Up to relatively recently, I would have counted myself as quite the pessimist. There’s no point in denying it. For example, a friend of mine made me the most delicious cake for my birthday last year (seriously, it tasted like happiness!) and I was just there wondering how long it would be before I dropped it all over my dress. I find that strangely funny now looking back :P
At the start of the 2013 when people asked me what my New Year resolution would be, I replied: “To be less of a pessimist… but I don’t have much hope for it”. Joke intended but it didn’t always come across that way lol.
But I kept the resolution. Granted, there were a few times I struggled, but even though I wouldn’t go as far to call myself an outright optimist just yet, I like to think of myself as being in that in-between state: a reformed pessimist.
So here are a few things that helped me to think positively:
1. I got a notebook. It’s one of those small pocket sized ones (unlike some of those dictionaries that claim to be pocket sized). And in it, I wrote down my hopes and dreams. The things that I’m working towards. A description of the person I want to be. The things I like about myself at the moment and the things I want to improve. And at the end of a bad day, I look at that notebook and it makes me feel happy, because I remind myself that I’m not a bad person, and it reminds me of what I want and can achieve. It keeps me motivated not to lose sight of the big picture.
2. I laughed. You know those sort of days where just everything seems to go wrong? There’s no milk for your cereal in the morning; you get caught for every red traffic light on the way to college/work, aliens invade Earth and take over; you miss your favourite programme on TV. Well, I’d come home and just feel so annoyed with everything, but then I’d just laugh because I genuinely found it comical how I had gotten to the stage where I was looking for things to complain about. Laughing at those things taught me not to take things or myself too seriously.
3. I found three good things. At the end of the day, I’d try writing down three good things that happened in my day. It didn’t matter how big or how small- it could be “Yay I got nominated for a Nobel Prize in a subject I don’t study!” (disclaimer: that didn’t really happen to me:P) to “Yay, I found a pen and it actually has ink in it!” At the start I struggled to get even get 2 things down, but after the first week or so, I was easily able to fill the whole page!
4. I tried to do one good deed a day. Like the previous point, it didn’t matter how big or how small. For example, my good deed of the day yesterday was saving a spider from drowning in the sink. As I watched it scramble onto the piece of card I had, I couldn’t help get that warm fuzzy feeling of a job well done.
5. I just smiled. Even if I didn’t have any particular reason, I’d just smile anyway. Then I’d try to find reasons for why I was smiling, and then I realised I was trying to find the good in things.
Well, those are the main things I did/do anyway. How about you, lovely readers? Anything in particular that you do to stay optimistic? :)
Thanks for reading