OPTIMISM

If you want happiness for an hour — take a nap.’
If you want happiness for a day — go fishing.
If you want happiness for a year — inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime — help someone else.”
Chinese Proverb

Glass half full or half empty? Actually that does not matter. Optimism is less about positive thinking and much more about positive action. From finding reasons to be grateful to getting outside for a walk there are a hundred tiny ways to build your happiness levels every day. Research shows too that optimism has a strong connection with being proactive and being resilient. Focus on just one of these three will lead to strength in the others.

In the 20th century we added an unprecedented number of years to our lifespans, but is the quality of life as good? Surprisingly, yes! Psychologist Laura Carstensen shows research that demonstrates that as people get older they become happier, more content, and have a more positive outlook on the world.

Optimism Worksheets

Activities linked to the book…

ABCDE Worksheet
ABCDE Worksheet

The power of the ABCDE approach is that by diffusing illogical maladaptive beliefs allows more rational and adaptive beliefs to emerge, and shifts your Cs to more effective and adaptive feelings and behaviours.

Optimism Health Checker
Optimism Health Checker

There are 5 elements essential to lasting contentment. Ask yourself to what extent these are in your life and how you could go about encouraging more of each. It’s like taking a little health check of your optimism levels.

Shifting Moods
Shifting Moods

How can we shift our moods so that we can limit the negative sway over our thoughts and emotions? This worksheet will help you to do just that.

More Optimism resources…

Charming talks for a boost on a bad day
Charming talks for a boost on a bad day

Bad days happen to good people. Here are talks guaranteed to help cheer you up.

Give Thanks.
Give Thanks.

These TED Talks will help you conjure up massive amounts of gratitude.

Your brain is a powerful tool, but is wired for you to survive and at times subconsciously operates at cross purposes with what you might consider to be the best behavior. This presents a problem in the world where digital devices have led to increasingly high levels of stress in our lives. Being “Mindful” insures that you properly reflect on the situation before acting and behave in a way that would be most beneficial. Being present, in an open and accepting way, with the right mindset, to what you are experiencing, prepares you for this optimal behavior.

Dan Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness, challenges the idea that we’ll be miserable if we don’t get what we want. Our “psychological immune system” lets us feel truly happy even when things don’t go as planned.

What keeps us happy and healthy as we go through life? If you think it’s fame and money, you’re not alone – but, according to psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, you’re mistaken. As the director of a 75-year-old study on adult development, Waldinger has unprecedented access to data on true happiness and satisfaction. In this talk, he shares three important lessons learned from the study as well as some practical, old-as-the-hills wisdom on how to build a fulfilling, long life.

What is happiness, and how can we all get some? Buddhist monk, photographer and author Matthieu Ricard has devoted his life to these questions, and his answer is influenced by his faith as well as by his scientific turn of mind: We can train our minds in habits of happiness. Interwoven with his talk are stunning photographs of the Himalayas and of his spiritual community.

Mapping apps help us find the fastest route to where we’re going. But what if we’d rather wander? Researcher Daniele Quercia demos “happy maps” that take into account not only the route you want to take, but how you want to feel along the way.

There are 168 hours in each week. How do we find time for what matters most? Time management expert Laura Vanderkam studies how busy people spend their lives, and she’s discovered that many of us drastically overestimate our commitments each week, while underestimating the time we have to ourselves. She offers a few practical strategies to help find more time for what matters to us, so we can “build the lives we want in the time we’ve got.”

The one thing all humans have in common is that each of us wants to be happy, says Brother David Steindl-Rast, a monk and interfaith scholar. And happiness, he suggests, is born from gratitude. An inspiring lesson in slowing down, looking where you’re going, and above all, being grateful.

Winter Energisers

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As the days get colder and the nights draw in (here in the West anyway!) our energy can start to dip. Here are some easy ideas to give your energy a boost:…

How to Slow Down

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 Slowing down is key to productivity, making great decisions and being happy.  Yet we spend most of our time doing the exact opposite.  Try these tips for immediate impact.

10 Steps to Optimism

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Optimism can be learned, and we all need to start learning to develop healthy optimism.  The key to optimism is asking ourselves more questions before automatically defaulting into a negative response.

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