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15 Ways to Cultivate an Optimistic Outlook

Researchers have long understood that a person’s attitude largely determines his or her success in a wide range of areas: career, athletics, financial goals, and relationships. Perhaps relationships most of all.

This is good news for singles looking for their lifetime partner. If you are a pessimist by nature, you can make changes and form habits that will shift your thinking to the positive. If you are already an optimist, you can become even more optimistic. Wherever you currently stand on the optimist/pessimist continuum, here are some ways to boost your positive outlook:

1. Don’t let tomorrow spoil today. Worrying about tomorrow’s troubles—which may or may not happen—steals your happiness in the present moment.

2. Affirm others often. Be generous with your compliments. By helping others feel good about themselves, you’ll feel better about yourself, too.

3. Affirm yourself often. Because you deserve it! Giving yourself compliments throughout the day will provide a boost to your self-confidence.

4. Learn from the past, but don’t be anchored by it. You can’t change anything about your history, but you can influence your future by working through hurts that hold you back. And then — let them go.

5. Pay attention to your thoughts. You control what goes on in your mind. So take charge of it. Steer those internal messages toward hopeful, positive expectations.

6. Realize that an optimistic outlook fosters good luck. Optimism is a self-fulfilling prophecy: Research has shown that people who consistently think positively create more opportunities for themselves.

7. Play the hand you’ve been dealt. Pessimists spend a lot of time and energy complaining about how the deck is stacked against them; optimists devise the best strategy for the cards they currently hold.

8. Smile for a good cause. Studies have shown that if you adjust your facial expression to reflect a particular emotion, you will actually begin to feel that emotion.

9. Be mindful of what you say. Your thoughts are like an arrow made of positive or negative intention. Words are the bow that fires them off into the world, and they will land where you aim.

10. Practice healthy habits. No one denies the link between physical and emotional well-being. Regular exercise and good nutrition go a long way toward promoting a positive attitude.

11. Plan to play. If your lifestyle does not include enough play, schedule in time for recreation the way you would a meeting or an appointment.

12. Surround yourself with optimistic allies. Optimism is contagious, so bring together your group of positive people.

13. Set a goal and go for it. A small goal or a big one, accomplishing it will lift your spirits.

14. Make sleep a priority. Few things sabotage a positive attitude like sleep-deprivation. Ample sleep helps you feel more energetic and alert.

15. Keep the words of Winston Churchill burned in your mind. He said, “An optimist sees an opportunity in every calamity; a pessimist sees a calamity in every opportunity.”

 What ways do you keep your life positive?

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