Health & Wellness Articles

Optimism and the Power of Positive Thinking

Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life!

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Because of their thought processes, optimists have much brighter futures. A bad circumstance or event is taken in stride, viewed as a temporary setback—not a permanent way of life. Even if something bad happens today, a positive thinker believes that good things will come again in the future.

Optimists tend to share several other positive characteristics that increase overall happiness and promote health, while reducing depression and chronic stress:
  • They think about, reflect on, and emphasize the good things in life.
  • They are grateful and thankful for all their blessings.
  • They don’t complain when something bad happens.
  • They feel that nothing can hold them back from achieving success and reaching their goals.
  • They believe in abundance.
  • They are confident that the world offers plenty of opportunities for everyone to succeed.
Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life
Luckily, you can change your thinking patterns over time. Even a pessimist can become an optimist with enough practice! All you need to do is to reframe how you define events. Instead of dwelling on the bad experience, analyze it to figure out what good can come of it. Even if a project at work is deemed a failure, think about what you learned during the process. What strengths did you discover within yourself, and when can you use those talents again?

Instead of blaming yourself for the failure, think about the outside influences that may have affected your project. Maybe you were delayed by outside vendors, so you couldn’t meet a deadline; or management decided to go in another direction, making your project redundant. Virtually any failure can be turned into a learning experience, which increases your potential for success in the future.

Optimism is a skill of emotional intelligence, which translates to a better career and greater success in life. Life is too short to be miserable, so start turning your thinking around! Positive thoughts, an optimistic outlook, and overall happiness can advance your prospects for work, relationships and other life experiences.
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About The Author

Leanne Beattie Leanne Beattie
A freelance writer, marketing consultant and life coach, Leanne often writes about health and nutrition. See all of Leanne's articles.

Member Comments

  • Some of us keep an optimistic attitude to overcome those massive roadblocks that life deals us. I keep positive so that the negative does not overcome me. That doesn't mean I have not had negative moments in my life, I have, but I only let them overwhelm me until I have a chance to take a step back and breathe. My coping mechanism is massive freak out and shutdown. Evaluation of the situation and then to look at the obstacle as a challenge to be overcome, or worked around. I have to keep that positive outlook close by, otherwise some of those roadblocks in life would have paralyzed me and I would have given up. I suppose that is true for most people, but to act like optimists do not see reality is ridiculous. I know the World is not fair. I know that life can be overwhelming, I just choose to not let it defeat me. That does not mean I always overcome obstacles, it means I learn either how to live with them or detour around them. Having a positive attitude has been my greatest defense. - 2/16/2015 3:20:04 PM
  • This is simplistic yet helpful in general. However, it also sounds like when things go wrong find some reason why so that I don't have to be accountable for my actions. This is a problem in society. There should be a balance. Sometimes when things go wrong it IS due to something that was in our control. - 2/10/2015 8:34:02 AM
  • I'm not depressed because I don't "see the silver lining". I am depressed because bad things happen, and I can do nothing to stop them, or fix them. - 2/9/2015 7:56:08 AM
  • MOXOND
    The New year brings new resolutions can we live up to these expectations we have to encourage our self doubts move the barriers if we want to meet our expectations not every body holds you by the hand to be optimistic we are following positive momentum key to lifes endeavours.

    Yours David - 1/1/2015 6:27:20 AM
  • Depression and negativity runs in the family. It's not always easy but I don't want to live like that. I'm glad my dad was the example of tolerance, acceptance, hope, and kindness that I could make comparisons from. I also look back to my childhood when I volunteered to help out in the disability class. I was given the most challenging case of a quadrapulegic. It instilled in my a deep sense of respect for differences and patience.

    Optimism is the tendency to believe, expect or hope that things will turn out well. Well it's been 14 years with my disabled partner and I'm still hoping that my life, his life, our lives and health can be improved. Maybe it's insanity but I would like to believe it is generousity and care. - 10/13/2014 12:44:37 AM
  • Turning the 'Negative Chatterbox' is difficult for me sometimes, but it's something I can learn. Being pessimistic is useless, it eats energy out and it doesn't help preventing the negative in life. - 9/8/2014 5:55:24 AM
  • I like this. I'm pretty optimistic for the most part, but it's a good reminder. Sometimes life gets hard, and it's super easy to get stuck in a negative cycle. I'm currently dealing with friends in my life that are in the negative cycles, it's hard to not catch 'the negative bug.' - 6/29/2014 10:46:07 PM
  • I had been reading an article titled "chatter box". It discusses things that others may say or think about you or others.
    I remember feeling uneasy when somewhere when say that I put on extra pounds. Or that the weight gain looked good on me.
    Then I realized and accepted that, if I love what God created, that by changing the bad eating habits that I had developed, I can be the individual that I was created to be. - 4/10/2014 12:59:16 PM
  • good article I'm afraid I do get depressed when things happen and complain to those close to me and ask why but I've learned that I must not dwell in that area or I really become miserable. I find it's like grief - it has stages and I try to pull myself through them as quickly as possible. I have 10 chronic medical conditions and there have been ties when I've wanted to just crawl back into my bed and stay there. I've wanted to "do nothing." But, I've learned that like attitude, the more I do, the more I can do, and the more I want to do. 10 years ago I was given 1-6 years to live - as you can see, I'm still here and hope to be for a number more years. I want to enjoy what's left of my life and make the best of what I have. I hope that some will learn from your comments and better enjoy the life they have. Thanks for sharing. - 4/4/2014 8:26:32 PM
  • SIBAWH
    Great article. However, I have one comment. It's not right to ALWAYS blame "external forces" for your failure. Sometimes it really is our own shortcoming. We didn't do our best. We didn't give it our all. It makes me sad when I don't do my best, because I know I could've done better. But the optimistic thing to do here is to reflect, learn from your mistakes and try again. It's ok to regret and be sad/angry for a little while but never let failure set you back. Without failing, we can't improve. - 11/13/2013 11:38:17 AM
  • Interesting article. I've always been an optimistic, (mostly), cheerful person. I do have down days. But - I live with Norman Negative, who is never stressed, and I stress easily. So being an optimistic, cheerful person doesn't necessarily mean we're stress free.
    I long to be like my cheerful, optimistic sisters who are able to let everything just roll off their shoulders like water off a duck's back. - 9/20/2013 12:55:59 AM
  • I think being optimistic doesn't mean you have to stick your head in the sand. You can be optimistic without looking at the world with rose-colored glasses. My world view is enjoy the good times while they are here! It would be a shame to not fully enjoy the good and postive in life because you're too worried that it may end or things may change. I'll be happy and positive and if dark clouds emerge I will deal with them realistically.... - 8/17/2013 1:06:14 PM
  • positive thinking is fine as long as we don't take it too far the OTHER way, and blame people's failures on them for not thinking positive enough...in effect, blaming the victim - 8/12/2013 9:59:33 AM
  • No unhealthy thoughts allowed! You do not have to be Norman Vincent Peale to remember the Word! - 6/26/2013 5:11:31 AM
  • I don't see the value in teaching people to view positive outcomes as evidence of intrinsic good, while viewing negative outcomes as circumstantial. In reality, all outcomes in our lives are a mix of our actions and circumstances. Why would it be a good idea to skew your viewpoint otherwise?

    Also - Optimists must believe that the world offers ample opportunities for everyone to succeed? That is a very American viewpoint. Many Americans grow up in abundance, and are taught that homeless people are lazy, don't want to succeed, etc. In reality there are *billions* of people on this planet who haven't been born with the advantages we have in the US. The world certainly doesn't offer them ample opportunities for success.

    Optimism is just phony chipperness without an accurate view of reality. - 5/15/2013 3:23:44 PM

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