Not all of us are born with happy-go-lucky personalities and that is okay! Optimism can be practiced, learned and can provide benefits to your well-being.

Whether in our personal day-to-day or in our work environment, things never seem to go as planned.


Take a second to reflect…


When confronted with an unfortunate scenario, do you try to make the best of the situation? Or do you dwell on circumstances you cannot change?

Whichever way your emotions fall, it is not always your fault. Pessimism is partially inherited from specific lifestyle situations and family environments. Not all of us are born with happy-go-lucky personalities – me included – and that is okay! Optimism can be practiced, learned and can provide benefits to your well-being.

Evidence suggests that individuals with a more optimistic outlook have better sleep and improved physical and mental health. Here are four ways you can restructure your emotions to make the most of your day.


Question pessimistic thoughts.

By questioning negative thoughts, you can help reframe your mindset instead of falling into a thinking trap!

Before giving in to a difficult situation, ask yourself how that negative feeling is benefiting you, or how dwelling on the outcome will change the situation: Am I catastrophizing the outcome? What would I tell a friend or coworker who is going through this? Use these questions to think logically!


Focus on your strengths!

Look inward and choose a skill that you possess.

Are you creative? Do you have persistence? You may have leadership or problem-solving skills. Select one and outline how you can use that in your situation. It is impossible to control everything, but brainstorm ways you can improve the situation – even if it is just for you!

Reprioritize your time.

When unfortunate events happen, turn to a positive alternative.

If an appointment is running late or had to be canceled, you can use that free time to connect with a friend you have not chatted with in a while or do something you have been trying to find the time to do. Other options could be to do something for yourself. You could read a book, go for a walk, stretch and relax, send some emails or even check the pile of mail that has been building up. Another great idea is building a vision board, which Kayla highlighted in a previous post.

Replacing a negative event with some positive action will help decrease the mental weight of the situation.

Practice gratitude!

A meeting does not go the way you rehearsed, work throws a professional curve ball, or you received unfortunate news about a loved one. Take a moment to determine how you feel. Then determine what steps you are going to take next.

Take a moment to jot down items you are thankful for. Yes! I want you to grab a post-it and do this. Take the feelings from your day and refocus on things you are looking forward to or are thankful for. You could also turn your attention to items you value – like your family, home, job, a great meal you had recently or the love from your pet. This will help you change the negative momentum brewing from the events of the day.

How you respond to stressors is a habit. Like any habit, you have been building it for quite some time. Building an optimistic outlook will take time. You will not do it perfectly at first! Be patient and figure out what works for you.


Negative situations can never be fully avoided.

However, we can control how it affects us, turn our day around and see benefits to our physical and mental health. Ready to continue your journey toward an optimistic outlook? Check out this quick TedX video to dive in.

Weekly Recipe

Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes