One Skill That Can Increase Your Life Span
Do you want to be more resilient, live longer, have better relationships, better mental health, and better leadership skills?
What on earth can provide you with all of that? Well, quickly pause for a second. What is running through your mind right now?
Your thoughts at this very moment are telling you whether or not you already possess a small amount that golden ingredient,
Studies have proven that optimistic individuals are more likely to have all of the benefits mentioned above, than a pessimistic individual.
Everyone falls on a sliding scale when it comes to optimism and pessimism. Don't throw in the towel yet if you think you have a more pessimistic way of thinking.
The great news is that optimism can be developed and learned.
By training your mind to think a certain way during challenging times, practicing various activities, and approaching challenges in new ways you can build a more optimistic lifestyle.
By studying optimistic individuals, we know that they are inclined to approach life with a belief in a positive future, and that whatever failures and setbacks they experience are not the end-all-be-all.
Luckily, for those of you who may have more pessimistic views towards life, whatever the reason. There are basic skills you can practice to help build a more optimistic approach towards life.
CHALLENGE OR THREAT
It is shown that when an optimist is put through a difficult time they choose to see the situation as a challenge rather than a threat. They are able to overcome these obstacles because when presented with a problem, mentally they choose to respond in three ways.
Specific (vs. global)
Just because one negative outcome has presented itself, does not cause everything everywhere to go wrong.
Unstable (vs. stable)
They know this will not last forever.
External (vs. internal)
They see that the challenge isn't necessarily because of who they are as an individual. Rather an external circumstance has brought the situation upon them.
By looking at a challenge (whether that is health related, relationships, job etc.) through the lens of S.U.E. you are better able to tackle challenges with a sense of objectivity and peace.
EXERCISE AND HEALTHY EATING
Optimistic individuals take care of their body and mind. By going to the gym and eating well you are giving your mind and body a jumpstart towards a more optimistic day.
Endorphins are running through your body, you overcame the challenge of getting to the gym and sticking to your personal schedule. Getting yourself to the gym is often the biggest battle, working out is simple after you are there.
Allow yourself to laugh at hardships. By taking life to seriously you are adding years to your life. Of course, there is a tipping point where humor becomes a defense mechanism.
By taking a breath or laughing when life is throwing you for a loop the amount of the stress hormone cortisol (which is the culprit behind many health issues) will be reduced.
IDENTIFY PROBLEMS YOU CAN SOLVE
Many people have a misconception that optimistic people have their head in the clouds and do not actually come to grips with the realities of life. This is far from the truth. Usually, it is actually the opposite.
Optimistic people are more skilled at identifying problems. They also are able to better identify the areas within the challenges presented that they can and cannot control.
By focusing their energy they have more space to tackle what matters. When you know what to focus on you can stop trying to change something outside of your control, and let go.
Rather than running from a problem, optimists walk toward it. Because they reframe their thinking to see problems as challenges instead of a threat, they are able to come up with strategies to overcome whatever lies in their path.
When taking action they are also unafraid to seek answers. In seeking answers they are willing to ask for help.
By asking for help they often receive support. In receiving support they have a higher likelihood of overcoming their challenge because they do not feel alone.
By slowly taking small optimistic steps, you will begin to train your brain to see challenges instead of threats. Life is filled with ups and downs, and there is no way to avoid them.
In changing how you respond, you give yourself a better chance at rising above instead of falling prey to a victim mentality.
Integrate more laughter into life, it is too short to be bogged down by your troubles. Get into any type of exercise routine and do your best to eat healthy.
Do not be afraid to look your challenge in the face. Do not succumb to the belief that there is nothing you can do (sometimes there is), but do your best to find solutions to the problem you face.
Finally, find your tribe. Having a support system means you are far more likely to feel strength in times of difficulty. Do not hide away in your home in hopes that reality will pass you by.
You can do this.
Time to create a better, happier, more fulfilled life.