The Mantra of Positivity– Ways to Induce Optimism

*This is the second part of a series exploring the advantages and methods of inducing positivity in life. Click here to read the first part: *

To induce positivity in one’s everyday life will lead to attaining inner peace in the long run. Medical pedants propagate and academia manifests the necessity of delving deep into meditation. Optimism can be brought about by nurturing compassion. This is for those who feel perpetually under the weather of pessimism. A positive outlook to life brought about by meditation helps to stabilize the heart rate of a person. It corroborates the control of blood glucose levels and lessens inflammation. Needless to say, optimism is the one step formula to recover faster after a heart attack.

The prudent acumen of professionals has proven time and again that no medication fights depression quite like a positive environment. Absorbing positivity is often factored by the collective health of a household. It is therefore that experts testify in favour of collective optimism. If implemented, it goes on to churn out a finer quality of life. When the cardinal development of one’s life hits a positive trajectory, one is inspired towards positive social behaviours and altruism. It has been scientifically verified that the act of giving, i.e, soulful charity for those who need it, releases endorphins. Endorphins serve to extenuate negative thoughts which may plague us and provide for calmness. As a result, Positivity building activities (outdoor or indoor) are integral to us. It must be borne in mind that our well-being has an effect on the the minds of those around us. Like other diseases, even pessimism may be contagious. Consequently, positive activities eliminate the need for drawing a cordon sanitaire around our loved ones and those in immediate contact with us.

Dr. Barbara Lee Fredrickson, Principal Investigator of the Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Lab (PEPLab) at the University of North Carolina, calls for indoctrinating positivity in oneself. It is a persistent rigour entailing initial difficulties like every other task. Her books emanate wisdom and put forth certain mechanisms to improve our mental health. Firstly, one needs to be true to one’s personality and adopt a sincere approach to everyday life. Adversities are not the end of the world. They should be perceived as lessons. ‘This too shall pass’ should be the adage in our quest for positive meaning within ourselves. When one is coping with certain crisis, they should not lose perspective, i.e, the bigger picture should not be lost on them.

Further, one ought to count his/her blessings. Lack of gratitude is a recurrent problem in the 21st century. Gratitude is fostered by appreciating what we already possess and juxtaposing ourselves with those who are denied of the same. Experts claim that maintenance of gratitude journals are of great help. One should endeavour to list five things which they are grateful about on a daily basis. An individual should also seek to find beauty in nature i.e, in the appreciation of flora and fauna. Across the ages of literature, several poets have reiterated the idea of repose in the arms of nature. Wordsworth for instance supplanted the frenzied town lifestyle with occasional tours to the countryside. Promptitude should be the way forward, made better with kindness. Compassion, as stated earlier induces positive emotions and releases stress-combating hormones.

We only live one life and this idea needs to be ingrained when deciding what to do with one’s life. The objective should be to attain fullest expression of one’s passion for self-actualization. Goa- setting for the road ahead ought to be pragmatic. One should not bite off more than one can chew. Building and maintenance of quality relationships brings about a positive index of happiness, across the board. However, as Oscar Wilde said:  “To love yourself is the beginning of a lifelong romance“. One should dedicate time for one’s fulfillment. At the same time, letting go is of prime importance. We should make peace with the past, live in the present and let the future take its own course.

At the outset of a positive journey, do not imbibe an overtly unrealistic optimistic attitude that can only end in disappointment. Such naivete discounts the power of positivity. Gloom should be seen as gloom, and not through rose-coloured glasses. Positivity simply means gaining perspective- that the bad is not the worst and there’s a lot to look forward to in life.

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