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Meditate to be More Optimistic

by Victor Perton

Meditation enhances your optimism.   Meditations on optimism and related topics can strengthen your optimism even more.

The scientific evidence is that meditation practice results in long-lasting positive psychological effects.   The research using brain scanning and other measures show meditation alters the structure of the brain, fostering a brighter more optimistic outlook and increased empathy.   Over time, meditation thickens the bilateral, prefrontal right-insular region of the brain, the area responsible for optimism and a sense of well-being, spaciousness, and possibility. This area is also associated with creativity and an increased sense of curiosity, as well as the ability to be reflective and observe how your mind works.  Regular sessions of meditation have a calming effect on the amygdala, the brain’s emotion processor and reduce impulsive reactions to stressful or negative thoughts.

In other words, meditation practice gives you the much-needed rest to start afresh. Meditation will make you feel recharged and raring to go. You will be full of optimism and positivity.  A Canadian study showed “Giving children mindfulness attention training in combination with opportunities to practice optimism, gratitude, perspective-taking, and kindness to others can not only improve cognitive skills but also lead to significant increases in social and emotional competence and well-being in the real-world setting of regular elementary classrooms.”

There are many different ways to meditate, such as using a mantra (a word or phrase repeated), looking at an object, or focusing on the breath. It can be done sitting still or moving around while maintaining self-awareness.

Try out The Centre for Optimism's Selected Meditations

Loving Kindness Meditation

Ancient meditation practices like the “Loving Kindness” meditation and related compassion meditations are particularly beneficial. Compassion meditation strengthens the connection between the prefrontal cortex and the brain’s circuits for optimism, joy and happiness.  The benefits are apparent right from the beginning of meditation practice and they increase with time spent.

A recently published study of college students by Birgit Koopmann-Holm found compassion meditation to be the most effective in fostering optimism.

By opening your heart and mind, meditation provides lasting feelings of peace and serenity while creating tremendously positive changes in your life. Staying positive, and its array of life-transforming benefits, can be easily learned and integrated into your life starting right now!

Victor Perton's loving kindness meditation is available on The Centre for Optimism's meditations page, on iTunes and other platforms.

Centre for Optimism's Recommended Meditations 

Meditation on Optimism

Tamkey and Claire, Lojong Meditation

"The mind is limitless. Understanding your own mind through meditation means unlocking that potential. There can be no truer act of hope and optimism."

Richard Davidson, Center for Healthy Minds

"Practice meditation.  Meditating allows you to focus your mind for a while and practice being present.  You can spend one minute each morning and each evening doing this.  And that kind of appreciation is something that can foster a sense of optimism about the future.”

Parul Agrawal

"Twenty minutes of meditation will help you stay focused, cheerful and optimistic for the next 24 hours of your day. "

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