Some people seem to be natural-born optimists. If that does not describe you, you may feel a positive mind-set will not come easily. However, optimism is a learned skill, so practice makes progress.
Try adding these five habits into your daily routine to teach yourself positivity, as recommended by Amy Segerstrom, MS, LPC, Coordinator of The Healing Place: A Center for Life’s Journeys at HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals.
- List positive characteristics of yourself and those around you. “Aim to record different traits each time,” Segerstrom says. “This will train your brain to notice good things about yourself and others.”
- Limit your exposure to social media and news. A steady diet of either can negatively influence your mood.
- Take care of your body. “Your mind and your body are connected,” Segerstrom says. “Get enough sleep and fuel your body with good food.”
- Choose your friends wisely. Make a conscious effort to spend time with positive, happy people.
- Begin a mindfulness practice. This can help create awareness of your thoughts and feelings. “It gives you a chance to look honestly at yourself, while also choosing to be compassionate,” Segerstrom says.
You may also be interested in “3 Benefits of Thankfulness.”