How To Be More Optimistic: 7 Simple Things That Optimists Do Differently

We all know there are some great health benefits to being an optimist, but how do people remain optimistic in the midst of difficult circumstances?

Let's look at 7 specific things that optimists have in common:.

1. They only try to control things they can control.

Things like the weather, the stock market, gas prices, what other people say or do don't bother optimists because they know those things are beyond their control. In fact, optimists realize that they only control three things: what they think, what they say, and what they do.

Application: The next time you are frustrated or angry because you are not getting your desired outcome, ask yourself, "Does this situation fall within the realm of what I think, what I say or what I do? If it does not, accept the situation as it is and have an absolutely phenomenal day.

2. They believe there is only feedback, not failure.

When Thomas Edison was trying to invent the light bulb, history says he "failed" one thousand times. Someone asked him how he kept going after failing that many times. He responded, "I did not fail 1,000 times. I actually succeeded in finding 1,000 ways that did not work."

As Winston Churchill said: "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."

Application: The next time you do not get the desired results, rather than calling it a failure, look for the opportunity.  

3. They’re flexible.

 As Jane Krakowski said, "You can have a plan, but you have to be flexible. Every day is unpredictable, and you just have to go with the flow."

Application: Being an optimist is all about your perspective. If there is a change in your plans, and you think that means the day is ruined, then it is. But if you think the change is a potential adventure and roll with the punches, then you open yourself up to a multitude of new, even better, experiences.

4. They use a positive vocabulary.

Instead of saying, "I have a problem", optimists say "I have an opportunity." Instead of "I should have", optimists say "next time"; instead of saying "If I" optimists say "When I". 

Application: Make it a habit to us positive words and phrases. There is a big  difference between: “I don’t know how it works” and “I will learn how to make that work.” You get an immediate emotional surge by doing so.

5. They count their blessings.

As Max Lucado said, "Gratitude lifts our eyes off things we lack so that we might see the things we possess."

When you’re reflecting on all the great things in your life, it leaves very little room to dwell on the bad stuff.

Application: Keep a gratitude journal and write down three things from your day for which you are grateful.

As Willie Nelson said, "When I started counting my blessings, my whole world turned around."

6. They let go of the past.

Instead of being consumed by past disappointments, optimists look to the future. As the Apostle Paul said: "Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead." (Colossians 3:13 ESV)

Application: Take a deep breath and refuse to be a prisoner of your past..

7. They live in the present.

Optimists fully embrace the moment and the place they’re in.

This is the day the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24 ESV) 

Application: Smile, sing in the shower, hold your head high and stick your chest out and open up your eyes to new opportunities for fun. The most important moment in your life is the one you are living. Don't miss out by constantly checking your cell phone.

So, be a pessimist or be an optimist. Your choice.

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