The Optimistic Psyche: Propelling Positivity and Repelling Negativity
There are some people that seem to have limitless optimism. You might think this is a natural predisposition, and sometimes that may be the case. But in reality, the choices, mindset, and habits we perform all contribute to our outlook. Attitude is all about perspective. So, if you’re looking for the secret to propelling positivity and repelling negativity, we have some easy ways you can start training yourself to be optimistic!
If attitude is about perspective, that means that we have control over how we view the world and how we respond to events in a day. So here are five essentials you need to build up an optimistic mindset and repel negativity from the get-go!
Take Responsibility – You can make choices that affect how you think and behave. Start by focusing on what you control. What boundaries have you set, and do you enforce them? What habits do you have and how do they affect you? What expectations do you have for yourself and others, and are those expectations reasonable or attainable?
Practice Gratitude – Gratitude is a powerful tool that helps program your brain to think positively! There are lots of ways to practice gratitude, whether you write a gratitude journal or take a picture of something each day. Whatever you decide, gratitude is a great way to repel negativity and focus on what’s working well!
Engage Positivity – The people you are surrounded by are huge influences in your overall psyche. Seek out people and opportunities that are positive and watch as your own positivity skyrockets!
Responding not Reacting – When a situation arises, resist the temptation to react instinctively, as this is likely a flight or fight response that is not productive in most situations. Instead, take a second to use mental and emotional clarity to see the situation in its full form and respond accordingly. With practice, you will find your resiliency growing and your optimism blooming.
Prioritizing Self – It is much easier to practice positivity if you are actively taking care of yourself. When your mind, body, and spirit work together, instead of at being at odds, you are more capable of optimism. So, prioritize your own mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
Even if you master all five of the outlined steps to optimism, there will still be moments in which negativity rears its head. Instead of spiraling, follow these 4 healthy steps to combat the negativity and step outside of the negative mindset.
Identify – When you are in a negative space, it is important to identify not only the immediate cause of the negativity, but any underlying factors that may be contributing to your state of mind. Until you can identify all aspects at play, it will be difficult to move outside of negativity.
Interrogate – What lies beneath negativity can be any range of emotions, such as frustration, shame, or fear. Step back and work to understand the deeper emotional connection to the negativity you are experiencing so you can address root causes rather than surface reactions.
Reframe – Often, it is possible to reframe a negative thought or viewpoint into a positive. For example, instead of viewing a low score as failing, think of it as an opportunity to reexamine your understanding and improve. While this can take some practice and may at first feel disingenuous, reframing can be a helpful tool to reframe adverse situations.
Problem Solve – Once you have a clear understanding of both the situation and your reaction, come up with a few alternate solutions. Choose a solution which seems manageable and try to be resilient if your first attempt does not succeed.
No matter where you are in the optimism journey, here are a few helpful hints to repel negativity and engage positivity in your everyday life.
Clean regularly – A clean and tidy space will help alleviate negativity and clutter from your physical world, which will free up space in your emotional psyche as well.
Meditate – Find a way to connect to the deepest and truest part of who you are. Whether you meditate in the traditional sense or find another avenue, look for ways to engage with your deepest thoughts, feelings, and attitudes.
Explore nature – Nature has a magical way of relieving stress, clearing our minds, and opening us up to healing. Whatever you like to do, do it outside!
Laugh – Laughing, whether alone or with others, is a surprisingly effective way to immediately shift your perspective. Lighten up! It’s only life.
Help others – Nothing gives you perspective and purpose like helping someone else. So, if you are feeling particularly stuck, find ways to help others!