"If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
Studies show that optimists feel happier, are able to cope better with stress and may even live longer. But are you born with a sunny disposition, or is it a trait you can learn? Here are 5 ways to see the silver lining in everything:
Appreciate the things you do have in your life, rather than focusing on what you don’t. Write a list of what you’re thankful for, but be grateful for the obstacles you’ve come up against. We learn from our stumbling blocks – they’re what make us stronger and more resilient.
Build a bridge – and get over it
Don’t let setbacks and disappointments hold you back. If a friend, partner or colleague has upset you, don’t stew on it. Rather than bottling up your emotions, talk, forgive and move on. Holding onto regrets and tracking wrongdoings will put you in a negative headspace.
Look on the bright side
Positive thinking doesn’t equate to living with your head in the clouds, oblivious to the hardships of life. But looking for the good in things, being thankful, and choosing to see the glass as half-full will have an enormous impact on your general outlook.
Look after yourself
Fitness and diet have a huge impact on your general wellbeing. Enjoy a nutritious, balanced diet of fruit, vegetables, omega 3s and whole grains, aim to exercise for 30 minutes every day (walking is a fabulous option on your non-gym days) and soak up some Vitamin D when the sun’s out.
Put a smile on your dial!
Flashing your pearly whites is an instant boost. Even if you don’t feel like it, smiling can trick your brain into releasing happy endorphins and if you feel good, your outlook tends to be much cheerier too.
Follow the wise words of the Dalai Lama: “Choose to be optimistic – it feels better!”