worry about deadlines and Alexander Skarsgard polishes the silver with a fair amount of vigor in plain view (my request) on a regular basis.

But real life is hard and full of challenges. As Jerry Maquire eloquently said, “We live in a cynical world,” and we do. It’s difficult to stay positive when there are so many mean-spirited people in our daily lives and littering our media consumption. Not many pundits (or Real Housewives) out there adopt the “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything” philosophy. I find many people to be simply rude for rude’s sake and ready to bully others whom they deem inferior with criticism that is far from constructive.

I have also realized the propensity for happiness, or staying positive may well be in the genes. Some people are tall, some are short. Some have black hair, others blonde and some find it easier to look on the bright side than others.

If you find that this is not in your nature, don’t dismiss the notion of being an optimist just because you don’t think that’s who you are. Life is easier, trust me,when you approach it with positivity. So here are a few tips I’ve picked up that might help you realign your approach and learn to look on the bright side

  • Happiness really is a choice. How you choose to frame the events that unfold around you can and will determine how you internalize them. It may just be a ‘fake it ’til you make it’ type of situation, and that’s okay. Firmly deciding that you are going to look for the life lessons in even the crappiest of turns is the best way of combating a bad attitude. When your attitude is good, it’s easier to move on and let go of life’s let downs.
  • My personal motto is You Are More Than This Moment. What I mean by this is, acknowledge the great things that happen to you and accept you might have no control over the more negative things. You are more than your best day, and you are more than your worst day. Either way, the moments will pass and you are a collection of all of them together, so don’t hang on to individual ones. Hanging on to only the great ones will leave you ungrounded and unprepared and hanging on to the crap ones will only make you feel worse.
  • Find something each day, however small or trivial it might seem, to look forward to. Maybe it’s just as simple as the feeling you’ll have after a great yoga session or a yummy dinner. Maybe it’s more epic, like Game of Thrones returning.  Just the act of looking forward to something will help you keep a more positive frame of mind.
  • You don’t need to make excuses, defend or justify what others may deem as indulgent acts if those acts will, in the long run relieve tension and brighten your mood. Obviously, this does not mean you can hurt others or yourself. I’m talking about taking the time to get that massage or spending the afternoon in a bookstore or taking a weekend to yourself to visit an old friend. Moms are the worst at thinking they don’t deserve these little perks. Maybe it is selfish, but so what? It’s okay to put yourself first once in a while. In fact, it’s great for your mental health. Doing so can disperse those little resentments that pile up and lead to real unhappiness.
  • Laugh. Laugh at yourself, laugh with your friends and your family. Humor is one of the best ways of putting things into perspective.
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