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Ask Dr. Lowenstein: How can I be more optimistic?

The last 10 months or so have been difficult for everyone. Yet despite it all, some people naturally manage to remain more optimistic than others. If you’re a glass-is-half-empty type of person, you may need some help to see things on the bright side. Here are some tips for making that a reality.

Hang out with positive people. Make sure the people you spend time with are generally uplifting and not complainers or whiners. Negative people will only bring you down.

Be careful not to believe everything you think. Instead, challenge your negative thoughts and adopt a more positive mindset. It helps to begin each day with at least one goal in mind.

Give yourself a pat on the back. Rather than focusing on everything you haven’t done – or the mistakes you’ve made – congratulate yourself for the things you do well. You may even want to record your progress.

Visualize the best possible outcome. When facing a difficult challenge, it may be tempting to simply give up. Instead, think about what you’d like your life to look like a year from now. Then start working toward that goal.

Express gratitude. Begin by thinking about all the things you have to be thankful for, even if it’s as simple as clean water and a warm house. But don’t stop there. Be sure to thank someone else for the joy they bring to your life.

Remember that there are many things in life you simply can’t control. Those are the ones you should stop worrying about. Focus instead on the things you can control. It begins with an optimistic attitude.

Dr. David Lowenstein is a Columbus, Ohio-based psychologist with more than 35 years of experience. He conducts individual, family, and group therapy sessions in his German Village office and also via telehealth. Dr. Lowenstein is also available for expert forensic testimony; and he delivers a range of educational workshops and presentations. He is frequently called upon as an expert source for print, radio, and broadcast media. Contact Dr. Lowenstein at Lowenstein & Associates, 691 South Fifth Street, Columbus, Ohio, 43206, or call 614.443.6155 or 614.444.0432.