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Becoming Optimistic

When people are assessed on a scale of pessimistic to optimistic, those reporting as optimistic also report higher levels of happiness, satisfaction with life, better jobs, better relationships and even better luck.

You may have been told to be more optimistic. If you knew how, then you probably would have done it by now. Perhaps you have even have tried, and failed. So, is it possible to change, and become permanently more optimistic?

Well, yes. Researchers have figured out a strategy that can make a significant difference: gratitude.

Among people who report as being more pessimistic, those who undertake for just a few weeks, every single day, to deliberately feel grateful for things in their lives, become more optimistic.

Clearly, I don’t know if this will work for you or not. But probably you won’t know either unless you give it a go. There is a lot to be gained in exchange for a little of your time.

Here is a suggested strategy. Deliberately and on purpose, once a day be grateful for five things. Deliberately focus on each thing in turn and be clear on why you’re grateful for that thing. Hold your attention for 10 to 15 seconds on each item. That’s it.

My preferred time to do this is in the morning, when I can be grateful for things from the previous day. Other people prefer the evening and focus on their gratitude for things during that day.

Studies have shown that this simple activity, taking little more than a minute can increase your level of optimism. We’d love to hear how you get on! Please leave us your feedback.