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Cultivating Optimism

by | Jan 17, 2024

Cultivating optimism in 2021.

Cultivating Optimism

The New Year is here again. Most years I feel optimistic about this. It can feel like a chance to reset and start a fresh chapter. I like to set some goals and reflect on what I want to experience during the next 12 months. For me this often involves travel. Sometimes there is a habit I want to work on, or an intention (such as cook more and eat out a bit less).

So, if it’s for you, take a moment to close the book on last year and focus on what you want in 2024.

  • What are some things you want to do this year? What are your goals and priorities?
  • What do you want to experience in your life?

Keep it simple. Maybe just set an intention to be more present. No matter what, try to be kind and loving towards yourself and your journey.

What we know for sure is that life will continue to have ups and downs. We are human and ‘works in progress’. We may need to remind ourselves of that often and work on having realistic expectations. Celebrate progress not perfection.

I do encourage you to work on cultivating a positive outlook. Notice and appreciate the small things and the nice moments. Practice being in the present and it’s easier to notice the sunset.

A positive outlook can be quite challenging at times. Especially when there are many sources of stress in your life (not to mention the world at large).

Even if you don’t think of yourself as an optimist, you can learn to shift your thinking and focus in order to find more hope and possibility.

One way to work on this involves gratitude. If we look for positive things (including moments and feelings), we train our brain to notice these things. When we focus on positives, our brain is distracted from the negative at least momentarily. Since our brain has a negativity bias, it takes practice and repetition to make the shift stick.

It’s most impactful to take a moment to actually feel grateful – feel the feeling and energy of appreciation in your body. That allows us to have an experience versus just a thought, and that can change our brain and nervous system for the better.

It’s inevitable that we will get off track at times and need to reset our focus and intention. Sometimes we need some help and support. If you do, please reach out: [email protected].

Articles & Resources

3 Strategies to Transform Pessimism to Optimism

Counter negative thoughts by focusing on good moments in life, practicing gratitude and talking positively to yourself, writes training specialist Rich Brandt. “Of course, changes in your outlook won’t happen overnight, but in a matter of weeks you will find yourself less stressed, and feel less negative and more optimistic,” he writes.

Wisdom & Inspiration

  • “And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been.” —Rainer Maria Rilke
  • “A grateful mind is a great mind which eventually attracts to itself great things.” -Plato
  • “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” ― Anne Frank
  • “Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can create.” ― Roy T. Bennett
  • “Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” – Scott Adams

Linda Stiles

LSCSW, LCSW, CFSW, Certified Imago Therapist

I am dedicated to creating an environment where clients feel safe to share and be both supported and challenged in their journey toward self-healing and growth. I specialize in helping people find peace, joy and balance in their relationship with themselves and with others.

Learn more about me