Have you ever been in one of those really challenging moments when you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel (or worst yet, you can but you think it’s an oncoming train)? It’s in these moments you might wish you knew how to become an optimist. You’re not alone in this.
Being an optimist is hard enough without challenges so when there’s a road block it pretty much flies out the window! But the great news is this is a habit you have the power to change. And there are enough reasons for you to do that. Research has shown that optimists deal better with stressful situations, adapt better to negative events and are more effective in problem solving. They’re usually also healthier, have stronger immune systems and cope better with illnesses as they’re more likely to approach their doctors earlier for help. Contrary to common belief, optimists aren’t in denial of challenges but instead take a more positive, proactive approach towards them. This has also lead to findings that being an optimist at work improves productivity.
A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. ~ Winston Churchill
So really, what is there not to like about being an optimist? Well you can test it out yourself. Here’s a 5-step exercise that science has shown can help you become an optimist (adapted from Seligman’s ABCDE model, 2003). Do this in the face of challenge, or even reflecting back on a past challenge, and remember to ask yourself these questions repeatedly and repetitively to build optimism into one of your positive habits!
And even if sometimes things don’t go as planned, I still agree with Einstein…
I’d rather be an optimist and a fool than a pessimist and right. ~ Albert Einstein
Now here’s a challenge for you. Can you think of one time when you came across a challenge and complete the exercise for it? Comment below with your thoughts on how you felt after it!
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Good luck in your adventures until next week!