Living Happy : Top Tips for Staying Optimistic in Life

Author: Amber Houghton   Date Posted:18 September 2014 

If you could pick between becoming either the grumpy grandparent or the chipper one, which would you choose? Bad days may make your outlook feel out of your control, but no matter what life throws your way, experts insist it's within your power to stay happy.

No drastic life changes, magic potions or epiphanies are necessary. Simple changes are the key to staying on the bright side while you make your way through life. Here are our top tips for staying optimistic in life:

  1. Embrace Failure - From businessmen to artists, successful people agree that seeing failures as lessons, not shortcomings, paves the way for future success and happiness.
  2. Smile! - The simple act of smiling and laughing has been shown to increase feel-good brain chemicals and improve pain tolerance, so pop in your favourite movie and invite over friends that make you laugh.
  3. Focus on the Positive - Negative thoughts have a way making mountains out of molehills and sabotaging self-esteem. Follow the Dalai Lama's advice instead: “See the positive side, the potential, and make an effort.”
  4. Make Time For Creativity - Whether you have a creative hobby, spend a little more time on your morning makeup or relish making organization systems, find a way to express yourself every day.
  5. Go For Regular Walks in the Park - A Stanford University study found that walking in a natural atmosphere, like a park, knocks down stress levels and brain fatigue.

    DID YOU KNOW? Researchers have been working on a link between the consumption of cacao and a more positive mind set. You may have heard that raw cacao powder is high in antioxidants and magnesium, but did you know that it also contains cocoa polyphenols which may help boost your mood?
     
  6. Learn to Say "No" - Saying "no" might sound counter-intuitive to optimism, but only agreeing to obligations that bring you joy will keep stress levels down and help you feel like your time is well-spent.
  7. Spend Your Money On Experiences - A study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology found that spending money on experiences, like weekend trips, make people happier than material purchases do.
  8. Take Responsibility - It's easy to make yourself out to be the victim, but if you take responsibility for how you act and feel, you give yourself the power to do something about your circumstances.
  9. Change Your Wording - Switch to a "positive explanatory style," taking credit for how you influenced positive outcomes, seeing negative events as one-time flukes instead of bad omens and embrace successes as signs of more good things to come.
  10. Make Time For Others - When you feel overwhelmed, take the focus off of yourself and get a boost by giving others a hand.
Written by Amber Houghton
Amber Houghton

Amber holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Naturopathy, and has a particular passion for nutritious, whole-food eating. She feels education surrounding the best dietary and lifestyle choices are fundamental in allowing people to take responsibility for their own health, and to help with the maintenance of their well-being.

Although passionate about wholesome food, Amber does confess to having a particular fondness for cake, and enjoys a slice every now and then.