Maintain and Sustain Optimism To Boost Your Well-Being
“When it rains, it pours.” The common phrase is often used when one negative event happens, and an avalanche of other negative events seems to follow. The good news is that a series of negative events is not some unfortunate twist of fate, but a way of thinking that you can adjust with deliberate effort and practice.
One way to seek out the good is by thinking optimistically. Being optimistic is about being grounded in reality and realizing that there is good happening around you, separate from the bad. Optimism is a skill that takes deliberate practice to develop.
Two Ways to Practice Optimism
- • Challenge yourself to hunt for what is good, then reflect on why these are good things.
- For example: I got off work 30 minutes early today, and this was good because it meant I could spend more time playing with my children.
- • Reframe counterproductive thoughts by starting your sentence with “A more optimistic way of seeing this is …”
- For example: You miss your target Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) score by two points. Rather than thinking, “I totally blew it!” try thinking, “A more optimistic way of seeing this is that I also improved my two-mile time by 15 seconds.”
Research shows that people who think more optimistically are happier and healthier, and they are better leaders. They also have better relationships and perform at higher levels than people who think less optimistically. Challenge yourself to become more resilient by upping your optimism this year.