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How to be an optimist

Created date

July 23rd, 2013

I don't tolerate people who complain. That's not to say I never complain, but there are some people who seem to do nothing but. Nothing is ever right, and to paraphrase Bob Dylan, it seems all they want to do is drag you down into the hole that they're in. Well, I'm not going down there! Obviously, there are times in our lives that something hits us--illness, a death, economic problems--and no one is immune to feeling some negative emotions when those things occur. And it's healthy to allow those negative emotions out. If they fester inside of you, they'll do more damage. But you have to put a time limit on the negativity or else it will take over your life.

Positive rewards

It may take more effort to see the bright side of your life rather than sink into the doldrums, but by being an optimist, you'll reap more rewards. If you actively put aside what's bothering you, after a few minutes, you'll slowly train your brain to keep doing that almost automatically. And then you can go through life enjoying what there is around you to enjoy from a good meal to a sunset to a hug from a grandchild. But if you allow negative thoughts to constantly hang around you, like that proverbial black cloud hanging over your head, then the pleasure you could reap from what surrounds you will be greatly diminished. I lost my entire family to the Holocaust and became an orphan. I was seriously wounded fighting for Israel's independence. There's plenty in my life that could overwhelm any feelings of joy I might have. But I actively push back against the gloom in order to let as much light in as possible. And you can do it too if you put in the required effort. Focus on the positive side of life, spend time with people who raise your spirits, reach back to use fond memories when the gloom wants to invade your spirit, and you'll have more optimism in your life.

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