These days, optimism seems hard to come by. Between negative headlines, feelings of uncertainty and the overwhelming loss of control over our day to day lives, it can be hard to find the good moments among the bad.
Remember, optimism isn’t being joyful or happy all of the time – that can sometimes lead to what I refer to as “toxic positivity.” An optimist is rather someone who can clearly see the obstacles in their life and recognize that they'll overcome them in the end.
I wanted to share some key tips to help you increase your optimism in your daily lives and even inspire it in your loved ones.
Get Outside:Whether it means going for a walk, sitting on your porch or running in your local park, spending time outdoors has been proven to improve your mood and reduce stress levels. Encourage your family and friends who might be struggling to join you (if safe & socially distanced) or to just simply get outside themselves.
Seek Out & Share Good News:In today’s world, it can be easy to get discouraged by the amount of negative news out there. But there’s also so many amazing stories of human kindness and unity as well. Look for stories that make you smile and share them with your loved ones. Even something as simple as a smile can help trick your brain into seeking more things that will cause the same effect.
Connect Emotionally:A great way to lift your own mood and inspire optimism within others is to reach out and spend time with people you care about. Humans are social beings and it’s important for us to ward off isolation and loneliness - even if you can’t be there in person. While we are physically distancing, it is more important than ever to connect emotionally in all the safe ways we can.
Create a Positive Morning Routine:Rituals and routines help to ground us and keep us connected to what we value most. Start your day the same way each morning with something that makes you happy. It can be as simple as listening to your favorite song or enjoying your wake-up coffee outdoors, it will help you start your day on a more positive note. Research shows that how your mood is in the start of the day has an impact on how your mood will be for the remainder of the day.
Express Gratitude:Gratitude lists are helpful and great for introspection. Take this a step further and express your thanks for the people in our life openly. By communicating your gratitude, you increase your connection and bring some light to not just your day, but also someone else’s.
Overall, we’re collectively experiencing a wide range of emotions and they’re all okay – whether positive or negative. Don’t try to avoid them. Rather acknowledge them and recognize how you’re truly feeling. In the end, being honest with ourselves and taking some simple steps to increase our optimism will help us improve our outlook each day.
Dr. Deepika Chopra has teamed up with Colgate to help inspire others to choose a little bit of optimism each day and create a future we can all smile about.