It pays to have a sunny disposition. Optimistic people have shown to have healthier hearts, better stress management tendencies and lower risk for stroke compared to their glass-half-empty-seeing counterparts.
Looking on the bright side is easier said than done, of course. Fortunately, there are some ways to get your positive gears turning. Let’s review 10 tips for being optimistic
1. Have Gratitude
It all starts with counting our blessings. If you are not grateful for the good things in your life, you will never be satisfied. Take inventory of the good around you. But don’t neglect what’s not great, either: You also need to be grateful for the hardships, the obstacles, and the failures. These are points of wisdom in your life. They give you strength, they teach you how to persevere, and they form your resilience. Being thankful for every step makes life’s hardships surmountable. All of this is the foundation of optimism. Being psyched about the good and the bad, and knowing they all point to a bright future.
2. Share your Stories
We all have the capacity to live optimistically just by sharing our life’s adventures, our successes and even our failures. Just knowing others have been in the same boat and have persevered is comforting. It spreads a message of hope, and hope is the main ingredient in optimism. When we share our stories we are giving others the tools they need to build, evolve, and persevere. In essence, mankind is always “paying it forward.”
This is easier said than done but you need to forgive those that have affected your ability to find the silver linings. The easiest way to forgive and move on is to reflect on the fact that the past is the past. Just look at it this way; the person you are having a hard time forgiving probably wishes that he or she could erase the past as well. In summary, make peace with your past so that it won’t spoil the present. Once you accomplish this, you will close those chapters and live a more positive and happy life.
4. Be a Better Listener
When you listen you open up your ability to take in more knowledge versus blocking the world with your words or your distracting thoughts. You are also demonstrating confidence and respect for others. Knowledge and confidence is proof that you are secure and positive with yourself thus radiating positive energy.
5. Turn Envy and Jealousy Into Energy
When we envy others we are only hurting ourselves. The universe does not owe you because someone else is better off than you. Channel that energy into building your personal and professional brand. Consider other people’s success the catalyst to help you achieve.
6. Smile More, Frown Less
When we smile we are creating a happy, stimulating environment around us that draws others in. Frowning, on the other hand, shuts people out and has the opposite effect. Happiness, even in brief doses, releases Serotonin (the happy hormone). It makes the toughest days surmountable.
7. Exercise, Eat a Healthy Diet and Take in the Vitamin D
This may be common advice, but we all need some form of exercise and sunlight every day even if it is for only 15 minutes. If you cannot get exercise during your busy day, run the playground with the children, use the staircase instead of the elevator, park in the furthest parking spot. Whatever it takes, keep yourself in healthy motion as often as you can. Consider balanced meals and don’t push away those fruits and vegetables. If you feel hungry throughout the day, consider almonds and walnuts if you are not allergic. The energy we get from exercise, a healthy diet, and light exposure gives us focus, clarity and a naturally positive demeanor.
8. Be a Positive Forward Thinker
Positive forward thinking is the ability to find the silver lining in every cloud, apply it today or yesterday and be hopeful that tomorrow will be better. Imagine surgery; you think the worse and can’t wait for it to be over. Take all that and start visualizing what the point of the surgery is and what the results of the procedure will deliver. The goal is good, it’s only today that may seem rough. Or picture a student studying for a grueling exam. It may seem like the end of the world trying to prepare and memorize all this information. But take that energy and picture what your degree can do for your future. Like anything else, working hard will always deliver results. Life is not a lottery. It’s what you make of it.
9. Stop blaming others
It is so easy to blame others for our position in life. People blame the economy, politicians, bosses, and all types of third parties for their problems. Once you truly accept that you control who you are, you will find that optimism and success come naturally. Remember, opportunity is usually found in the valleys, not at the peaks.
10. Understand That the Past is Not a Blueprint For The Future
Just because you’ve experienced adversity in your life does not mean that what starts badly will end badly. Do not make bad experiences a self-fulfilling prophecy of what lies ahead. On the contrary, know that those milestones are behind you and the road to the future is clear.
Before completing your online worksheet, reflect on the information above and answer the following questions:
List out 5 blessings we receive from working with young children.
Describe a difficult situation you have been involved in that has made you a better early educator.
Describe a time when you had to forgive a person and how this has paved your path for a better future.
Describe how listening to children and their stories can make you a more optimistic early educator.
Describe a time when another employee achieved success and how this motivated you to work harder.
In your opinion, how does your smile benefit the children in your class room.
Describe how you stay active and moving each day.
Describe a situation that you may be going through that is difficult and what forward thinking can be applied to bring an optimistic outlook to the end result.
Describe a difficult time in your life that blame was placed on a third party, but in reality, you had complete control of your destiny.
Describe your plan and goal for your future in early education.