MAXINE HARLEY: Looking on the bright side
No matter what life throws at you, the challenges you face, and the effort needed to get through it all... there's always room for optimism. In fact it's essential!
It can be hard to see the silver lining when the clouds are thick and dark, but the silver glow is still there. You just might not be looking at it from the best angle to clearly see and appreciate it.
The good news is that optimism can be learnt with intention and practice... and the proverbial glass can be seen as half full.
Admittedly that’s harder to do if you’re feeling depressed or overwhelmed, but all it takes is an open mind and a shift in thinking. Only you can do that for yourself.
Psychological studies have shown that optimists:
:: Feel happier and more confident about achieving their goals
:: Seek evidence to support their positive thoughts
:: Dispute negative thoughts
:: Cope better with stress
:: Make plans and take direct action when faced with challenges
:: Make the best of bad news
:: Have higher self-regard and are less likely to show apathy, depression or anxiety
:: Feel more energised, enthusiastic and motivated
:: Behave in constructive ways and adapt better to negative events and serious health issues
:: Tend to engage in health-inducing behaviours and have better physical health
:: Feel more resilient and strong
:: Are aware that positive outcomes are dependant upon their own efforts
:: Don’t give up easily
:: Are more productive in the workplace
:: Are better able to rebuild their lives after traumatic events
That’s an impressive and enviable list I’m sure you’ll agree.
The good news is that optimism can be created and sustained - with good old fashioned ‘mind over matter’.
Your thoughts really do create your reality – and you get more of what you focus upon. So you might as well focus upon the best outcome, and the most generous and compassionate point of view.
Looking on the bright side affects not only yourself, but also those people around you.
Optimism is infectious and we could all do with creating our own regular daily dose!
Maxine Harley (MSc Psychotherapy)
Maxine Harley has a masters degree in psychotherapy, has written two books, and created four new approaches to psychological, emotional and physical well-being. She lives happily in Chichester with her daughter and grandson.