“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Winston Churchill
It can turn a situation that looks negative or bleak into an opportunity or something to learn from.
It can replace the draining thoughts of pessimism with something that will give you more energy and enthusiasm again.
And it can help you to jump over obstacles, to keep moving when you fall or stumble and to not give up just because you have had a couple of temporary setbacks.
So not just adding more of it to your own life but to the lives of the people in your world too is good idea.
Because you tend to get back what you give in the long run. And in the short run, well, you get to enjoy the smiles when you spread the optimism.
And you’ll boost your own self-esteem when you feel you are doing the right thing. Here are some simple tips that can help you to get started with that.
1. Just be there for someone.
Listen and lend the optimistic and grounded perspective to someone in your life in need of it.
At first I find it best to just the let other person vent, to let him or her get issue at hand out into the light. So I am just there fully and listening.
Oftentimes this might be enough. Because just being there will help him or her to let the emotional tension out and to analyze the issue and to find a solution or to let it go.
If she or he gets stuck in negative thinking or in making a mountain out of a molehill then it can be helpful to add your own perspective to ground him or her and to help shift perspective on the situation.
To make him or her see that if you zoom out then things aren’t that bad really. And together the two of you might be able to find a solution or a first step that he or she can put into action.
2. Play positive music.
Uplifting music is of course a great way to boost your own mood and open up new perspectives again.
You can do the same for people around you. Put on a really positive song when you are hanging out. Or send them an uplifting playlist for Spotify or a similar program.
3. Take 30-60 seconds to give a genuine compliment.
Think about one thing that makes the other person tick. A small or bigger passion. Or something good that people too often take for granted about him or her.
And then give a compliment about that. It often means more than you might guess.
A smile puts you and the people around you into a better and more relaxed headspace.
It works even when you don’t feel that much like smiling. If you like, do a brief experiment. Force a smile for 30 seconds or a minute if you are feeling a bit negative and see what happens to your mood.
5. Help someone to wind down.
Being busy with work or school can over time add a lot of tension and stress. And that can certainly get in the way of optimistic and constructive thinking.
So help someone in your life to wind down. Suggest going for a picnic. Just laugh and perhaps go for swim in the nearby lake or ocean. Just lie together in silence on the blanket and watch the clouds go by for a while.
A break like this can do wonders for the mood and perspective for the both of you.
A hug is, perhaps often even more than a smile, something that can make someone feel a little better and a bit safer again. Use it when appropriate of course.
But don’t underestimate the effect of it and how that little nudge can turn someone’s thoughts around towards something brighter and more positive again.
7. Pay it forward.
If someone in your life adds a bit of optimism to your life then don’t just return it somewhere down the line. Pay it forward to someone else too.
And together build a growing upward spiral of optimism, encouragement and kindness.