Your outlook determines what you believe to be true about yourself, life, and others. It’s your perception and reality, real or not. Your attitude can be a pathway to peace and inner calm or worry and chaos.

An optimistic outlook is essential to enjoying a life of health, success, and happiness.

Here are six ways to shift your outlook to be more optimistic.

Decide to Change

Your outlook won’t change until you decide to change it. Becoming a calmer, happier, and more accepting person is a choice.

It might take some work to fight against negative conditioning, but it’s worth it.

Changing your outlook begins with a decision – a decision that ignites the beginning of an amazing transformation.

Choose a New Perspective

Life comes with good and bad. You get to choose which one you’ll focus on. When something captures your attention, try to see it from different angles and points of view.

When something “bad” happens, be hopeful and strive to see what beneficial things can come from it. Keep directing your energy and attention to the good.

Choose Good Habits

A pessimistic outlook creates beliefs that lead to negative behaviors. A habit is nothing more than a behavior you repeatedly do over time. Choose healthier habits. Will it be easy? Probably not. But it’s worth it.

Start developing one good habit at a time. A great place to start is with a five-minute walk in the fresh air and sunshine at lunch or after dinner in the evening.

Other good habits to consider:

  • Take charge of your finances by making a budget
  • Volunteering in your community
  • Meditation, journaling, prayer
  • Attending a faith community
  • Reduce processed food and sugar consumption
  • Start sleeping 7-8 hours a night
  • Self-care to boost energy and reduce stress
  • Start a hobby you enjoy

Connect with Positive People

Everyone has good and bad days. But the difference is that optimistic people find the silver lining. These are the kind of people you want to be around because this is what you’ve chosen to become.

No matter what you’re going through, optimistic people will be a source of hope and encouragement. They’re solution-focused too, which means you’ll see more ways to address your situation; optimistic people are resourceful – they have a can-do spirit and attitude.

After a while, you’ll find yourself acting and thinking more like your optimistic friends. You’ll see yourself becoming more optimistic, confident, and self-assured.

Focus on Solutions

Many people tend to see problems instead of looking for solutions. It’s easy to dwell on the negative, but where does it get us? Nowhere.

Instead of dwelling on the problem, challenge yourself to come up with five or six ways to solve it. At first, it’s easier to complain and feel bad about the issue than to find solutions. But the more you practice the habit of being solution-focused, the easier and more natural it becomes. Choose to be hopeful and optimistic. Have faith in yourself and your abilities. Encourage yourself to stay positive and hopeful. Soon, your automatic response will be to focus on finding a solution rather than complaining about the problem.

Live Now

Spending too much time in the past or the future can create stress and anxiety. Your past is a library of lessons and experiences that have fashioned you into the person you’ve become. Then there’s there the future – dreams waiting for you to bring them to life.

Your past and future are important but are out of your control for the most part. The only thing you can control is yourself in the present moment. You can choose to make it the best it can be and live life to the fullest right now or miss out and live with regret and what “might’ve been.”

A great way to live in the present moment is to spend a few minutes every day in quiet reflection. Give yourself the gift of experiencing life right now. Practice gratitude by listing two or three things you’re truly thankful for. Appreciate your life. Consider ways you can make someone else’s life better. While you’re at it, think of something you can do to make your life better, too. This simple practice reduces worry and stress and gives you a more positive attitude.

A brighter outlook can be yours. You can have a better life starting now. You can more success, happiness and peace. Decide to change – to grow and improve, choose a new perspective, welcome good habits, connect with positive people, focus on solutions, and live now.

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