Once I made the jump from depression to thinking happiness was even an option, I started thinking positivity was the only way to go. Don’t get me wrong, I still believe positivity is better than negativity, but there is such a thing as toxic positivity, like telling someone with depression to, “just be happy!” Hah! Okay.
As I learn more about self-love and personal development, the more I realize that while being optimistic is a skill (it’s WAY more difficult than being pessimistic, which is our nature by default as humans), it’s also just not realistic all the time for anyone. When someone called me a “practical optimist”, I clung to that term, and I’m passionate about continuing to teach how to realistically practice positivity in your life. Here are ten tips.
10 Tips For Being Practically Optimistic
1. Manage stress with relaxation – If you’re stressed beyond belief and aren’t practicing self-care or winding down, you’re not going to be able to re-frame your mindset. [50 Ways To Relax]
2. Have a daily gratitude practice – Actively practicing gratitude allows you to see the good in life, and then more will always show itself to you. [Gratitude Journal]
3. Recognize positivity takes more effort – Remember that what you’re doing is work, and you’re doing a good job! [Why Having A Positive Attitude Isn’t Bullshit]
4. Forgive yourself when you spiral – Also remember that it’s okay to have slip ups where you spiral, flip out, have negativity, or straight up pessimistic thoughts. Forgive yourself, breathe, and move on.
5. Take responsibility for yourself – When you don’t blame external sources for your problems, it becomes easier to be real about life and the inner source of love you have inside you.
6. Acknowledge ‘failure’ as lessons – When you make a mistake or ‘fail’, you don’t need to apologize or berate yourself. Everything you do in life is an experience, a lesson, and more education for the future.
7. Empathize but don’t commiserate – When other people are going down a pessimistic, complaining rabbit hole, you can empathize with them and acknowledge their pain, but you don’t need to share a grievance in order to have the conversation be valid. What if you offered a solution instead or simply held space for them?
8. Use positive affirmations – Try putting up a sticky note that says something like, “The world can be a beautiful place” on your bathroom mirror or computer. [Get access to over 500 positive affirmations in the Uncustomary Babes Membership Group]
9. Surround yourself with things that make you happy – If you’re around negative people and things that make you feel uncomfortable or don’t please your eye, it’s going to be way more difficult to feel okay, let alone optimistic.
10. Practice kindness – When we put our attention on other people and see that kindness ripple effect in the world or just a reaction, it can boost us up and remind us of the good in the world and ourselves. Try a random act of kindness this week! [103 Random Acts Of Kindness Ideas]
Do you struggle with being optimistic? Where do you think you are on the optimistic to pessimistic spectrum? Has it changed over the years? Do you want to change it?
Comment below and let me know if any of these tips feel like things you can do!