If you’re a glass half empty kind of person you may be doing damage to your physical health. A recent study investigated the link between optimism and the presence of more antioxidants in the blood. The study found that the more positive a person was, the more their antioxidant levels increased, by as much as up to 13%. Antioxidants fight free radicals that can lead to damage and disease in the body. Therefore, if you can see the silver lining in most events you may be able to protect your body from falling prey to certain illnesses. So, don’t worry if you tend to resemble Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh (a certified pessimist) as there is hope for all of us. Here are some tips on how to be positive!
Put Things Into Perspective
Sometimes it’s useful to back up from a stressful situation and look at it from different angles. For instance, say your boss is really hounding and criticizing you. Take a few deep breaths and ask yourself some questions. Is my boss’ behavior about me? Or are they going through a really hard time in their life and taking it out on everyone else? Does this happen all the time or is this unusual behavior for them? Is my boss’ behavior taking away from my value as a person? One last question that really opens up the situation can be, will this matter in six months? In other words, how much will this current situation impact my life in six months? Usually the answer is very little.
Find the Silver Lining
This is not just a cheesy line. This is an actual process that leads to less stress and more satisfaction in life. What are the positive points about this situation? If it seems like there is nothing good about what is going on the answer can simply be that you are alive and still breathing. Or hopefully the situation is less dire than that and you can say that you’re grateful for having friends and family who can support you in a crisis. In short, the silver lining translates into an innate form of gratitude for life. Once you can train yourself to be grateful for all aspects of your life experiences, more positive experiences will start to come your way. As Dr. Wayne Dyer, international speaker and spiritual teacher, likes to say: “As you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
Fake It Until You Make It
Still feeling uninspired? Use other people’s stuff. Start plastering your fridge, mirrors and available wall space with affirmations or uplifting and inspiring messages. Try all the classics and then start composing your own. You don’t have to tell anyone about it as it’s just for you. Sometimes when we start something new we can be easily discouraged, so keep it to yourself until you start to feel a sunnier disposition emerge. You can also put up beautiful pictures that make you feel happy. Look around and ask yourself if your environment is contributing to your happiness or bringing you down? How can you remain positive and celebrate what you already have?
Image via Emanuele