Open to optimism

There are many ways to increase positivity, everyone just needs to discover what works best for them!

Artwork from Canva by Adrienne Revier

There are many ways to increase positivity, everyone just needs to discover what works best for them!

Adrienne Revier, Staff Writer

As the months continue to pass and winter continues to stay front and center, it can become increasingly difficult to hold a positive mindset. Day after day passes, yet the sun only makes brief appearances. Without putting any thought behind it, the unlit sky weighs down on our moods. This lack of sunshine over time can cause a dip in serotonin levels. When serotonin levels are lacking, this may lead to depression and anxiety, amongst other effects. When a person is in this state of sluggish un-motivation, it is not easy to put positive energy towards daily activities. In the long run, being optimistic will better serve each individual by providing them with a greater range of opportunities and related ventures. That is why it can be important to learn how to cope with all the constant ebbs and flows of life and take each day in a positive light.   

It may seem lackluster to begin being more optimistic, but the truth is it may have more of a positive effect than originally thought. “Research suggests that optimists earn more money, have better relationships and even live longer,” said The New York Times. So, why not be open to optimism? There are endless ways a person can add habits to their lives that will make them more optimistic, but here are a few simple ones that anyone has the ability to accomplish. 

One of the first things a person should do is take a look at the people they most typically surround themselves with. Negativity spreads like wildfire. If the people in someone’s circle tend to be debbie downers, one can only assume this negativity would spread to them. Luckily, happiness is duly spreadable. “Having a happy spouse, or a friend or neighbor, who lives within a mile of you appears to increase the probability that you will be happy as well,” said NBC news. On another note, journaling is a way people can increase their positivity on their own. Start by easing into a journaling routine, just take a few minutes every day or even a couple of times a week to start. There are hundreds of already-made prompts out there, or one can simply just do a mental dump of all the thoughts filling their mind. “Writing in a journal about what you are grateful for was linked to greater feelings of optimism,” said a study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. A third and final way to open one’s mind to optimism is to implement practices of mindfulness daily.  Mindfulness is such a broad term that it can sometimes be hard to pinpoint exactly what this even means. In the end, mindfulness can look different for everyone, but here is a basic map to follow when starting out: pay attention, live in the moment, be okay with failure or change, accept yourself and finally focus on breathing. If these methods are implemented daily, it will allow for one’s mind to open up, relax and reduce their stress. 

Like it or not, optimism is healthy. Not only will it make the person demonstrating the act feel better, but it will also make others want to be around them more. For people looking to feel happier, live longer and lessen anxiety(aka everyone), optimism can help make this a reality.