How To Become An Optimist: 37 Tips To Help You Get Started

If you want to know how to become an optimist, you’ll love this article.

Life is a rollercoaster, full of ups and downs. However, being optimistic is a choice that YOU make; no one else can make it for you. You decide whether you are going to wake up grumpy or happy in the mornings. You can choose to focus on those ups rather than those inevitable downs.

Studies have proven that optimists tend to have less stress, stronger immune systems, and overall better health than their pessimistic counterparts. It is suggested that thinking negatively (pessimistically) will cause more stress because more stress hormones are produced in your body.

Optimism and positive thinking go hand in hand. You will find that if you think that a situation is going to have a positive outcome, then it most likely will. It is important to realize that the positive outcomes do not work from simply thinking positive, it works because of a person’s mindset, self-confidence, and self-esteem.

Mindset, self-esteem and self-confidence will allow you to lead a better life- because of your confidence, you are able to correctly judge situations and make the right decisions. A high self-esteem will help to ensure that you have less bad days where you feel bad about yourself and wish you were someone else.

How To Become An Optimist:

1. Take care of yourself.

I know, it sounds selfish, but you have to take care of yourself, or you’re not going to be any good to anyone else. If you continually give, give, give- then eventually you’re going to run out. You’ll run out of enthusiasm, energy, and optimism. If you take the time to take care of yourself, then you’re able to recharge and rebuild your enthusiasm, energy, and optimism.

2. Let go of the things that drain your energy.

If there is something in your life that just takes the life out of you- then get rid of it. You don’t need things- or people- in your life that are just always going to take from you. This can be challenging to do, especially if it’s an important person in your life, but trust me, you’ll feel better when you do.

3. Feed your mind positive thoughts.

Does the news bring you down? Then put the newspaper down and turn the television off. Read a good book. You know the saying, “garbage in, garbage out”? Well, if you are constantly feeding yourself negativity, that negativity has to have somewhere to go- and it’s going to come out in your thoughts and in your life.

4. Remember, you always have a choice.

You always have a choice. You don’t like your job? Then quit and find a new one. You have a 401K and vacation time built up that you don’t want to lose? Then stay- and focus on that positive that is keeping you there.

5. Indulge yourself in your passions.

What is it that really gets you excited? Do you like to paint? Do you like to write? Or maybe you like to read? Then DO IT! Take time to do what brings you happy thoughts and don’t feel guilty about it.

6. Get the negative out of your system.

Having a bad day? Then kick the trash can in your office. Scream at the top of your lungs. Do whatever you need to do to get that negativity out. Don’t let it sit and fester, it will only get worse. When I feel negativity coming on, I put on my tennis shoes and I go for a walk- pounding the pavement makes me feel much better.

7. Chase your rainbows.

Have a dream that you’d like to have come true? Then pursue it! Do whatever you need to do to make your dreams come true. You’ll be much happier and more content than you ever thought possible.

8. Plan for the down days.

Know and accept that the sun doesn’t shine every day. You are going to have bad days. We all are. Have a “back-up” plan for those days. Keep a playlist on your phone or IPod with “feel-good” music-when you start feeling down, blast it. I keep a playlist on my phone and on my bad days, I pop in my earphones, turn on the music, and go for a walk.

9. Enjoy the simple things.

Often, we get so busy with this ride we call life, we forget to remember the little things that bring joy. Take the time to play with your kids. Watch the clouds. Go for a walk and notice the flowers and trees. It’s the little things that make life grand.

10. Take a moment to laugh.

When you laugh, your body releases endorphins which make you feel good and help to bring on a positive state of mind. When you’re in a better state of mind, you’re more positive and therefore have a much more optimistic outlook on life.

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11. Get moving.

Like laughing, exercising releases endorphins. Go for a walk or a bike ride. Do something to get yourself moving.

12. Improve your lifestyle.

The most important thing to help you live a more positive, optimistic life is to improve your lifestyle. Get better sleep, eat a more balanced diet, get more exercise. Meditation and yoga exercises can help to improve your focus and concentration.

13. Have a role model.

Choose someone that you admire and want to imitate. Have a picture of yourself and your role model where you can see it. Surround the picture with positive quotes to help to lift you up.

14. Have faith in your abilities.

Know that you can do anything you set your mind to. People tend to lose focus after one failure, however the key is to learn from your mistakes and avoid repeating them the next time. Always use your talents and abilities to the fullest- you can only expect positive things after doing so.

15. Be disciplined.

Positive thinking in and of itself will not help you meet your goals. You need to back it up with actions and hard work. In order to implement positive thoughts, you must be disciplined and punctual and have self-control. You will need to set a time table and follow it strictly.

16. Avoid negative self-talk.

Self-talk is the things that you mentally tell yourself. If your self-talk is negative, then your self-esteem will suffer. If your self-talk is positive, then your self-esteem will grow. When you start to think critical thoughts of yourself, nip them in the bud.

17. Use humor.

Sometimes, simply seeing the humor in a situation can help to brighten your outlook and lighten your stress. Even in challenging times, you should stay open to laughter and humor. When I start to stress out, my husband always comes to the rescue with humor- he always makes me laugh and diffuses the negative thoughts.

18. Cultivate optimism.

Learning to think positively, to be an optimist, is like strengthening a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it gets. Take a moment to analyze events in your life when they happen. Give yourself credit where credit is due, and don’t blame yourself for the things that happen that are outside of your control.

19. Keep things in perspective.

Just because something “bad” happens first thing in the morning (a spilt cup of coffee) does not mean that you are going to have a bad day. It’s just a cup of coffee- you’re just a little clumsy at that moment. Accidents happen- remember that. Know that disappointing things are going to happen- that’s just life.

20. Choose your attitude.

I know, sometimes that’s easier said than done. It’s important thought, because your attitude says it all. Your attitude shapes your day and even your life. If you choose to live with a positive, upbeat attitude, you will live a much more optimistic life.

21. Be social and avoid isolation.

Keeping to yourself can definitely bring on the negativity, pessimism, and ultimately, depression. Get out there- socialize. Get to know others that you have things in common with. A healthy social life gives you opportunities galore to share happiness with.

22. Help others.

Take the time to help other people without expecting a reward or gratitude is definitely important in living an optimistic life. Give up your bus seat to someone elderly or disabled. Share your lunch with someone less fortunate. Doing things such as this will bring you self-satisfaction, which will lead to a more optimistic life.

23. Be realistic.

Don’t deny the reality that life is going to have ups and downs. Bad things can and do happen to anyone- facing that reality and dealing with it head on is so much better than ignoring it. When you can accept this, you are better able to face those difficulties head on with a positive attitude, rather than being a victim to your circumstances.

24. Trust in your own abilities.

Never underestimate yourself- alone or in front of others. You have hidden abilities and strengths that will be brought to light when they are needed. Believe that you can bring about positive changes in yourself and others and in turn, make the world a better place.

25. Straighten your posture and take big steps.

A positive person walks tall, walks fast, and takes big steps. A pessimist does not. When you walk tall, then you exude confidence. Why is this so important? You must straighten out your head (or as I like to say, get the cobwebs out), you must first straighten your body. When you stand up straight, you are able to breathe better. When you breathe better, you begin to feel better. When you feel better, you begin to think clearer and more optimistically.

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26. Talk with a cheerful voice.

Why? You know how the last time you were upset, your phone rang and when you answered, you used a cheerful voice? Remember how your mood started lifting because you were talking cheerfully? Research has shown that you feel the emotion that you are acting. If you act cheerful (optimistic), you will begin to feel it. Talking in a cheerful voice is the quickest way to put that into effect.

27. Be a role model.

In the same way that you need to have a positive role model in your life, you need to be a positive role model to others. As the saying goes, “what goes around, comes around.” When you are a role model for others, you are helping yourself to be more optimistic. Be a shining role model of what an optimistic person looks and acts like.

28. Set (and achieve) goals.

Take the time to sit down and plan some short and long term goals for yourself. Write out a “to-do” list every day and as you go through your day, check things off. This will give you a sense of accomplishment. Write down where you want to be in a year and then the steps you will take to achieve that goal. Check them off as you achieve them, and you will begin to be a more optimistic, more fulfilled person.

29. Express yourself creatively.

Find ways that you can express your creativity. You can express it in the way you dress, the way you decorate your home, writing, painting, or even in just the way you plan out your day. Whatever you do, just let your creativity flow. You’ll begin to feel better about yourself and your abilities, and in turn, be more optimistic.

30. Talk to the mirror.

In the same way that you need to mentally give yourself “pep talks”, why not verbally do it too? Look in the mirror and tell yourself positive things: how you look, how you feel, and what you desire. Tell yourself what you are going to accomplish for the day. I know it sounds weird, talking out loud to yourself, but the more you say things out loud to yourself, the more likely you are to believe them.

31. Keep calm.

Your brain cannot operate efficiently under stress- tension blocks the flow of thought power. When you feel yourself starting to stress out, when the troubles are piling on, take the time to take a few deep breaths. Calm yourself down and you can get the positive thoughts flowing.

32. Past does not equal future.

Okay- so you’ve experienced some pain and disappointment- we all have. Just because something starts badly does not mean that it is going to end badly. Don’t allow a bad start become a self-fulfilling prophecy for a bad ending. Know that you can turn any situation around simply by how you react to it.

33. You are a cause, not an effect.

Don’t get stuck in the attitude that bad things always happen to you. Think about what you can make happen. You are a powerful force- you can do anything. Life is all about risks- not all of them will end well, that’s what makes them risks. Just take the good with the bad, the happy with the sad and don’t get stuck dwelling on the bad and the sad.

34. Say “thank you.”

Simply being thankful for having another opportunity to live one more day can help you to be a more optimistic person. Take the time to be thankful for everything in your life, even the bad stuff (you have an opportunity to grow!), can help you to turn any situation around. Mistakes are only lessons and the past is in your mind.

35. Congratulate yourself.

Keep tabs on your thinking process. When you realize that you have been thinking a positive thought, take the time to congratulate yourself. Positive reinforcement goes a long way in changing behavior.

36. Get help.

Find a trusted friend or family member who is positive. When those negative thoughts come to haunt you, call them so you can get encouragement and positive feedback. This will help to build you up.

37. Keep working on it.

There is not an “on-off” switch for positive and negative thinking. Optimism is not going to happen instantly. Like any goal, the key is to stick with it. Optimism is like a muscle- the more you exercise it, the stronger it will become.

I want to thank you for taking the time to read my article about how to become an optimist. I sincerely hope its contents have been a good help to you.

Przemkas Mosky
Przemkas Mosky started Perfect 24 Hours in 2017. He is a Personal Productivity Specialist, blogger and entrepreneur. He also works as a coach assisting people to increase their motivation, social skills or leadership abilities. Read more here