In healthcare it is easy to get caught up in negativity with the focus on disease, chief complaints and set backs for patients. This makes it all the more important for you to cultivate optimism.
Optimism is generally defined as 1. focusing your attention on the positive side of situations and 2. Expecting good things to happen, anticipating a desirable future. Optimism is associated with the belief that your behavior matters. There are many benefits of optimism for your health as well as for your success. A recent Harvard Business Review article found “optimists were significantly more likely to experience better financial health than pessimists and engage in healthier habits with their money.”
To experience the benefits of optimism, it is important for you to cultivate optimism with a realistic point of view, not a pie in the sky fantasy. Realistic Optimism does not deny reality. The focus is on the positive in the foreground while recognizing that unfavorable aspects of a situation exist. Optimism is solution-focused.
When you’re optimistic about the future, you are more confident that you can achieve the desired outcomes. You’re more likely to invest effort and resources into reaching the goal. Benefits for you include:
- Maintain stamina along the way when you hit obstacles
- Improve coping – more likely to take action rather than ruminate
- Promote vitality – looking forward to a bright future improves mood and is energizing
- Improved financial health
When something doesn’t’ go well, optimists use an explanatory style. They see setbacks as temporary, unique and not personal. They often do this without conscious effort.
If you are not currently optimistic, you can cultivate optimism. Try some of these ways of thinking and see what emerges for you.
- Focus on what’s working – Look for evidence to support a more positive view.
- Challenge your assumptions with several questions to redirect your focus. – Does this really happen all the time, with every attempt? What are some of the factors beyond yourself that contributed to the situation? What is the evidence that this could be a temporary setback?
- Look for progress – Don’t let perfection become the enemy of good. Notice positive steps that have been and are being taken toward that desirable future.
- Connect with others – Your Relationships are the greatest predictor of happiness. Good relationships are strongly correlated with optimism.
What will you do with your optimism?
For more ways to cultivate optimism, re-energize and increase your success, contact me.
Revitalize Your Life,
Dina, Well-Being Coach
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