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The Optimist and Stress

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Hey there, use the Comment Section below to contribute or ask your questions. Please limit your comments to the topic at hand; other discussions should be done on the #HJTruthers community forum

 

When you are faced with challenges, you may find it easy to succumb to having negative thoughts. But it’s important to realize that it is more beneficial to look on the bright side of things. Because optimistic thinking can also boost not only your physical health but your mental health as well.

It is also an effective stress management technique. In order to combat stress, one must embrace positive thinking.

The Power of Optimism – Spread the Positive Vibes

An optimist tends to expect the best possible outcome out of any situation. For example: “I didn’t run my mile goal for today but hey, I lost ten pounds today.”

According to tons of research, it is suggested that this is good for your health, career, and some other areas of your life. Studies show that self-reported optimism predicts many health benefits such as lower mortality rates (same goes for cancer), and better cardiovascular health and immune function. It has also been discovered that elderly people who hold “positive stereotypes about old age” generally recover better from disability than those who don’t.

Career-wise, there seems to be a slight connection between thinking positively and landing yourself a stellar job.

However, despite all these perks, thinking positively may be easier said than done.

What Influences Your Way Of Thinking?

When handling stress, mindset plays a key role. The kind of mindset you use to combat stress will determine whether you make any progress in your stress management strategies.

So, the question that arises is: how does one maintain the right mindset?

I’ve had some people come up to me asking if it is possible to “learn” to be an optimist. As per this question, there are two major point of views. While some psychologists think it is possible to “learn” to be optimists, other experts believe that it cannot. Rather, they think it is a personality trait one is born with.

In my opinion, I believe it is possible to “learn”. Because there are many factors that can influence one’s ability to think positively. Examples of such factors include socioeconomic status and cultural background.

Cultural differences can also be an influence.

Disclaimer: Just like ‘too much of everything is bad’, know that being too optimistic can have a downside. This is because expecting the best in every situation may lead to failed expectations (emphasis on “may”). Some experts insist that defensive pessimism (which involves “hope for the best, prepare for the worst”) helps people respond better to certain threats and may even reduce anxiety.

 

Handling Stress As An Optimist

Here are some quick tips on how to start seeing life from a positive perspective:

Locate the good.

There’s always a way to find something positive in less-than-great AND stressful situations. I understand that it may be hard to see at first, but why not try looking closer?

For instance: “I am so tired now, but look how much I’ve been able to achieve.”

Pen it down.

At the end of a busy (and probably stressful) day, write a few good things that happened. Practicing this makes it easier to appreciate the positive parts of life.

Speak right.

It’s not always the specific situation that determines whether you have a good or bad mood. But rather how you choose to talk about it.

For example: You just wrote a difficult exam. You’re not feeling too good about it but you KNOW you’ve tried your best. So when you’re asked how it went, saying “Oh I’m so going to fail” often ends in a worse mood. Instead, why not respond “It was tough but I gave it my all”

Be grateful.

Comparing yourself to others and becoming envious of what you don’t have comes easy these days. You can’t measure your success against someone else’s. You can only truly measure your progress against the goals you have set.

So instead of being envious of others, try to appreciate the good qualities and remember to be grateful for how far you’ve come. That’s a good way to avoid stressing yourself out unnecessarily and thus having to relieve stress.

Take charge.

Science has proven that people tend to feel more optimistic about situations they can control.

Realize that whether or not a situation becomes stressful or not all depends on you and the decisions you make.

Smile!

Walk into any room with people. Smile at the first person you see. And then the next. You’ll realize that 90% of them will smile back – even though they do not know the reason behind your smile.

Also, sometimes, all it takes is a smile to lift someone’s spirits and shift their moods from bad to good. So you see, not only are smiles contagious, they actually make situations seem better.

Here, join the #SpreadSmiles Challenge created by Jane Love. Many have testified of being happier these days because they were able to make others happier with their smiles.

Remain balanced.

Don’t worry if positive thoughts don’t flow freely. There are certain situations that can make it very difficult. In such situations, staying realistic is also important to help boost productivity.

There is no better alternative to optimism. Pessimism doesn’t achieve much, and doesn’t have any benefits over optimism. Being optimistic obviously doesn’t mean seeing rainbows 24-7. Everything won’t always be great. But optimism helps us see new opportunities, learn from different situations, and keep moving.

In life, movement and growth is essential, which optimism helps us achieve.

Hey there, use the Comment Section below to contribute or ask your questions. Please limit your comments to the topic at hand; other discussions should be done on the #HJTruthers community forum

#HJTruth #HarmoniousJoy #HJCommunity #HJTruthers


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7 comments

    1. Thank you so much, Elizabeth. And please, do pardon my late reply. Moreover, I love your approach of combating stress – engaging in activities that you love does a great job in extinguishing stress. And yes, that ideology is quite profound. I only wish the world could see things from that standpoint.

      Success to You!! 🙂

  1. Kingsley,
    Excellent points! I’ve been asked, “How come all the good things happen to you?” This is definitely not true, but I choose to not speak about all of the bad stuff that may cross my life. Also, I’m optimistic that I will get what I work for. Attitude makes a big difference.

    1. Thank you so much, Ipuna. And yes, attitude does make a big difference. People cease to realize the importance of a positive confession and it’s power to bring to being what is not seen but is. And by that, it is our confessions that make our reality. I must say, great job on your positivity. Surely, this optimistic life you live has brought you a long way. I mean, as far as am concerned, you’d keep soaring high if you maintain that optimism. 😀

      All the Best, dearest friend!! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Sadaf. Your contributions mean a lot – am grateful. And yes, with respect to gratefulness, it does play a great role too in relieving stress. Actually, when you do this, you tend to encourage yourself to do more and achieve more. 😀

      Remain Blessed, friend!! 🙂

  2. Great post,

    I like that word “Positive” and I like to ignore that second word “Stress”.
    If you asking me, we must be positive.Stress is not an option at all.
    Great tips you are publish here.

    “You can’t measure your success against someone else’s. You can only truly measure your progress against the goals you have set.” I will remember this

    Thank you

    Ben

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