It’s easier to be negative than to see the good side of things. A lot of people do. Maybe because they hate expecting too much and end up disappointed. Thinking that you’ll fail the exams and failing them can save you from all the disappointment,right?But, did you know that positive thinkers or optimists live longer, and have happier and more successful lives? Several studies show that optimists do better at school, at work and in relationships. They receive better paychecks and have better income status. Optimists also have better health, because a positive mood can give your physical health a boost.
Luckily for a pessimist like you, you can easily switch from being a negative thinker to a positive one. Here are six ways to transform yourself from a pessimist to an optimist.
1. Be Effortlessly Happy
In one study, researchers asked two groups of people to listen to classical music. The first group was told to improve their moods while listening.
The second group was simply asked to listen. Surprisingly, the results showed that participants who were asked to lift their moods felt no improvement, while those who were told to just listen felt happier.
If you want to be happy, don’t even try. Get busy and be absorbed into something. This way, you can prevent negative thoughts like how your life sucks or how unlucky you are from flooding into your mind. Find something to do during your free time to avoid ruminating. Enroll in a yoga or aerobics class, invite a friend for a chitchat at a nearby café or create a playlist with your favorite songs. Whenever you feel like you are drifting into your negative thoughts, plug the earphones and amp up the volume a bit.
2. Think The Other Way
Pessimists love to paint worst-case scenarios in almost every situation. A headache may be a sign of brain tumor, and you’ll only have two years to live.
Being 10 minutes late for work can get you fired, and then you’ll be evicted from your apartment for being unable to pay the rent.
They may seem absurd, but a pessimist’s mind can keep repeating this negative thinking over and over, so that it becomes real. Now, these thoughts take the happiness out of life, don’t they?
The trick is to keep on thinking until you have reached the worst possible situation that could arise then, paint the opposite scenario that could happen. Your presentation was so brilliant, it sealed a multi-million dollar deal. Your boss was so pleased, you got promoted. You became rich, owned luxury cars and a mansion. Now, that feels great, doesn’t it? The best thing about positive thoughts is that you can control which way they go and how they end.
3. Try One Or All Of These Feel-Good Techniques
Martin E.P Seligman, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, came up with three ways that pessimist can improve their outlook in just a week, based on the findings of several studies.
First, know and use your strengths. What are the things you are good at? List top your top five strengths and use them in different ways each week. In one of the studies, participants who did the same thing showed a great improvement in their outlook on life after six months.
Next, make a list of the good things. Write down three positive things that happened with details of how and why it happened. Doing this can help you keep an obvious record that not only bad things transpired in your life.
Lastly, show your gratitude. In one of the studies, the participants have to write one letter per week to people who have been extra helpful and kind to them but whom they were never able to express their gratitude. After a month, participants reported feeling happier.
With these ways, it’s pretty obvious that looking on the bright side of things can take you down the road of positivity.
4. Stop Blaming Yourself
It’s not good to point fingers and blame others for your misery. However, for pessimists, this surely works.
Why? Because pessimists love to blame themselves when something bad happens, and this can easily discourage them from pursuing anything.Things go wrong because they suck at doing it, and nobody likes them, because they have poor personalities.
If you are invited to a party and no one seems to be getting near you, do not conclude that nobody likes you right away. It’s the host’s fault, he may have failed to realize you are not familiar with the other guests,and so he forgot to introduce you to the circle. Why don’t you find the host and ask him to introduce you to a few guests? If you can’t find him, do the introduction yourself.
5. Don’t Give Up Too Quickly
Optimists succeed because they don’t give up easily. In one study, a group of pessimists and optimists have to solve an anagram. The pessimists easily gave up, while they optimists stayed much longer and kept on working to solving the anagram.
In another study with law students as the subjects, those who were positive during their first year in law school were more successful and had higher paychecks in the end.
Whenever you feel like giving up will yourself to go on. Convince yourself to work hard to reach success, and when you succeed, your confidence will improve, along with everything else in your life.
6. Surround Yourself With Optimists
How can you stop thinking negative if everyone who surrounds you reflects negativity? Make friends with optimists and find an optimist partner.
According to a study conducted at the University of Oregon, optimist college couples found satisfaction in their relationships compared to pessimist pairs.
The lead researcher of the study stated that optimist partners were supportive and more open to resolving conflicts. If you are a pessimist with a pessimist partner, keep a circle of optimist friends for balance.
How you think can greatly affect your outlook on life. Be in control of your thoughts and will yourself to think positive. Practice positivity each and every day, and soon it will become automatic.