The Life Transforming Power of Optimism & Hope
As humans, we don’t always see the bright side of things. We may, naturally, want to believe that everything will be fine or that situations will turn out the way we desire, but consciously seeking the best in every situation may require a skill set we do not currently possess. It is difficult to achieve goals when feeling betrayed or in an environment where we sense our ambitions and dreams have been stolen.
Take, for example, our current global situation. Inspirations and drives that existed prior to the pandemic may now be on the verge of fading away completely. Many of us have lost loved ones, businesses, and a semblance of normalcy in our lives. How does one recover and move forward in the wake of so many setbacks and such great tragedy?
"Hope" is the answer. Hope can transform your mindset and change your life.
Choose to Rise
In some situations, we never had a choice. We had no say in our skin color, birthplace, or the socioeconomic status of our parents. However, we do have a choice in many situations, and this includes the ability to alter our current circumstances (or at least our attitude toward them) and use these changes to shape our future. This means we can overcome in the face of hardship and succeed in the aftermath.
Another cold winter has recently passed. Despite blustery winds, harsh temperatures, and an icy terrain, you may have observed a lone sparrow (or two) joyfully foraging for food. And now, tulips and daffodils burst through the frozen earth to welcome spring.
Where do they get their fortitude?
It is within them. You, too, possess inner strength, perseverance, and a song in the soul! Don’t let it perish. As Langston Hughes, an Afro-American poet, so brilliantly penned:
Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.
Having a Positive Outlook is a Learnable Skill
Although not everyone is artistically inclined, anyone can learn to sketch. Similarly, becoming optimistic is a taught skill. You decide which abilities to develop in your life just as you choose whether or not to pursue your dream. Here are some ways to cultivate greater positivity in your life:
See the Good in Everything
Happy, content people look for the good in everything, understanding that negative emotions are harmful and can lead to overreactions to situations.
Consistently optimistic thoughts lead to a positive view on life, which opens up a world of possibilities. You have control over how you think, feel, and behave at any given time, establishing a rationale that leads to a healthy, well-balanced mind free of anger and judgment.
Deal With Setbacks Accordingly
Optimists take a proactive attitude when presented with adversity. They have learned to focus on things that generate energy and progress rather than wasting time stewing over and creating negativity. Internal resilience fosters acceptance of barriers, the ability to work through difficulties, and the power to overcome obstacles, all of which minimize stress and promote confidence and balance in one’s life.
Forge Strong Relationships
According to a recent study, optimists receive more support from their partners than non-optimists, resulting in stronger, more stable relationships. Relationships of this type have also been demonstrated to be more intimate and long-lasting. Couples benefit greatly from the joy and collaboration that optimism provides. Indeed, a dash of hope and optimism can help strengthen any relationship!
Optimism Provides Longevity and Lifelong Health Benefits
Believe it or not, people who are positive and optimistic live longer and have a higher quality of life than those who are pessimistic and negative. Optimism promotes emotional and physical well-being, resulting in a healthier, more powerful immune system. Suzanne Segerstrom, a psychologist at the University of Kentucky, discovered a link between optimistic attitudes and immune strength. In her research, individuals who had a surge in short-term pleasant emotions were shown to have stronger immunity.
Of course, there may be days when life's circumstances heavily pour down heartaches and sorrows, but maintaining a half-glass-full, hopeful attitude leads to beneficial changes in your mindset, health, and relationships. When life throws you a curveball, a fresh perspective, a positive attitude, and an optimistic outlook are the keys to getting back on track and moving forward.
As we embrace the new spring season, let us rejuvenate withering aspirations and dreams by incorporating more hope and optimism into our daily lives.
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