"Exercises and practices which increase and maintain optimism include expressing gratitude, using more positive language and focusing on sharing happiness. Practising meditation, yoga, exercise and spending time in beautiful places also enhance a feeling of optimism."
“Optimism relies on gratitude. And gratitude is refreshed by optimism."
Dr Freya MacMillan
"Gratitude makes me optimistic. Every day I wake, I am thankful. I am grateful for my health, my beautiful family and the opportunities that I’ve been so fortunate to have. I lost my brother when I was 19, he was only 21. He was healthy and happy but didn’t get very long here. For these reasons, I am optimistic in all that I do. I will make sure I live my life to the full in memory of those that did not get the chance."
Elaine Ingalls, Journalist
"I believe that optimism is a choice even when things aren't working out in your favor. Having an attitude of gratitude makes it easier to get through the challenging tasks of daily life and difficult seasons."
Sally Branson, Director at The Suite Set
"For me, optimism has been passed down from my grandmother to my mother. My mum is relentlessly positive, and it is a lovely family trait. Is it nature or nurture people ask? I say - Optimism is a habit, a learned behaviour. Optimism is a choice and a daily practice that stems from being grateful."
Dr Kelly-Ann Allen, Educational Psychologist
"Optimism is more than just thinking that the glass is half full. It's about knowing that the glass is enough"
Curt Fowler, Values Driven Results
“Optimism and gratitude are the keys to a happy and successful life. They are antidotes to stress, greed and fear. Whenever you feel any of those negative emotions coming on you replace those thoughts with gratitude. Your gratitude will lead to optimism which leads to happiness which leads to success.”
"I am filled with gratitude for your work, inspired by your leadership, and optimistic about our course for the future.”
Professor Oliver Jones, Associate Dean, RMIT
"For me, optimism is being grateful for all the things you do have rather than all the things you don’t; and for all the times you succeeded rather than when things went wrong. If you always think you are going to fail, then you probably will, but if you think positively and learn from setbacks rather than get distracted by them, then the sky really is the limit."
"Rather than being consumed by problems, an optimist views the world through a completely different lens, one focused on exploring opportunity. An optimist expresses gratitude often."
"What makes me optimistic are finding the small pockets of kindness and good in day to day life. Appreciating the moments that make me smile and the ones that take my breath away. Feeling gratitude for the people in my life and excited about the life I get to create with them."
Pablo Cilotta, IACCM
"My optimism and happiness are enhanced through expressing gratitude and being passionate when learning new things, meeting new people, building relationships based on trust, confidence and building bridges."
Sir David Attenborough
"while there are people like you putting your heads together, people like you getting together and spending time together, it does seem to me, as an onlooker, that the world has a cause for optimism and cause for gratitude."
“Gratitude for what nature has given me makes me optimistic. Very simple good things happening to me in my daily journey of life make me happy and grateful and optimistic."
Dr. Paul P. Baard, organizational psychologist
"Optimism often follows reflection and gratitude. A winter lull can be an opportunity to regain perspective on what really matters."
From an article "Boosting energy and optimism during a winter lull"
Rae Snape, Headteacher
“Gratitude opens one's heart and makes one appreciate the minutiae and detail of life. This openness is the foundation to spotting opportunity and this is the foundation for optimism."
Gratitude is one of the underpinnings of optimism. While striving to reach our goals, it’s important to feel grateful for what we have today.
Chris Reddy, Leadership Coach
"What makes me optimistic? It's pretty simple. It's all about appreciating the small things, accepting the setbacks, grasping opportunities and being grateful for the family and friends in my life."
Mike Fairclough, Principal of West Rise Junior School
"My optimism is rooted in gratitude for the life that I already have and for my future life imagined and intentionally created."
Dr Suzy Green, Founder & CEO, The Positivity Institute
“Whilst the scientific community now better understands the key ingredients of a flourishing life and a flourishing world include the cultivation of gratitude, compassion and forgiveness - it is optimism and hopefulness that will help us sustain our energy and motivation to create better lives and a better world. We’re not talking about unrealistic or rose-coloured optimism but optimism that supports persistence in the face of negativity, resistance and adversity.”
Diane Kilkenny, IACCM
"What makes me optimistic? That random acts of human kindness come from the places you least expect them at the times you need them most!"
Alesha Printz, General Manager - Victoria Division, Engineers Australia
"Optimism and gratitude go together hand in hand, like two sides of the same coin. Gratitude is the practice of looking back and being thankful. Optimism is the practice of looking forward and being hopeful."
Dr Tammra Warby, Author, “The General Practice Exam Handbook.”
“Optimism to me turns a complete roadblock into a temporary setback. My case for optimism is that as a living expression of hope for the future, it will pull you through the toughest times of your life. Many times in healthcare and through natural disasters, I have witnessed how optimists respond to the worst thing that has ever happened to them. It is a deeply inspiring and admirable quality to view in action.
“Optimists firstly accept the reality of the situation and immediately begin workshopping the problem to solve it. They always ask, ‘What’s next?’. Despite how hard it is to practise gratitude through pain, they remain appreciative of all that is still good in their life. Whether facing devastation or illness, the optimist is already planning their adaptation or recovery. In the midst of the darkest times, they still bring their humour to the situation and find the lighter side. And they don’t give up, emerging from the other end as proof their hope was warranted.”
Terry Crews, actor, former NFL player
I stay positive by actually choosing things to be thankful for. An attitude of gratitude literally gives you energy. But I also found that I used to be the opposite. And my wife will tell you, ’cause we’ve been married 28 years, she knows the other side. I was not a nice person to live with. And when I saw, personally, the differences in my life from once I was a pessimist to the switch to being an optimist, it’s like night and day. Instead of looking for what’s wrong with everything, I started to look for what was right with everything. And you start to realise that you only get where your habits take you. So, the way you think gets you what you want in life. If you think everybody is against you, if you think you’re not going to get something, usually you don’t. And it kinda becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. But when I started shifting and saying, “OK, I’ma go into this place like they want to see me” and say “Hey! Wait! Things are going to be better.” All of a sudden, things got better.
"I get a lot of positive correspondence and mentions for sharing my thoughts and the thoughts of others on the benefits of optimism. Delivering one of my workshops in prison, a murderer told me why he had come to my workshop. His cellmate had come to a previous workshop and had a copy of my book - the cellmate now keeps a gratitude journal, reads one page of my book daily and lifts the spirits of his fellow prisoners. This prisoner wanted a deeper dose of that optimism directly from me. You can imagine how good that made me feel - changing one life through my commitment to spreading optimism."
Be intentional about being grateful so that it becomes strong enough to counteract the negativity bias. One year, my wife and I kept a huge glass candy jar in our living room with a pen and Post-It pad next to it. Every day we would write down one or two things that happened that day that brought us joy. With each passing day it made a real difference in our awareness of how good we had it.
Also, try expressing gratitude to others more frequently. Use your smartphone to send text messages of appreciation to others. This will get the happy neurochemicals flowing with a “twofer” benefit -- it will improve your attitude and improve your relationships at the same time.
Read More on Optimism and Gratitude
Kira M. Newman, the Greater Good Science Center
Luckily, research suggests that optimism is something we can cultivate—by practicing gratitude, envisioning our “Best Possible Self,” or doing certain types of therapy. And that makes the future look a little bit rosier.
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