Though there are undoubtedly people who are born with “The Happy Gene” and are natural optimists, I’ve seen many people choose to be optimistic and not give in to their negative self-talk. Here’s what I use with my patients:
- Imagine The Worst – Nothing squashes optimism like fear, except if you have a plan for what you’re most afraid of. Instead of being overwhelmed by events or possible situations, I ask my patients to talk about the worst case scenario and then we work back from there imagining how they would cope with every single challenge to optimism. Once people have a blueprint for coping, it’s much easier to feel safe and optimistic, that things will work out, no matter what.
- Fake It Til You Make It – Optimism is all about confidence. Confidence that Life is Good, that you can handle whatever comes your way. But sometimes, people don’t really feel that way for a variety of reasons. Until you can feel that way, train yourself to act, speak and interact with others with an optimistic, open, hopeful heart, because inevitably you will find that people react more positively to you.
- Ignore Grumpy, Negative People – Don’t give them any of your energy, or time. Save your energy for people who are positive and for experiences that fulfill you.