I hope you took some time over the last two weeks to think about a relationship in your life that has been suffering; that you’ve reflected on your memories of time spent with that person.
If you recall, I encouraged you to remove all judgment and consider only the positives that this connection brought to your life.
You may have completed my Let Go of What’s Holding You Back checklist and worksheet to help you decide whether to let go with grace or take steps to restore that relationship.
If you’ve chosen to restore a relationship to a place of importance in your life and you’ve set new boundaries, it’s time to talk about how to embrace the path forward.
We’ll frame that path in the context of forgiveness, acceptance, and enjoyment.
For many of us, all the strain and added stress from the pandemic and a contentious election year transferred over to our relationships. The loss of face-to-face interaction during stay-at-home measures meant communication had to happen in new and challenging ways, like video, text, email, etc. Our messages and meaning may have gotten lost in translation. We may have felt misunderstood or unheard, and the other person may have felt that way too. And when frustrations boiled over, grace was not always extended.
All of this is understandable. The absence of social interaction has deeply affected relationships. To be able to embrace the path forward, we must first extend forgiveness for all missteps made during this time — to yourself and to the other person.
If we hope to restore a relationship, acceptance must follow forgiveness. You or the other person may have acted in ways that have created feelings of guilt or shame. Practicing self-love can be a powerful first step to overcome these feelings and move towards acceptance of yourself and the other person.
Moving forward, life will return to a version of normalcy. But it is helpful to acknowledge that things may never be the same for this relationship. In some cases, scars from past hurts will remain, but there may also be opportunities for deeper and more meaningful connections.
We must acknowledge the collective loss of connection we have all experienced. We’ve lost precious time together, whether it be family celebrations, life milestones, or normal social activities. The enjoyment we derive from these moments of connection cannot be underestimated. They are crucial to our overall quality of life.
Focusing on enjoying life is a great first step not only to reconnect with this person but to restore some sense of normalcy to your own life. Think about what it was you missed about the other person and relationship. What drew you to each other in the first place? What did you enjoy doing together? Maybe it was that weekly cup of coffee, a chat at the mailbox, or a morning dog walk together. Now is the time to rekindle those simple moments of enjoyment.
Embracing the Path Forward Through Human Connection
In time, we’ll resume some semblance of our past routines and day-to-day life.
Whatever that looks like, we will always have an innate human need for connection. And relationships are essential for our overall wellness.
Your social connections will come from existing relationships and any new ones you choose to cultivate. As for this particular relationship — it has suffered so it is fragile. Restoring it may not be easy, but it is possible when you practice forgiveness, acceptance, and enjoyment.
Before you get started, check in with yourself and your feelings. What is your general attitude as you consider restoration? Then click here to claim your FREE gift, A Checklist For Keeping a Positive Attitude, to help you maintain an optimistic mindset along the way.
Make an effort to stay open to the new things you might discover about yourself and the other person along the way. I wish you luck in your relationship repair.
Until next time, click here and sign up for my future articles to be delivered to your inbox.
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:
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 struggle
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.
“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
– Winston Churchill
Is the glass half-full? Is it half-empty? Does it even matter?
In my journey with burnout, I learned the relationship between optimism and health. Early on, I suffered from fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and burnout. I experienced every challenging emotion on the spectrum – loneliness, frustration, anger – and felt very much like a pessimist.
And I stayed that way for a while… Bedridden and isolated from the world.
Until I realized: I was choosing to feel this way. I was choosing to feel sorry for myself. I was choosing to stay stuck.
I didn’t want to feel that way anymore. I wanted to feel empowered again. Now, I choose to look at the glass half-full. Sure, my situation sucked. But positive change depended on ME taking action and having a positive outlook.
And it worked. Through optimism and taking action, I healed from burnout and fibromyalgia.
Optimism saved me and it can rescue you from signs of burnout, as well.
What is Optimism?
Optimism is about staying hopeful and positive about your present and future.
But it’s more than a mindset shift. It’s a lifestyle change. Optimism can have a profound impact on your life satisfaction, how you make decisions, and what types of goals you embark on.
However, many pessimists and realists are skeptical of the benefits of optimism. They believe that optimists suffer from the Pollyanna Principle or positivity bias — an unhealthy fixation on the positive while avoiding the negative. They prefer to feel happy instead of taking action and facing reality.
Sounds more like delusion and wishful thinking, right?
After all, how can optimism pay your bills? Or pick up the kids from school? Or restore peace to your chronic anxiety?
I felt that way until I discovered firsthand how life-changing optimism can be.
What Can Optimism Do For You?
Optimism benefits both your mental and physical well-being. Studies show that those who are more optimistic are at less risk of coronary heart disease. Another study shows that greater optimism can reduce the effects of chronic disease.
Optimism has a healing effect on your body!
By replacing my victim mentality with optimism, I was able to take charge of my burnout and fibromyalgia symptoms. This is because my new positive outlook changed the way I related to these symptoms and empowered me to take action through self-care.
When you embody positivity and optimism, you tend to live longer, you’re more likely to build healthy habits, and you cultivate greater resilience during hardships.
Are you ready to welcome more optimism into your life? Here’s how you can do it.
4 Tips On How to Be More Optimistic
#1 Practice Gratitude
When was the last time you sat in silence, appreciating the blessings that touch your life?
It may have been a while.
Your life often gets hectic. Your calendar is overbooked. You have obligations to fulfill and deadlines to meet.
In the hustle and bustle, you forget to simply appreciate.
Take a moment to do that right now. Ask yourself:
What are three positive things that happened today?
Make answering this question a daily habit. This simple activity will train your brain to actively seek out what’s right in your life, instead of dwelling on what’s wrong.
#2 Surround Yourself with Positive People
Jim Rohn said that you are the average of the five people you surround yourself with. If the people around you are constantly complaining, negative, and pessimistic, then you are more likely to exude those same characteristics.
Instead, set yourself up for success and wellness by associating with people who:
- Set goals and take action
- Choose optimism over pessimism
- Encourage and uplift you
- Cultivate a growth mindset
- Build healthy habits
The friends and family you keep close to you can influence your daily habits and your overall well-being.
#3 Use Inspiring Affirmations
Pessimism affects more than how you perceive the people and world around you. It can also distort how you see yourself.
You put a magnifying glass over your flaws. You catalog your faults. You doubt your skills and potential.
Daily affirmations help you replace these pessimistic thoughts with more optimistic beliefs, by giving voice to reminders of your strength and worth.
Every morning when you wake up and every evening before you go to sleep, look at yourself in the mirror and say:
I love myself. I respect myself. I accept myself.
I am worthy of love and abundance.
I exude optimism, confidence, and self-compassion.
You might not believe the words at first, but they will eventually manifest into your reality. Over time, you will believe that you are worthy, valuable, and powerful.
Optimism isn’t about overnight change. It’s about being open to positive change, even when your current situation is less than ideal.
#4 Be Solution-Oriented
Think about the last time something didn’t work out the way you wanted. It sucked, right? You might have felt discouraged. Perhaps you blamed the world for this setback.
It’s okay to process your emotions before taking action. Just keep in mind that the worst thing you can do in adversity is nothing.
Optimism is more than looking on the bright side. It also encourages you to take real action to effect positive change in your life.
Don’t let your temporary setbacks limit you. Instead, take back your power.
When you’re struggling with something, approach it as a challenge to solve. This perspective shift will keep you focused not on what happened to you, but rather what can you do about it?
Think about a setback you recently experienced. What action steps can you take to solve it?
Optimism and Health Begins With Self-Love
The choice to be optimistic is an act of kindness we show ourselves.
Each time you express optimism, you’re choosing the glass half-full over half-empty. Choosing to keep going over giving up. Choosing positivity over cynicism.
Optimism also inspires you to make more empowering choices, even in hardship: choosing self-compassion and self-love over despair.
When you practice optimism and self-love, you welcome so many benefits into your life. That’s why I encourage you to claim my free gift, “From Burnout To Balance: A Simple 10-Minute Daily Self-Care Practice.”
This practice has been shown to:
- Increase mindfulness, well-being, self-confidence, and personal power
- Increase your ability to concentrate
- Cultivate a greater resilience to stress, a positive mindset, and a sense of hopefulness and calm
- Decrease stress and stress-related symptoms like frustration, mood swings, feelings of overwhelm or lack of control, anxiety, depression, low energy, headaches, body aches and pains, muscle tension, chest pain and rapid heartbeat, insomnia, and frequent colds and infections
- Reduce or even stop worrying
Click here now to download your “From Burnout To Balance: A Simple 10-Minute Daily Self-Care Practice.”