Introduction

It’s sad to say, but these could be some dark times.

There are so many things happening in the world right now that are scary and downright frightening.

In times like these its more important than ever to be able to have a positive outlook. It becomes so critical to be able to control your mindset and focus on the best possible outcomes.

However that is easier said than done. Hence I wanted to talk about how to maintain a positive outlook.

Acknowledge the Challenges

First off, it’s imperative to deal with reality.

Trying to put on your happy face while you’re oblivious to the pothole you’re about to step in to doesn’t help.

Therefore, let’s acknowledge some of the major challenges we’re facing:

  • Covid-19 is a big one. This has already cost me some business and we’re all going to get whacked by it. We’re going to need to brace ourselves for this one.
  • The Global Economic slowdown was definitely bound to happen due to structural problems in the global economy. Now Covid-19 seems to be the straw that has broken the back of the frail system.
  • Populist movements have sprung up all over the globe and they threaten to curtail our liberties and seek to limit our freedoms. This is a huge problem.

These are just three of the big challenges happening on the global stage. Without a doubt there more both globally and nationally.

However, just having an idea of these challenges puts us in a better space to deal with them. We know they’re out there and that means we can start thinking about how to deal with them.

Experience

Experience in dealing with stressful situations is so important in building optimism. That’s why it’s crucial to try new things and fail.

Failure teaches us resilience. It teaches what to do the next time and what not do.

More importantly it teaches us that we’ve gone through a challenge and survived! That empowers us with the knowledge that we can get through other things. Hence it is always better to find and accept a challenge, rather than have it thrown upon you.

Perhaps the best place to challenge yourself is Toastmasters where you can learn about public speaking and leadership by actively doing it.

Thoughts

Following on from experience are your thoughts.

Your experience builds your confidence and reinforces positive thought patterns. With that experience you construct a mindset of “I done this before”, “I can handle this”, “You’re going to do Great’, “How much better can I do“.

It becomes simpler to build optimism once you have a positive mindset already in place.

Veganism

This might seem odd here, but personally I’ve found that Veganism has made me optimistic. I believe that’s mainly due to physiological reasons as opposed to philosophical ones.

A while ago I did huge amount of research into the health benefits of Veganism on mood and demeanor. What I found was astounding!

Plants have amazing properties that can improve your mood and hence your optimism.

  • Plantains, pineapples, bananas, kiwis, plums, tomatoes contains massive amounts of the happy hormone serotonin
  • Plants with lots of Vitamin C contain massive amounts of another happy hormone Dopamine
  • 7.2 daily servings of fruit or 8.2 servings of vegetables a day will result in noticeable change in positive effects on mood.

If you’re looking for more of these nuggets of knowledge, check out Dr Gregors videos on plants and mood. These are brilliant!

Benefits of Blueberries for Mood and Mobility

Optimism doesn’t just come down to your mind and thoughts alone. The health of your body plays a massive role in optimism.

Get your body right and your mind follows.

Get your body right and your mind follows.

Conclusion

Optimism isn’t a switch you turn on. You build it!

You spend months and years putting yourself in the face of challenges, learning from the process, building positive thought patterns, and finally getting your physical health right. This leads to resilience and optimism. It leads to you realizing that things are going to be okay.

We live in uncertain times, but uncertain times have come before and they will also fade. When that happens, once again we will enjoy the good times.

And that is something to smile about 🙂

Photo by Wolf Schram on Unsplash