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6 Ways to Be More Optimistic

March is National Optimism Month. Mighty Mommy shares 6 ways to inject the power of positive thinking into your life. The glass is half full, really!

By
Cheryl Butler
Episode #522
Optimist among pessimists.

Do you see the glass as half full? Do you always look for the silver lining? Do you assume the sun will come out tomorrow?

Or are you rolling your eyes because you typically see the glass as half empty and since the sun hasn’t been out in over a week, why should it make an appearance tomorrow?

If you lean towards the first examples, you definitely fall into the category of optimist. If the latter, well, that puts you in the pessimist column. And according to recent studies, our outlook on life is actually hardwired.

But there is good news! Even if you aren't an optimistic by nature, you can still begin seeing the positive side of life more often. As a parent there are many benefits for you and your family if you shift out of those negative gears and learn how to see your world through rose colored glasses.

March is National Optimism Month—the perfect time to inject the power of positive thinking into your role as a parent. Mighty Mommy (a bit of a Pollyanna herself) shares six ways you can bring more optimism into your life.

Even if you aren't an optimistic by nature, you can still begin seeing the positive side of life more often.

The Benefits of Positivity

It may come as no surprise that optimists not only find the good in most situations, they also live more joyful, healthier lives.  The Psychology Today article "4 Reasons Why an Optimistic Outlook Is Good for Your Health" shows that optimists tend to take charge of their physical health and are also careful not to overindulge in habits such as smoking, excessive drinking, and eating a poor diet. Optimism also allows people to tackle challenges head-on rather than pushing them to the back burner.

For example, if an optimist were to receive a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes, they would be more likely to research this health condition and take steps to manage it properly, rather than staring at the pantry filled with cookies and moaning “Why me?”

Finally, positive people tend to have a close-knit circle of friends to lend them support when the going gets rough, which makes rebounding from a difficult situation a bit easier.

If it wasn't for my optimistic outlook, I could not have trudged my way through five years of infertility in my 20s.  I spent most of that first year going through invasive testing, juggling one disappointment after another. I was physically and emotionally drained, focusing every waking minute on achieving my goal of pregnancy, no matter the cost. After a year with no success, my doctor recommended I seek support via a therapist trained in infertility. My first reaction was an absolute no. What did I care about the opinions of a stranger who'd probably never been through this terrible experience? In spite of my knee-jerk reaction, a tiny inner voice pleaded to give it a try. What did I have to lose?

I’m thankful to this day that I honored my inner voice because those sessions with the infertility therapist were a gamechanger. The entire basis of her treatment plan was that we get back what we put in. If doom and gloom was the center of my universe, I’d attract those feelings into my daily life. But on the other hand, if I could turn my attention to the things I was grateful for and looking forward to, regardless of whether or not I was pregnant, I would eventually start seeing my present circumstances in a different light.

In all honesty, I didn’t buy into this right away. But eventually I realized I had two choices—be miserable every month or get excited about the good things in my life. Little by little I was able to let go of the fear and negativity, especially once we decided to pursue adoption because we knew that we’d have a family one way or another.

Several years later we adopted our beautiful infant daughter and a year to the day after we brought her home, I gave birth to our first son—two incredible reminders that silver linings do exist!

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About the Author

Cheryl Butler

Cheryl L. Butler is the mother of eight children. Her experiences with infertility, adoption, seven pregnancies, and raising children with developmental delays have helped her become a resource on the joys and challenges of parenting. Call the Mighty Mommy listener line at 401-284-7575 to ask a parenting question. Your call could be featured on the show!

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