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The Green Sheet Online Edition

December 13, 2021 • Issue 21:12:01


Give yourself an optimism boost

With the holiday season now in full swing, a time when the giving spirit captures people's imaginations in countless places around the globe, I'm particularly happy to be part of the payments industry, a sphere full of optimists.

I'm reminded that one huge plus for being optimistic is that it's good for your health. In "The 5 benefits of being optimistic," published in Entrepreneur on May 14, 2015, Zach Cutler, wrote that a University of Illinois study of more than 5,100 adults, found that respondents "who were the most optimistic were 76 percent more likely to have health scores in an ideal range.

In addition, optimists had significantly better blood sugar and cholesterol levels, exercised more, and had healthier body mass indexes, and were less likely to smoke than pessimists." And what could be more important than good health when it comes to being productive and enjoying life?

Contrasted with pessimism, optimism comes out the clear winner. In numerous studies, researchers have found that pessimism tends to make a person susceptible to depression and inertia; optimism leads to vibrancy and action. Pessimists tend to see failure as something to lament and a reason to be more cautious; optimists see failure as an opportunity to make a new start, which could lead to something even greater than previously imagined. Pessimists tend to be suspicious of new ideas and situations, which can lead to lost opportunities; optimists are open to new ideas and experiences, which makes it easier for them to adapt to our always changing environment.

Becoming more optimistic

Most of us have a blend of optimistic and pessimistic tendencies, but salespeople in general lean toward the optimistic end of things. But sometimes even those who typically see the sunny side of life need to rejuvenate and boost their optimism. As we approach a new year, now is an ideal time to do that. So here are some ideas on how to give your optimism a boost:

  • Limit the amount of news you watch and read. The producers of news programs depend on ratings, and unfortunately bad news grabs more attention than good. Thus, they feed us so much drama it can cause us to worry and even lose sleep at night.
  • Spend time focusing on what's good in your life. Be aware of things that are less than satisfactory and address them if necessary, but don't dwell on those things.
  • Always appreciate your sincere efforts whether you win or lose.
  • Spend more time focusing on your strengths than you spend trying to improve your flaws.
  • Spend time with people who make you laugh, who are full of life and who enjoy exploring new things. While caution about in-person gatherings is still necessary, remember how uplifting an old-fashioned telephone call can be. Call that best friend from school you haven't talked to lately. Experience the sensation of feeling like no time had passed since you last spoke, and watch it brighten your day and reinforce your optimism.
  • Try something new—a new recipe, a new hike, a new hobby. This will stimulate your brain, lift your mood and make you a most interesting person to know.
end of article

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