Sir Winston Churchill said, "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
Me? I'm a natural-born pessimist. Sounds bad, I know. But hear me out. The reasoning behind this pessimism is simple: If I don't get my hopes up, I won't seep into the valley of disappointment, right?
Well. Sometimes that's true. More often, however, it's just me chickening out, because I'm scared. "Of what?" I can almost hear my mother asking me. "How will you ever know, unless you try? And if you fall, you get right back up and try again!"
You guessed it. Mom's an optimist. She's also right, and here's why I chose this word for today's A-Z Challenge: I need to practice optimism. In writing, in my everyday life. As human beings, when we get stressed out and self-awareness kicks in, we often feel anxious, frustrated, and downright irritated. The science behind that is the hormone cortisol, which is released when you're experiencing that crazy onslaught of emotions.
However, reality says that we can actually control the craziness and, if you will, brush ourselves off and get back in the saddle. How? Well, the first step is to acknowledge what's causing the tension. Then, take a deep breath, slow down (that's a big one for me), and move forward, leaving the anxiety and frustration behind. Set goals for yourself. Start small, show initiative, have the commitment to stick with your goals. Once you've achieved them, set more.
These gradual accomplishments build optimism, so that when stress comes again--and it will--we know how to knock it outta the park.
How do you stay optimistic?
Interesting fact: Did you know that laughing and keeping a good sense of humor actually lowers cortisol levels? Cool, huh?