It felt like everything changed last year.
The pandemic overturned our daily lives and many of us were unprepared for the ensuing hardships. Even now, we’re still navigating through the new developments surrounding the virus.
Will we ever have a moment to catch our breaths?
Unfortunately, the pandemic isn’t something with a definitive end date. And living through it can create an environment for pessimism to settle into your mind and heart.
Is there any way for you to feel positive again? With all that is happening, is it even possible to feel optimism for the future?
Yet, choosing optimism over pessimism is easier said than done.
So how can you do this?
What is the secret to feeling optimism and hope?
Read on as I share 3 vital practices for nurturing an optimistic attitude…
Why It’s Hard to Feel Optimism for the Future (Especially After 2020)
Each time you encounter a challenge, pessimism whispers…
This is why life is awful. This is why nothing is going your way. This is why it’s impossible to feel positive.
And we often believe it. As humans, it can feel like we’re programmed to notice what’s wrong in our lives. Finding the positive? That takes conscious effort.
This is why pessimism is so seductive.
Life is full of hardships — the pandemic continues to create so many for us — and these challenges reinforce our pessimistic beliefs.
Once pessimism settles into your mind and heart, even the tiniest inconvenience can feel like a cross to bear.
You can see why it’s hard to find the silver lining — you’re already bracing for the next bad thing to happen. If you continue carrying this mindset, you leave yourself vulnerable to:
- Signs of burnout
- Lower immunity
- Lack of joy
Imagine, as you’re working on your goals, that pessimism is telling you your efforts are in vain. It may even be telling you that you’re not good enough or smart enough.
Just give up, it whispers.
Over time, this negative self-talk erodes at the foundation of self-love that you’ve built for yourself.
Why Optimism Can Be the Best Cure for Getting Your Resolutions Back on Track
Cultivating the mindset of optimism may be challenging. Yet, it’s one of the best things you can do for yourself.
Those who are optimistic are more likely to…
- Live longer
- Have improved cardiovascular health
- Have stronger immune functions
- Experience less stress
Optimism has even been linked to increased longevity for those diagnosed with chronic diseases, according to Psychology Today. Optimistic people are also more likely to experience joy, gratitude, life satisfaction, and confidence.
Optimism is also one of the best ways to express self-love.
Because becoming the woman you want to be and manifesting the life you desire requires you to believe it can happen. Optimism is that belief.
Coming up are three tips for nurturing optimism and believing that what you desire is entirely within your reach.
How to Erase Self-Doubt and Use Optimism to Fulfill Your Resolutions
#1 If you’re in a negative thought loop, get out.
You’re working on another resolution? Why? You’re a failure!
Slipping into a negative thought loop can be easy. Getting out can take practice.
However, thoughts are just thoughts. They’re not necessarily grounded in fact or reality. And your thoughts can tend to create drama.
Noticing when you’re in a negative thought loop is the first step to getting out.
When you experience those negative thoughts, pause.
Become an observer. Pay attention to your racing thoughts.
Then ask yourself, is this the truth? Is it the reality of the situation?
Often, your thoughts offer a distorted version of your true emotions and reality.
When you become aware, you become more conscious about what is so. And when you become more conscious, you see what’s fact and what’s a story that you made up in your head.
#2 Find the lessons in the struggleThere is something you can learn from even your most daunting challenges. They become sources of wisdom and empowerment. Instead of feeling like a victim of your circumstances, you have the power to lead a meaningful life rich in… Click To Tweet
Adversity can’t always be avoided. And there are times when you might feel like you’re being swept away by it — powerless to change what’s happening.
While there are some things beyond your power — the pandemic, for example — these situations can hold a message for you.
You can find meaning in them.
There is something you can learn from even your most daunting challenges. They become sources of wisdom and empowerment. Instead of feeling like a victim of your circumstances, you have the power to lead a meaningful life rich in purpose.
Think of a struggle you recently experienced.
How did you react?
What meaning could it hold for you?
It may not be obvious at first. You may need to spend some time reflecting.
Even last year’s craziness offers nuggets of wisdom.
Isolation taught us about the value of relationships. The pandemic reminded us of our mortality and the importance of maintaining our health. The sudden changes encouraged us to adapt and be resilient.
You may not see it immediately, yet there’s almost always a lesson.
#3 Start a daily gratitude journal
Your mind seems to naturally find what’s wrong in your life. Seeing the positive is not necessarily as obvious.
A daily gratitude journal trains your mind to look for what’s RIGHT in your life, even when it feels like things are going awry.
Here’s what you can do…
Find a journal and a pen (or download a daily gratitude app) and follow these steps:
- Think of three things that make you happy
- Next to each thing, write why it makes you happy.
- Say it aloud.
Here are some examples of what you might say:
I am grateful for my spouse because he provides me with love, support, and compassion.
I am grateful for my home because it protects my family and me and keeps us warm.
I am grateful for my body because it helps me do the things I love to do each day.
To kickstart this gratitude habit, name something you’re grateful for and why in the comments below! I’ll start… I’m grateful for my sister because she is loving, kind, funny, and supportive.
Feeling Optimism for the Future is Within YOUR Power
You’ve made it through one month and still have the rest of the year to look forward to, with so many opportunities to seize, memories to create, and joy to experience.
If you’re uncertain about the future, you’re not alone. Yet, keep in mind that you proved in 2020 that you have the courage and resilience to face whatever comes your way.
You will still likely encounter self-doubt or pessimism as you work on your resolutions. Now, you can lean on these tips when pessimism weighs you down. Because feeling pessimistic is normal… but staying pessimistic is a choice you make.
For additional tips on how to kick pessimism to the curb and move through the year with greater optimism, click here now to claim my FREE gift: A Checklist For Keeping a Positive Attitude.
And if you’re not already part of my online community, click here to sign up and make sure you’re the first to know when there’s a new semi-monthly blog, free gift, program, and other helpful tips for how to be the master of your own well-being and enhance your existence in all areas of your life… from relationships, work, and finances to family, health, and quality of life.
I am grateful for my body because it carries me where I need/want to go.
Thank you for taking the time to share, Lori! It’s so great to hear you acknowledge your amazing body!! Your gratitude will pay off in ways you can’t even imagine right now.
Your article was a breath of life. I am super excited, often…but feel very discouraged while I’m in a waiting game of sorts. I know God has a plan, but my stinken heart wants to help me “give up.” I believe you just did a little CPR. Thank you, Whitney!
I’m excited that this article was so helpful to you, Jeanine! Thank you for sharing your thoughts!!