There has long been a debate about whether being optimistic is a good thing, or whether a pessimistic outlook is more protective and better for you in the long run. More recently, research has indicated that optimistic people actually live longer lives with better mental health and a better quality of life.
So, what makes an optimistic person? Which beliefs are core to their way of life?
The aim of this article is to look at a number of the more common beliefs amongst optimists to try to understand how their minds work and why they think the way they do.
1. My Response Is My Ultimate Choice
An optimistic individual believes that no matter what situation they are confronted with, the one thing they always have control over is the manner in which they respond.
Whether good, neutral, or bad things have happened, the choice is theirs to react however they want. They simply choose to look on the bright side more than they choose to dwell on the negative.
2. I Have The Power To Change My Life
Optimists ardently believe they have the power within them to make positive change happen. They have faith in their own abilities and their persistence; they trust that if they follow their dreams with courage and conviction, they stand a good chance of turning those dreams into a reality.
3. Good Things Are Never Far Away
When you have an optimistic outlook on life, it becomes natural to believe that good things are waiting for you just around the corner. And while the future cannot be accurately foretold, if you think that good is coming your way, it makes you more able to see it when it does.
When you think about it, though, there are always good things to come in your future if your eyes are open to see them.
4. Trauma Is Temporary, But Healing Does Take Time
Optimists are not completely immune to trauma; they just view it as an impermanent event that will one day be consigned to the past. They certainly don’t deny the fact that healing emotional wounds can take time.
What’s different is that, even during a distressing period of their lives, they don’t forget the good times they’ve had and they know that such happiness will once again be possible.
5. Expressing Gratitude Is Essential
When good things flow into an optimist’s world, they don’t take them for granted. Instead, they express their thanks so as to remind themselves of their good fortune.
They believe that if you look around with keen eyes, you will be amazed at just how much there is to be grateful for, and that expressing their appreciation only serves to reinforce their positive world view.
6. Tomorrow Is A New Day
An optimist always sees a new day as a fresh opportunity to find or create good in their own reality. If they suffer setbacks on their journey through life, they feel comforted by the setting and rising of the sun because each new day holds the potential to reveal a way back to the path they’ve strayed from.
They understand the power of time to enact positive change in a person and are fully open to the potential that every morning brings.
7. Naysayers Just Haven’t Found Their Path Yet
When an optimist is confronted with someone who belittles their dreams and pours scorn on their beliefs, they pay little attention to them. They understand that such an individual hasn’t yet become aware of the amazing capacity of human beings to achieve great things.
Whatever the argument may be, an optimistic person will believe in themselves and in the abundance that can be found if one is willing to search and fight for it. To them, a naysayer is someone who just can’t envisage a path to their dreams; a person who is blind to their own potential.
8. Adversity Is Being Overcome At Every Turn
If an optimistic soul ever needs reminding of their innate ability to overcome obstacles, they just look around them. Wherever you search, you can see examples of people who have faced troubled times, battled demons, and come out victorious.
These models of determination go to prove how much is possible if you believe it to be so. They act as motivation for the optimist to keep believing in the good that is coming to them.
9. My Life Is Finite And Best Spent Looking On The Bright Side
Our days on this earth are limited, and an optimist believes that they are much better spent focusing on all the positive things that have happened and might happen. The fragility and uncertainty of life motivates them to spend as much time as possible with a positive mental mindset because only then can you really enjoy what time you do have.
10. I Choose My Battles Wisely
No optimist can maintain a cheery outlook all of the time, but they can try to ensure that when a more downbeat mood takes over, there are good reasons for it. They don’t let the little annoyances get to them; instead they move on mentally in the blink of an eye, reserving sadness, anger, anxiety and other negative emotions for more serious occurrences.
In other words, they make a choice when and when not to fight against their reality. They could punish themselves every time anything goes wrong, but when it’s only the little stuff, they don’t sweat it.
11. The Good Wouldn’t Be So Good If I Hadn’t Known The Bad
Another belief that an optimistic person is quite likely to hold is that we experience much greater joy and happiness from the good times when we are willing to accept the bad.
They realize that if nothing bad ever happens to us, we might not fully appreciate the good in life. Think of it as living in a place where the sun shines every day, where the temperature is always comfortable, and the breeze is refreshing in its modesty; you probably wouldn’t appreciate such weather had you never known the cold, wet and stormy.
12. Optimism Begets Optimism
When an optimist has positive thoughts about future possibilities, they are also reinforcing their upbeat persona. They know that as you practice optimism, you serve to make your future outlook more naturally cheery by strengthening your neural pathways.
To them, optimism is not merely an inherent personality trait that they were blessed with, but something that developed and that continues to develop over time. It becomes a part of their self care regime, much like exercise and a healthy diet.
13. The Good And The Bad Should Not Be Taken Personally
It can be all too easy to assume that when bad things happen, it’s because you deserve them or because you aren’t blessed with the luck other people seem to have. This is counter to the belief of an optimist, however, who will see the good and the bad merely as things that happen.
Optimists are better able to detach themselves from the events in their lives. From their point of view, life is bound to have its ups and downs and blame cannot always be apportioned to anything, let alone yourself. Sometimes life just happens.
14. Dwelling On The Bad Serves No Purpose
An optimistic person refuses to let negative incidents and thoughts keep hold of them for very long. They believe that such repetitive thought patterns have little worth and that a choice can be made to move your focus to something else.
They know that if you can switch your thoughts to something good; something you feel thankful for, then you will live a far more peaceful life.
15. Recharging My Batteries Is Important
Optimism is not dependent on being well rested, but it sure is a lot easier to be upbeat when you feel awake and enthused with energy. That’s why an optimist believes in the power of ‘me time’ and other activities that serve to relax body and mind.
Pessimism can grow out of exhaustion as you struggle to visualize the good up ahead, which is why an optimist will take the time to rest and recuperate when their batteries are low.
16. How I Interact With The World Matters
Our lives are mostly built around an ongoing series of interactions with the world. The optimistic person understands that how we view these interactions and how we play them out can have a huge impact on our mental positivity.
If you see each interaction as a struggle, then it becomes a struggle, but if you look for opportunities to connect more deeply with the world and the people in it, you are able to find inner peace.
17. I Am Entitled To Nothing But A Chance To Live
When you feel a sense of entitlement, your mind is far more likely to lean towards the negative because whenever you do not receive what you view as a right, you feel aggrieved.
Optimists tend to be aware that a chance at life is the only thing we might feel rightfully entitled to (and even this can’t be taken for granted). They understand that if you don’t believe something should be yours by right, you cannot feel grief at the absence of it.
They know that it is fortune, not entitlement that provides most of us with food, clean water, education and security. It is only chance that separates the lives of two newborn babies – on in a rich western country to the other in a poverty-stricken developing country. Neither child is born with any more rights than the other; it tends to be more affluent people who believe otherwise.
Are you an optimistic individual? Do you agree with what’s written here? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts.