Think positive: A colloquial phrase we have adopted and use time and time again. It sounds really pretty, doesn’t it? Positivity. Optimism. Looking at the glass half full.
But how many of us secretly want to reply, “Look at everything going on around me. How am I going to be positive? Have you watched the news lately? Do you know what’s going on with my kids? Have you met my boss? Would you like to take a look at my finances or talk to my doctor?”
Maybe we feel that optimism is not authentic. After all, people are starving, terrorists are attacking, and cancer is invading our lives. What place does optimism have in a hard world? Perhaps it is the way we deal with optimism that feels inauthentic, not the optimism itself.
See, many of us act optimistically. We pretend that things are fine. Think about the last time somebody asked you how you are. Did you answer, “I’m fine thanks” with a smile? Probably. Many of us, however, do not think optimistically; we are Chicken Little and the sky is falling.
To correct this feeling of inauthenticity, we can start adding a little genuine feeling into our interactions with others and start adding a little positive hope to the interactions in our own heads. If we choose to believe that there is good in this world, our positive reactions with others naturally become more and more authentic.
Optimism should start from within. A hopeful confidence that things will be good. Hopeful does not mean we hold a delusional belief that everything will be great and wonderful all the time. It means, as the brilliant writer Oscar Wilde wrote: “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
Putting a newfound focus on adding a little optimism to our lives benefits us tremendously in many areas.
It can also make us beautiful. Here’s how it works:
Optimism and Beauty 101:
Study after study shows that there is a link between optimism and stress reduction. We know that lowering your stress benefits all your organs, including your skin. Optimism can also help people strengthen their coping skills and can even lessen conditions like depression and anxiety. Less stress = slower aging process. You can actually look younger and more vibrant, and essentially be healthier, by choosing to look at the world more positively.
Studies also show the more optimistic you are, the more like you will be to participate in a healthy lifestyle. You will be more likely to take care of your body and skin, if you think your body and skin are good. If you look at your flawed body (and they all are flawed) as the best thing that has ever happened to you, you are going to go the extra mile to take care of it.
…And by spiritually, we aren’t talking about any religious practice at all. This is the part of you that seems to be beyond your flesh and blood. Your soul, if you will, is greatly improved by optimism and has the greatest impact on your beauty.
After all, if you look at your face in the mirror and have a feeling of awe – you will feel more beautiful the second you step outside. If you walk with confidence because you choose to focus on the best parts of yourself, you will appear more beautiful. If you own who you are, everything about you will radiate beauty. It’s that little spark of magic that goes beyond anything a cream could ever offer.
Optimism may not save your life (though optimists probably think it will!), but it can make you more beautiful. Beyond beauty, it can give you a better life. There are so many things we cannot control from the day we are conceived to the day we die. If we choose to respond to the things we can’t control with that hopeful confidence that they will be used for good, our beautiful selves win.