5 Habits of Optimistic People

Staying positive is an art. Much like good negotiating, mentoring and even budgeting, it is a skill that is only refined over time when put to use often. Looking on the bright side is sometimes much easier said than done. Life can get you down at a moment’s notice with relationship ups and downs, career set-backs and sometimes even the smallest of inconveniences (I’m out of white wine!) can have us ready throw our hands up in despair.

But not to fear my friends. I’ve compiled a list of five hopeful insights that I encourage you to use when needed. And just to be clear, I use these as well and continue to work on keeping a positive mindset and outlook. Consider these to be your secret weapon when pessimism seems to be lurking in the shadows.

1 — Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
You’ve heard the phrase, “choose your battles wisely” — this is more important than ever when steering clear of additional drama and headaches that may taint your mood. If it’s not going to affect your health, livelihood, marriage or family, chances are it’s a molehill and not a mountain.

2 — Breathing Space
Having a space to decompress after a long day or sometimes mid-way through the day is essential in focusing your energy on the right things. We must center ourselves and make certain we have a full tank before we continue to extend ourselves to others. When you run on empty, resentment, anger and frustration are sure to follow.

3 — Who’s Your Squad?
Who are the people you can go to at a moment’s notice and they rally around you with positivity and encouragement? It may be a special co-worker, a long-time friend, your spouse or maybe a parent. Identify your biggest cheerleaders in life. They make deposits into you, not debits. These are the people who will remind you of your worth when you can’t do it for yourself.

4 — Let It Go

We all know the catchy tune from Disney’s Frozen about not holding onto things. This can really be applied to everyday life. Much like my point in number 1 about choosing battles, even when something occurs that is worth your energy — don’t let it fester inside of you, draining you of all your capacity to function. Choose an appropriate amount of time to handle the situation and then move on. With the exception of grieving an extreme loss, such as the death of a loved one (in which case I strongly advise you to seek spiritual or professional counseling), most things are a blip on the radar in retrospect once you look back.

5 — Encouragement Breeds Gratitude
They say giving is better than receiving and when it comes to kindness, this couldn’t be more true. Giving words of encouragement and praise to others is great way to boost yourself. You’ll be surprised at how awesome it feels to push someone else forward with kind words.

You may use one of these tactics, all of them or perhaps you’ll create your own list. The important thing to remember is that having a consistent positive outlook is an art. And like any skill, practice makes perfect.