The Power of Optimism

The benefits of optimism are many

The Power of Optimism

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A sunny disposition can go a long way toward seeing you through a difficult time. Right now, with novel coronavirus fears multiplying by the day, finding your happy face can be a challenge. Here are some insights and inspiration to help you stay positive.

Many state governors, including Colorado’s Governor Polis, have recently issued executive orders requiring people to stay home as much as possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19. That’s a tall order when we can’t dine-in at our favorite restaurants, workout at the gym, meet our friends for a drink after work or browse the bestsellers at the local bookstore. Managing through this difficult time looks different for every person, but choosing an optimistic outlook, even if you don’t come by the attribute naturally, can go a long way toward helping you navigate through to the other side of this crisis.

An Optimist Inoculation?

Optimists not only feel better, they are better. Studies show those who looked on the bright side of situations were healthier overall, with more robust immune systems. According to the Global Wellness Institute, “Across all the data, there was a strong relationship between optimism and lower risk of disease, with optimists having 35 percent lower risk of cardiovascular events—and a 14 percent lower risk of premature deaths—than pessimists.

How to Be an Optimist Right Now

More 1:1 time. Why not invest the extra time we suddenly have into nurturing both old and new relationships with the people in our lives. It could be as simple as checking in with an elderly relative, with the neighbor down the street or a friend across the country with a quick text or phone call before checking work email. In business communications, consider asking colleagues and clients about their lives beyond the scope of a project. For laughs and camaraderie at a safe distance, consider hosting a virtual happy hour at the end of the workweek. By viewing others through a new lens, you expand possibilities to deepen relationships.

Optimists can find happiness even in little thingsGet Moving. As the U.S. warms up to spring and summer, there’s no better time to tune-up the body with a little or a lot of physical activity. Consider this a New Year’s resolution reboot. While the gyms are temporarily closed, you can still do yoga on the deck of your apartment, take a jog around the neighborhood, skip rope in the driveway, play a game of tennis or go for a long, solitary hike or bike ride.

Go all-natural! Please keep your clothes on when you explore nature, but do get out for a dose of Vitamin D. A long wander in the woods can do wonders for your outlook. Being in nature is also a great reminder that things will return to normal eventually. Just as the seasons come and go, this virus too will pass. Amid all the signs shouting “Closed due to COVID-19,” the beauty of nature can help recalibrate our over-stimulated brains.

Be grateful. While there is much uncertainty in the world at this moment in history, there is also much for which to be thankful. Now is an ideal time to keep a gratitude journal. Record the big things you’re thankful for—running water, friends, health, top-notch medical care, as well as the little things you might otherwise overlook—sunshine, eggs, technology, crocuses. Before you know it, you’ll have quite a list. When you’re feeling down, scan your list to raise your spirits.

Opportunities to Help. Every optimist knows if you want to feel better in a hurry, help someone else. If you look, you’ll find opportunities everywhere, especially now. Say thank you to the familiar, friendly faces at your local grocery store, make a donation to your favorite charity, smile and say hi to every single person you encounter on your walk, run to the pharmacy for a neighbor, lift spirits by turning on your outdoor Christmas lights, buy gift cards to support local restaurants and businesses. Opportunities are everywhere if you look.

We, at Iron Mountain Hot Springs, look forward to seeing you again soon. In the interim, we encourage you to be optimistic about the future.

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Karin Gamba

Karin Gamba has been writing professionally for the travel and tourism markets for nearly two decades. She has promoted a wide array of travel products that include destination towns, vacation resorts, golf courses, ski areas, spas, hotels, restaurants and countless visitor attractions. Karin especially loves writing about her hometown of Glenwood Springs.