Do you struggle to look on the bright side? If so, it’s time to change. Optimists have the most opportunities in life, from work to relationships, sports to physical and mental health. And we’ve already seen how your attitude can affect your fitness.
The good news is you don’t have to spend years in therapy to become an optimist. Here are 5 easy ways you can train yourself in just a few days:
Studies show that even thinking about gratitude boosts serotonin and reduces cortisol, boosting your happiness and optimism for up to a month.
Try writing down three things which have gone well each day and see how you feel after a week. Or express your gratitude in a letter (or even a text or email) to someone who has been especially kind to you.
Finally, watch an inspiring video to help you appreciate life:
Forget the cynics – it feels great to be kind to other people because it boosts the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine.
When it comes to kindness, the best policy is ‘the more, the merrier’. So challenge yourself to do one act of kindness every day, such as making someone a coffee, donating old clothes to charity or writing a positive recommendation for someone on LinkedIn. There’s plenty more ideas for random acts of kindness here.
Are you a regular moaner? It can be a hard habit to break, but becoming more aware of the words you use will help you catch yourself starting to complain. A lot of complaining is about being negative or judgemental, but with discipline you can force yourself to say something positive instead.
You will be amazed how much better you feel for it!
Laughing is a powerful endorphin releaser, calming the amygdale (the brain’s stress centre) and having a similar effect on the brain to antidepressants. Regular, hearty laugher is also shown to protect the heart.
So watch those trashy comedies you love, spend light-hearted time with friends and family who make you feel good, or even try laughter yoga. Whatever makes you laugh – do it often!
Raise your heart rate for at least 10 minutes every day and you will boost your feel-good brain chemicals, whilst reducing cortisol. So take some time out just for exercise – whatever energises and motivates you – and you will create a more positive frame of mind. Short on time? This 10 minute cardio workout will get those endorphins racing.
this is a good article to stumble upon on a murky Boxing Day afternoon with work looming tomorrow. Quite right - no more moaning. It doesn't change anything.
Yes, laughing is a good one. If I feel low, I like to watch a good comedy episode that makes me laugh out loud, and I naturally feel brighter.
I am a bit of a moaner if things get to me, but I see offloading as an important part of keeping sane! And to balance it out, I think I'm quite kind, and that makes me feel good.