Some people are optimists, while some are pessimists. What makes you an optimist or pessimist isn’t really a personality trait – it actually has a lot to do with the chemicals in your brain. Contrary to popular belief, pessimism can be cured – you just need to find a way to ‘train’ your brain to think positive thoughts.
The thing that separates humans from the animal kingdom is the ability of our brain to remold itself. We learn new things every day, we adapt, improvise, and overcome things and it’s all because of our brain. Most experts consider neuroplasticity almost a superhuman power.
If you’re not familiar with the term, it describes our brain’s ability to be altered and improved through the development of new neural networks. In simpler terms, all of us have the ability to reshape our thoughts and emotions but don’t think it happens overnight. Retraining your brain actually takes a lot of time, but once you do it, you’ll be able to overcome anything, including pessimism.
According to studies, optimists are far happier, creative, and more powerful mentally than pessimists due to the low levels of cortisol and higher levels of serotonin. All of us should really try and be more optimistic, no matter how hard life gets. An optimistic view of life will open up a whole new world of possibilities and overcome any limitations.
There are many ways with which you can retrain your brain to be more optimistic and banish the negative thoughts.
Here’s a list of the best:
Praise Someone Who Deserves It
We all have a person in our life who’s absurdly underappreciated. Some people deserve high praise for the work they’ve been doing, yet no one really gives them praise. If you want to abandon your pessimistic views and start being optimistic, you should start by praising someone who deserves it. Just say it to their face or send an e-mail – it will make you feel better about yourself and train your brain to be more positive.
Mind Your Words
Mindfulness should be practiced every day. Humans possess the ability to be critical, which is good. However, more often than not, our brain is set to ‘autopilot’, firing signals that don’t sit right with our emotions. Being mindful, on the other hand, means not looking at the past and accepting thoughts without judgment. This will eventually retrain your brain to overcome the pessimism and set you on a road to optimism.
Acts of kindness will boost the release of dopamine in your brain, also known as the ‘happy hormone’. Being kind to people every day will bring impressive benefits, so give compliments to colleagues or friends, buy a stranger a cup of coffee or donate some money to a charity – believe us, it will help you adopt a more optimistic approach.
You know how they say – laughter is the best medicine of all. Laughing out loud every day will control your serotonin production and calm down the amygdala (the brain’s stress center). Laugh any time you can – just watch a comedy with your friends, watch funny videos on YouTube or spend hours looking at memes – it will be worth it.
Exercising regularly will boost the production of a variety of hormones in your body such as serotonin and endorphins and reduce your cortisol levels, putting your stress in order. Try to elevate your heart rate for a total of 20 minutes per day. If you can’t jog or hit the gym, there are many home workouts you can find online that can help. Besides retraining your brain, exercise will also help you get in shape.