Not surprisingly, the pandemic has left a lot of people feeling pessimistic and blue. The good news is: We can MAKE ourselves more optimistic, even during tough times. Here’s how:
First: Visualize your ideal life 10 years from now. What would it look like? How would it feel? Then, every week, spend about 6 minutes writing down how you’d like to change an area of your life, like romance, career, and health, to make your dreams a reality. UC Riverside psychology professor, Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky says, envisioning your dreams coming true will strengthen your “optimistic muscles” and boost your mood. And, dozens of studies show that imagining your ideal future can boost your levels of optimism.
Next: Stop expecting the worst. Dr. Lyubomirsky says you’ll be happier overall if you expect good things, than if you always expect to be disappointed. Because, we get a mood boost from anticipation itself. And that’s true whether you’re planning a future vacation – or just looking forward to a nice meal on Saturday night. And even if we ultimately get disappointed because things didn't work out – you’ll still have had the mood boost from anticipation.