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Amp Up Your Optimism

Inflation is high.  Covid is still around.  Trouble abounds.  Sometimes it’s hard to stay optimistic amongst all the bad news.  But you can change that, here’s how:

  1. Turn off the bad news. This could be the news feed on your phone, the nightly television broadcast or the daily newspaper.  But if there’s a regular source of bad new that’s causing you anxiety, shut it off.
  2. Turn off the bad friends. Dump the Debbie Downers.  If you have a friend that’s inclined to pessimism, put some distance between you and them.  If that’s not possible, try changing the subject when they start down bad memory lane.  At the very least, prep yourself before you’re around them – you know what to expect.
  3. Savor the good. Create a mental inventory of the times you knocked it out of the park or even just had a good time to be the thing you reflect on.  You can’t merely stop thinking bad thoughts – you have to substitute better thoughts.
  4. Rethink the negative. Just miss your flight?  Maybe it gives you another day in town to connect with an old friend.  Seek to change lemons into lemonade.
  5. Reframe expectations. Certain relatives, friends or bosses are how they are.  They’re not going to change.  Stop getting upset about it.
  6. Write it down. Still anxious?  Get out a piece of paper and write down the things provoking your anxiety.  This is a world beater.  Sometimes you can feel anxious and not even know why.  Writing down the cause(s) of your trouble(s) makes the next step obvious and easy.
  7. Write down what has to happen in number six for that problem to go away. Then get busy.
  8. Learn to accept what cannot be changed. Stop beating your head against walls that are bigger than you.  This goes right along with reframing expectations.
  9. Stop comparing yourself to others. There will always be someone seemingly richer, skinnier, more charming and better looking than you.  Stop looking for/at these folks.  This is where social media can be such a disaster.  Someone snaps a pic of themselves on their best moment ever and then uploads that like it’s just another day.  And the operative word here is seemingly.  You don’t know what you don’t know about how these people’s lives might be completely screwed up in ways that you can’t see.  Turn this junk off.
  10. Be grateful. Born in the USA?  Congratulations!  Despite all our troubles, this is the best place and time to live in all recorded history.  If you woke up on the right side of the grass, it’s another day the sun can shine on you.  Make your own list of stuff to be grateful for – your health, spouse, kids, house, friends, job.  90% of the world’s population would do just about anything to trade places with you.