How to Be Optimistic and Think Positively
The Need to Be Optimistic and Think Positively
Undoubtedly, most people want to know how to be optimistic and think positively. This is especially true for older persons who want to avoid loneliness, sadness, and depression.
I have experienced a lack of optimism and even pessimism during big changes in my life. This occurred when I went through a divorce and after I retired from teaching.
My father who was optimistic and thought positively during most of his life became pessimistic and suffered from depression during the last 18 months of his life.
Based on personal experiences, I suggest six ways of how to be optimistic and think positively in this article.
If you want to know how to be optimistic, it is first necessary to love yourself. Self-love leads to having self-esteem and self-confidence. With self-esteem, you feel good about yourself and have self-respect. This is reflected in the way you dress, talk, and act. Armed with self-esteem, you quickly develop self-confidence in whatever you do. Everything has a positive outlook.
When I lived on a farm growing up, I did not have enough self-esteem and self-confidence. Consequently, I was not that well-groomed and had almost no friends. I was pessimistic about establishing relationships with the opposite sex and generally felt miserable socially. This all changed when I went away from home and developed more self-respect and self-confidence.
Love and Care for People
Only after you love yourself will you be able to love and care for people. In loving and caring for others, you develop empathy, kindness, happiness, and self-worth. You are also able to immerse yourself in the dreams and aspirations of other persons.
After I got married and had a family, I thought positively about the future of my wife and children. At the same time, I fostered stronger positive relations with my siblings and parents. In dealing with relatives and friends, I try to be friendly, helpful, and optimistic about the future.
Trust in God, Someone, or Something
After establishing a love of self and for others, it is necessary to have a trust in God, someone, or something. This cements the love you have for self and others.
Many people have trust in God or a supernatural being which is a motivation for self-love and love of others. When young, I learned that all humans were created in the image of God. With this faith, we are assured that all of our love and care will bring us the reward of heaven after we leave this world. Consequently, we pass our lives and think positively about the future, never give up, and look forward to life after death.
For those who don't trust in God, there is trust in Allah, Buddha, or some political or economic system which will make our lives better. With hope and faith that life will improve, people think positively about the future.
Have a Purpose in Life
Have a Purpose in Life
After developing a love of self, love for others, and trust in a God or something, it is possible to have a purpose in life. This purpose in life might include being a good spouse, a role-model parent, patriotic citizen, successful businessperson, professional person, or being devoted to God. With a purpose in life, you are motivated to think positively and struggle to overcome difficulties while striving to be happy.
The most pessimistic and depressing times of my life occurred when not having a purpose in life. This happened right after I left the Navy, following a divorce, and during the immediate aftermath of an unplanned retirement.
Have Interests and Hobbies
People who have an interest in life cannot help but have interests and hobbies. After I found my purpose in life as being a teacher, I became extremely interested in education and teaching and learning languages. I also found sports as a valuable teaching aid along with travel to foreign countries. My philosophy in teaching is that there are no bad students and everyone can learn.
Looking Forward to Something
Finally, looking forward to something that brings happiness is a great aid to optimism and how to think positively. Anticipating a visit with a friend or a trip to an enchanting country cannot help but cheer one up and make you think positively. Since being retired and living in Thailand, I look forward every year or two to traveling back to the United States and visiting my siblings. I also look forward to discovering new ancestors in my genealogy research. The ultimate thing, however, to look forward to is being together with God after death for eternity.
It isn't difficult to be optimistic and think positively as long as one first has a love for self and others and also has trust in a God or something significant. By finding a purpose in life, one can also think positively by having interests or hobbies and looking forward to happy occasions.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2018 Paul Richard Kuehn