7 Ways to Feel More Optimistic and Improve Your Mood
October 27, 2020 8:00 AM EST | 4 min read
Discover some simple ways to be optimistic so you can feel happier and believe in yourself and your abilities more.
Whether it is a stressful job, relationship issue, or even politics, it’s hard to be optimistic about where life is in the moment.
But a Harvard study shows that feeling more optimistic isn’t simply a good idea – it can actually reduce the chances of dying from heart disease, cancer, and other ailments.
While there is NO magic formula or switch to flip to make things more positive.
But the road to optimism is a lot easier than people think.
The key is finding a few go-to exercises that when practiced continuously, lead to optimism now – and anytime – when you feel negative thoughts coming on.
5 Great Ways To Be Optimistic Starting Today
We too often focus on what we don’t have and what could have been, versus every wonderful thought we can have at the moment.
Spend a few minutes each morning being thankful for even the smallest things that add to your life.
2. Daily meditation
There is a meditation technique that works for everyone.
The key is to keep trying as many as you can until the right one clicks.
Don’t get frustrated if you don’t see results right away, and don’t try flavors of the week.
Embrace the journey that is meditation.
You and you alone will know when its benefits are a part of your everyday life to be optimistic.
3. Have a mantra
Silently repeat “love”, “peace” or another word or phrase for 20 minutes in the morning.
Choose a word that is likely to psychologically prime you in the right direction to be optimistic for the day.
Pause each time you think of the word, wait for its afterglow to fade, and then repeat it.
When your mind drifts, just bring your attention back and say the word again.
Drifts happen because of a core rhythm in the brain, and they are nothing to get worried about.
After a while, the brain will settle in.
4. Focus on your breath
For some, using a mantra just doesn’t work.
If you’re one of them, a good option is to simply follow your breath.
Focus on either how the breath feels flowing in and out of your nostrils, or the rise and fall of your chest or belly while you breathe.
It may help initially to mentally note ‘in’ and ‘out’, but you can drop this after a while.
The key is to try NOT to change the breath, just watch it as your body breathes in and out.
5. Post-workout brain stretch
One of the benefits of exercise is increased neuroplasticity.
In other words, your brain is primed for its own workout after you finish your physical one.
Schedule a little time to work out your brain, which could include something deep, or simply read to expand your world.
6. Find a body-based counterpoint to something that is stressful
Many Type-A people who are workaholics often live in their heads, which makes body techniques like Vipassana work well.
Try 10 days of a body technique as it could change your life.
7. Know how to use stress-reducing technology
Using complementary technology, especially wearables, is a great way for anyone to meditate almost anywhere.
Tech also provides biometrics people can use to track their states of well-being and quickly reduce stress.
One of my favorite tools – and we use it in our Finders Course – is the HeartMath app.
The hardware includes a small clip you attach to your earlobe and a wire that goes to your mobile phone.
You select your mood, which can range from “excited” to “anxious.”
You breathe with a colorful circle on your phone’s screen that expands and contracts.
If you time your breathing with the circle, your heart rate will usually lower.
As you breathe better, you are more likely to reach a state of “high coherence”, and help you be optimistic during the day.
Lastly, groundbreaking research on enlightenment and non-duality is on your side.
Conducted in my role as co-founder of the Transformative Technology Lab at Sofia University, this research found scientific feedback from participants showing these techniques significantly reduce stress, increase positive engagement with others, and prevent people from taking sick days from being overwhelmed with negativity!
How about you, do you have more tips on how to be optimistic?
We’d love to hear from you.
Share them in the comments section below!