Mind Matters: Perspective

12:06 AM

Are you an optimist? A pessimist? See, I'm a natural born pessimist. I rather enjoy it, too, as I am either correct or pleasantly surprised. Unfortunately, being a pessimist isn't great for one's well being.  In a 9-year study that observed the cardiovascular health of over 900 Dutch men and women, pessimists die sooner of just about everything people can die of. Additionally, pessimism has been linked to higher odds of developing dementia. Whomp Whomp! 

So what's a pessimist to do?  Luckily, there are a few things we can do to help us look at life with a positive perspective.

Practice Gratitude

Do you make a habit of using the magic words? (In case you have forgotten, the magic words are "please" and "thank you.") If you don't, it's never too late to start.  Can't live without your morning Starbucks run? Thank your barista for the glorious cup of coffee they poured just for you.  Did someone hold the elevator for you? Thank them for being such a kind person.  Are you able to complete a small favor for a friend or coworker without expecting the same in return?  Do it.  See, expressing gratitude doesn't have to take a lot of work.  Give it a go.  It won't hurt, I promise.


Slow Down

Though some need more than others, "Me Time" (aka my favorite time) is necessary for all to decompress and reflect. "Me Time" allows you to refocus, recharge, and replenish your energy stores. Taking time to focus on yourself isn't selfish, and you shouldn't feel guilty for occasionally turning down invitations with others.  "Me Time" can help you build a strong and stable foundation for positive thoughts. Whether it's taking a bubble bath, reading a book, or just taking a long walk, enjoy your time alone.

Self Kindness

Do you treat your mind and body with kindness? Believing in yourself and your abilities can unveil a new way of thinking. If you think positively about yourself, you can more easily find positivity in other aspects of your life.  Even though it may be easier to show compassion to others, we need to accept ourselves as we are. We do ourselves no favors blaming ourselves and putting ourselves down.

Smile

Smile.  Are you doing it?  Don't you feel more optimistic already? No? Smile wider.  There you go. You now have the only tool you'll ever need to feel happier and more positive in an instant.  You're welcome!


Though it's unrealistic to always think optimistically, it never hurts to practice looking on the bright side every now and again.

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