DA2 via Getty Images
We all know a person or two who always see the sunny side of life. These people are happy, outgoing, vivacious, energetic, and full of spunk and spirit. They look for the positive in every situation. They have a clear head and an open heart. Their glass is always half-full, maybe even, overflowing. Their lives revolve around the good things that they do, the good thoughts that they think, and the good things that they choose to see.
An increasing number of scientific studies and independent research has shown that optimistic people have better mental and physical health. Optimistic people tend to live longer, overcome difficulties faster, manage stress better, have lower rates of depression, and focus more on their true purpose in life. Overall, the studies behind the benefits of being optimistic prove that it pays great dividends to develop a positive outlook on life.
The world would be so grateful if it had more optimistic people in it. So, let’s start developing some habits that will move us in that direction:
Smiling makes you feel better about yourself and your life on the inside. It also helps to attract more positive people to you. Wear a smile like a badge of honor. When we smile, we create the type of environment we want to live in and work in. Smiling releases tension and frustration, it helps us to think about tough situations differently, and it loosens up our face so other people will feel comfortable around us. On the other hand, frowning or looking sad all the time, attracts negative energy and negative people to us. It makes difficult situations more difficult and our lives harder to manage.
Appreciate the good things and good people that come into your life. Express your appreciation with words and deeds. If you’re not grateful for what you have in life, you will not get more. At the same time, we should also be grateful for the bad things in life, and even for the difficult people that come into our lives. These things are given to us to make us stronger, wiser, brighter, and better people. Be thankful for the good and the bad in every situation because all of it helps guide us to live brilliant lives. That’s the whole point of being optimistic.
Laugh a lot.
The Bible got it right: “Laughter is like medicine.” Some things in life are serious, and those things should be taken seriously. But some things are just down right funny. Some things are so stupid that they’re funny. Some of the things we do, the mistakes we make, the mindless behavior, is funny. Learn to open up and laugh. Have a ball laughing at yourself, at other people (seriously, some people are funny), at silly things, at serious things. Come on, don’t be stuck up and take everything so seriously. Don’t take yourself seriously either. You can get through the tough times of life much easier if you learn to laugh. Life is like a cake. The serious stuff is on the inside, but it’s covered over in icing so you can’t see it.
So often, people blame their past, their family, their environment, and even third parties who don’t know them, such as the government, for their problems. Blaming people for what you alone can change will only make you sadder and depressed. People who take responsibility for the choices that they make, by default, live happier lives. When you accept who you are and realize that what you do is under no one else’s control but yours, you will begin to see optimism rise in your life. You are in control of you. No one can block your sunshine or hinder you from success unless you let them.
When we truly listen to other people, we are saying by our behavior that we are confident and secure within ourselves to be open to what other people have to say. We don’t know everything. When we open our minds and ears, we allow more knowledge and wisdom to come in and resonate with us instead of blocking out the good ideas and thoughts of others. When we know what we know and at the same time are willing to listen to what other people know, we attract more of the good stuff that we desire in life. Not only should we listen to positive people, but we should listen to God, to our conscience, and to the often silent cry of those who are poor, desperate, and without hope.
Those who have a bright outlook on life are better equipped to handle the not so fortunate situations of other people. They can often bring a positive view to a negative situation and show the person going through it a different way out. Optimistic people see what can be done when other people don’t and can’t see it. These people shine a candle for others. They light the path so that others can follow in it. They step out, take a little child’s hand in theirs and help to make that child’s life better. They fight for those who are weak and they dream for those who can’t or won’t dream for themselves.
Okay, sure, forgiveness is easier said than done. But unforgiveness hurts us more than it hurts the person who needs to be forgiven. People are not perfect; they disappoint, they make mistakes, they say things that they shouldn’t, and do things that they know will hurt. But you can never move forward if you’re always holding grudges against people who hurt you in the past. Let stuff go. Cancel out the debt of hurt and pain. Bad experiences and hurtful people do not define us. Forgive. Even if they don’t ask for it, forgive them anyway. Optimistic people don’t let past hurts hinder their present progress. Forgiveness always leads to freedom.
Do your thing.
Positive people are insanely in love with what they do. They know who they are, they know what their gifts and talents are, and they are crazily happy to wake up and make things happen. Their purpose is the fuel that propels them forward to climb higher and to do bigger and better things in life. They are undeterred by roadblocks and setbacks. They see every day as an exciting challenge. They live in the moment and are passionate about the possibilities of greatness that lie within them. At the same time, positive people are able to encourage and appreciate the gifts and talents of others. They are not envious or jealous of the success of other people. Why? They don’t have time to because they are too busy being successful themselves.
When we think of a hospital, we often think of all the people who are sick or dying, the needles that must be inserted, the blood that must be drawn, the skin that must be grafted, the leg that must be amputated, the heart that must be replaced, and the kidney that must be transplanted. Sure, all of these things and more must be done. But rarely do we think about the baby that is being delivered, the organ being donated, the brain tumor that has been removed, the cancer that has been caught early, the medicine that has done its job, and the lives that are being saved. See, when we start to visualize the good things that come from bad situations, we open up our minds to see the wonderful things waiting to be seen. The sun continues to shine even when it’s raining. There is always a rainbow waiting to burst forth after the rain. Optimistic people always see the good, the positive, the sunshine, the rainbow. If we think we can, we can. It takes more energy to worry about what can’t be done then it does to work on what can be done. Positive thinking people don’t live in Pollyanna land, but they do realistically see the world and life in a forward manner. They are able to deal with the tough stuff and at the same time attract more of the good stuff to their lives. Life is not left up to chance, it is left up to our choices. We often hear people say, “It is what it is.” Really? No. It is what you make it.
You can’t live your life to yourself. That’s selfish. Live openly. Let other people be inspired by what you do. Be a person who creates things for other people to enjoy. Few people write books, but millions read them. Few people sing songs, but millions listen to them. Few people know how to give good advice, but millions follow them. The world needs inspiring people, creative people, awesome people. Be one of them.