Cheerleaders are peppy people. There’s no denying it. If you’ve ever been to a competition, you know that there are smiles on everyone’s faces. At the Sharks gym, the music is pumping and there is a general vibe of happiness and excitement.
Sometimes, we get asked: “What’s your secret?”
Well… We can’t tell you our secret because there is no secret. The way we see it, happiness is a way of approaching the world and if you start off with a negative mind-set, it’ll be hard to feel joyful. Being optimistic, on the other hand, gets you off on the right foot.
So here are 10 ways you can start practicing being more optimistic (or cheer-ific)!
- Don’t Focus on The Negatives
There’s bound to be some disappointments or stress as you tackle challenges and strive for new heights. That’s okay! The difficulty of a task can often success more rewarding in the end. The trick is to not let yourself dwell on past mistakes or failures. Otherwise, you risk getting trapped in a negative headspace and giving up on what you want to achieve. Instead, pick yourself up and focus instead on how much progress you’ve made.
- Visualize a Happy Day
As you head out each morning, take 30 seconds to sit down and close your eyes. A lot of us are tempted into thinking about all the annoying or scary things we have to do that day. Don’t do that! Try visualizing your day unfolding the way you want it to. This simple activity can boost your mood and transform the way you think about yourself and the day’s work ahead!
- Change What You Can – Little Things Make a Difference!
We all know our own bad habits or procrastination techniques. For some, it’s hanging around people who drain your energy or getting absorbed by social media for hours. Try picking one of those habits and thinking of ways you can stop yourself when you catch yourself doing it. Making yourself do 5 push ups each time you put off schoolwork by an hour is a simple but effective way of combating a bad habit while improving your physical strength.
- Channel Your Inner Coach
Remember the little train that could? He said to himself, “I think I can, I think I can…” He said that to himself over and over. Studies have shown affirmations can make a big impact on your self-confidence and overall perspective. So mute your inner critic and channel your inner coach. Tell yourself over and over that you CAN do anything you put your mind to.
- Celebrate Your Achievements – Big and Small
All work and no play makes for a bad day. Some days you might not get a lot done or you’ve just felt off. There’s no need to beat yourself up over it! The fact is you probably did do at least one good thing that day. So, give yourself some recognition. Celebrate what you have accomplished. Find one thing to feel happy about each day.
- Be Nice to Your Body
Hanger is a real phenomenon. We won’t deny it. Some of the Sharks here can get a little short-tempered if they’ve skipped a meal before practice. And even if you’re not going to do anything physical that day, hunger can still keep you feeling down and tired. You can avoid that by eating! Keep snacks close at hand and enjoy tasty healthy meals to prevent hanger from taking over your day. (Need ideas? Check out some of the recipes we love!)
- Three, Two, One
Our final suggestion is for those days when nothing seems to be going right and none of our tips have had any success. When you experience pessimism overload, it’s time to push yourself into becoming more optimistic and productive. Get out a piece of paper and pen, and write out 3 strengths you have, 2 people you love, and 1 thing you can get done RIGHT NOW. Then, go do it! By forcing yourself to write these things out, you get your mind to focus on just one task (instead of getting lost in a depressing train of thought). Plus, because the first 5 things you write are positive items, you can get an instant boost of optimism. Then, by going to do something immediately after, you’ll be able to distract yourself into a happier mood.
Optimism is Totally Within Your Reach!
Stress and anxiety can wear anyone out. There’s no need to beat yourself up when you’re feeling down. But don’t stew in your own negative feelings. Get moving and get happy!