It’s about time you put some effort into positive thinking. Studies have shown that optimism can improve cardiovascular health, overall cholesterol levels, and inspire you to share more adorable videos of pandas tumbling down slides. Here are some sure-fire ways to help you see the world through rose-colored glasses—sort of.
1. If you fail, high five yourself. A lot of wildly successful people were once screwups too.
2. Fake smile more. Studies have shown that fake (and real) smiling helps release stress and improve brain cells. But only if you fake feel like it.
3. Fill out a Pep Talk Nifty Note. Then reach over and hand it to yourself. Good job.
4. Make a list of jobs worse than yours. Nuclear decontamination techs, funeral managers, sewer inspectors—we commend but do not envy you.
5. Stop “should-ing.” Replace it with “will” and see what happens. Like, “I will go to that 7:00 a.m. yoga class despite being seriously hungover right now.”
6. Free your inner dysfunction. We might be biased, but our I’m So Freaking Freaked Out Inner-Truth™ Journal or My Dysfunctions Inner-Truth™ Journal
should will do the trick.
7. Give hugs, take hugs. The guy who created the Free Hugs Project knows what’s up. (Note: Not for germaphobes.)
8. Start a crappy “worry jar.” It’s a swear jar, except for crap you worry about. Every time you find yourself stressing, deposit twenty-five cents into your “worry bank” (aka that crappy mug that’s been sitting on your desk forever). You’ll save money and worry less about crap at the same time.
9. Be like Andy Warhol. Say “So what.” We’re not going to argue with Andy. Are you? “Sometimes people let the same problem make them miserable for years when they could just say, So what. That’s one of my favorite things to say. So what.”
10. Admit people suck sometimes. So what if that lady at the grocery store gave you attitude when you asked for a roll of quarters last night? Instead, be the type of person you want to be—a considerate person who usually allows another car to pass into your lane at the last minute, who occasionally leaves the last slice of cake for someone else, or just goes ahead and gives a roll of quarters to someone who desperately needs to do laundry. (We aren’t bitter at all, really.)
11. Consult your Affirmators! deck. Close your eyes, pick one card at random, and read it out loud. If you need extra affirmation-feels, self-help yourself and pick two.
12. Don’t beat yourself up (so much). Channel that self-loathing into positive, creative action—write a poem about your crappy day, learn how to knit a pussyhat, or watch a movie. We hear escapism is the new black.
And remember: when one door closes, put on a fake smile and pick its lock.
How do you stay optimistic? Tell us in a comment.