'Why optimism can be hard'

You don't have to join the pessimists.

Charlie Perkins.png
Charlie Perkins.

Sometimes, it's tough to be happy when you think about discouraging things occurring in the world.

It's harder still when the people near you constantly talk about all those negative things. But you don't have to join levels with the pessimists.

On the contrary, it's essential to be optimistic when negativity surrounds you. Then, it's possible to look on the bright side even when no one else does. While most people fall somewhere between being a complete optimist and a complete pessimist, we usually favor one outlook over the other.

Discover how infusing some optimism into your life can benefit your health. If you want to develop a more optimistic person—despite the negativity encompassing you—then you can take action to think positively and spread that optimistic view to persons near you.

You have choices. You can spend the day doing housework or spend the day reading. You can go out to feast or cook at home. You can drink tea with a friend or blow them off.


Thinking about everything you have to be appreciative of, from warm sunlight to clean water, can give you optimism. You might even resolve to keep a gratitude diary in which you pen everything that makes you break a smile throughout your day.

If nothing else, take time to stop, smile and be grateful for the noble things in your life. Then, write a letter to someone who positively impacted your life, whether it's a teacher, a former boss, or even your mom. Finally, deliver that letter in person.

Though staying positive in facing problems can be challenging, remember that optimism is a skill you can learn. Start with a tiny step. For example, you may catch yourself the next time you settle on a negative thought and swap in an optimistic view instead.

About Charlie Perkins

Charlie Perkins is an author, musician, photographer, and videographer based in Rochester. The Chicago-bred Perkins attended Northwestern University concentrating on Radio, TV Broadcasting, and Interpersonal Communications. He spent 29 years at Harris Bank in Chicago and taught “Principles of Corporate Television” Columbia College in the same city. He has also spent 17 years as Unit Manager, Media Support Services for the Mayo Clinic. In a previous life, he covered the Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan’s championship run, ’96-‘98 as a freelance photographer.

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