Optimism is the disposition or tendency to look on the more favourable side of events or conditions and to expect the most favourable outcome. Some people are optimistic by nature, but many of us can learn optimism as well.
One of the strongest optimism exercises that has good research support* is called Best Possible Self (BPS). It is based on visualisations of the best future version of ourselves. The point is not to visualise your greatest fantasy, but a best possible future that is attainable in the real world. After visualising a future in which all our goals have been realised in the most optimal way, we should write about this version of our future selves. That should take a form of a short story, for example:
“In the future, when the coronavirus pandemic ends, I will find time to hang out with my friends. When everything goes back to normal, I will be visiting my grandparents more often than before. Every second Sunday, I will invite my friends to have lunch with me. I will appreciate freedom more and perceive my school responsibilities as an opportunity to grow. I will be satisfied with myself because I will know that I was responsible during the global crisis and I did my best in taking care of myself and others.”
It is important to remember that we can control the way we are dealing with certain situations. Our mental state can impact our health and health-related outcomes. Optimistic people have a lower chance of developing depressive symptoms and tend to have a better immune system.
Optimism can be practiced.
What is your best possible self 5 months from now?