Thursday, February 05, 2009

The Return of Optimism

During this economic downturn, it is easy to get discouraged, depressed and generally negative. That is why I enjoyed reading this email from the sweet Claudia Post. Claudia is the owner of Diamond Transportation Group in Pennsylvania. Thank you Claudia for sending out such a positive and uplifting email.

It's not always easy to be optimistic, especially in tough economic times. But although we don't always have control over whether things are running as smooth as silk or as bumpy as an eye-laden potato, it's important to remember that we do have control over how we react to them. And that is the single most important thing you can do to re-set your optimist-pessimist gauge.

If you find yourself leaning toward the cynical, don't blame yourself. The physiology of the brain is set to react more intensely to negative images and events. It's part of our survival instinct. We sense danger; we take steps to avert it.

Pessimism is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you are sure that your bad luck will follow you wherever you go, it will. If you believe that one bad day will be followed by another, it will. And if you decide that you are powerless to change anything, you will be correct. Remember, though, that optimism works the same way, but with better results.

SO WHAT CAN YOU DO? TIPS FOR REMAINING POSITIVE

ACCENTUATE THE POSITIVE - Make a conscious effort to hold on to the moments when good things happen.

TAKE ACTION - Pessimism is fraught with inaction. When you give in to the powerlessnessof pessimism, you give it the power to control your reaction.

GO ON A MEDIA DIET- Take a break from watching the news and reading the paper. Use your free time to take a walk, play with your children or read a book.

USE POSITIVE LANGUAGE- Use words like can and will instead of their negative counterparts. Hearing your own voice telling it that you have power or that setbacks are only temporary are very convincing.

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