Why You Should Choose Optimism as a Coping Mechanism
By: Tajiya Holland
Does everything around you seem as if it’s all going wrong? Is your headspace filled with negative thoughts running on repeat? Do you find yourself endlessly trying to find a way out? If you answered yes to any of these questions, optimism might be the tool you’re looking for to get through the tough times.
Optimism allows you to have a pattern of thinking that enhances your life now and in the future. Being optimistic is not wishful thinking but giving reasoning and responsibility to specific aspects and happenings of life.
As time is continuous, your life changes frequently. It requires a lot to juggle a financial, social, career, spiritual, love life, and more, all at once. A global pandemic, social movements, and political movements add on stressors. It is important to note that your life is not an arranged pattern, and not everything is controllable. The limited scope of unfavorable events in your life is temporary. If you are struggling to cope, here are a few ways to implement optimism in your life.
Talk to yourself
“Explain positive events in terms of personal, permanent causes, and negative events in terms of external, temporary causes.” For example: when you receive a promotion at work, explain to yourself, “It was hard work that paid off (because of my capabilities). I can earn more benefits (because evidence proves more positive things will happen in the future).” For example: when you don’t receive a promotion at work, explain to yourself, “I haven’t been feeling my best this past month (because of an outside circumstance I could not control). My energy and work ethic can improve (because a setback is a momentary factor).”
Journal your gratitude
Take a break during the day to write a few things you’re appreciative of or looking forward to; this can shift your mood for the remainder of the day. While your day may have begun on the wrong foot, focusing on the positive can carry you through daily stressors. This exercise is useful to end the day with, as you can realize significant matters that need your attention.
Don’t predict the future
While the predicament you’re in is uncomfortable, dwelling won’t make change occur. Planning and being proactive with a solution is much more productive. With this, keep in mind that everything may not go as intended. While staying in and focusing on the present time, you won’t be preoccupied with worrying about future disappointment or failure as well.
These methods practiced frequently will cultivate your mindset and establish long-term effects. The following are some benefits of being optimistic.
- Reduces the level of stress experienced
- Promotes self-respect and integrity
- Increases productivity and persistence
- Promotes healthier relationships
- Enhances communication
- Improves the immune system and life longevity
- Aids in coping with and recovering from trying life events
“Positive thinking doesn’t mean that you ignore life’s stressors. You just approach hardship in a more productive way.” Embracing optimism is not immunity, but these are the tools and messages to create a starting point, to feel happier internally, and to have peace of mind. Take each moment as its own.