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Practicing Optimism in the New Year
Friday, December 4, 2020

elderly man smiling

The Benefits of Being Optimistic 

Ways to Practice Optimism Starting Today

At some point, we’ve all been told that smiling will make us feel better. While the physical act of smiling is sometimes the best medicine for a bad mood, it can also help us practice optimism—and being more optimistic can have a significant impact on our well-being.

Many studies over the years have shown that optimistic people have reduced health risks, including a lower risk of early death from cancer and other diseases. Harvard Health Publishing referenced a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that linked optimism to living a longer life and having a greater chance of living past age 85.

If that is not reason enough to adopt a more optimistic attitude, think of the other benefits of having a “glass half full” perspective: You’ll spend less time missing out on the joys of life while dwelling on the negative. Try taking these steps to practice optimism in the new year:

Greet everyone with a smile.

We may sound like a broken record, but one thing there should definitely be more of in 2021 is smiling (even from behind a mask). Imagine if everyone took the time to greet one another with a smile! It is a fact that smiling can lift your mood: Scientists in a 2019 study found that facial expressions do have an impact on our feelings.

Counter negative thoughts.

When your inner voice starts whispering everything that could go wrong in a situation, make an effort to also consider what could go right. By countering negative thoughts with a more positive outlook, you can often ease your anxieties.

Keep everything in perspective.

Remember that in many cases, our fears and worries about a situation end up being much worse than the reality. It may help to acknowledge your fears by recording them in a journal, particularly before you go to sleep. This can allow you to clear your mind of negative thoughts.

We hope these tips will help you take a more positive mindset into the new year. If McGregor can be of any support to you in 2021, please reach out and speak to a member of our team.