No-one likes a permanent sad sack. We know life can be tough, but here’s how to have a positive mindset and not only be the one everyone loves to be around, but improve your quality of life and your health too. A study done in 2017 looked at how optimism lowers health risks – especially cardiovascular disease – and other health-related benefits.
Also remember, positivity breeds positivity. Ready to get started? Here’s how:
It’s hard to feel positive when you’ve just experienced a major setback, but the key is not to dwell on the thing that just went south. When you’re faced with a loss or failure, think about the other areas of your life that are going well, says psychologist Randall Larsen. “Make a list of what you’re good at. This can put the bruises and bumps into perspective.”
Don’t isolate yourself after hearing bad news. You may feel like you just need to lie low for a while, but telling friends to leave you alone can make your depression even deeper. Instead, set time aside for socialising. It can go a long way to building a positive mindset. “It can prolong a positive mood,” Larsen says, “or snap you out of a bad one.”
Take problems off your mind by writing them down, sealing them in a box and throwing the box away. Sure it sounds silly, but it can weaken the emotional impact of distressing events, says psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky.
Step back and appreciate what you have. People who keep in mind that others have it worse tend to feel less upset about their own circumstances, says Larsen. It’s not schadenfreude – it’s perspective.