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We all know somebody who always has a smile on their face; no matter what the circumstances. They always seem to be able to look on the bright side of things. With Christmas coming and in the midst of the pandemic, we could all benefit from some optimism. In some ways, being cheerful is a skill, and with some exercises in positivity, like smiling and feeling grateful, anyone can become a genuine optimist. That friend of yours with the indomitable spirit wasn’t born with it—he or she worked towards that positive attitude, and here’s how you can too:

Smile

Studies have shown that even a fake smile will boost your mood. Purposefully smile for a minute or two throughout the day, and you just might notice that your mood starts to follow your facial expression. After doin this for a while, you’ll be practicing a genuine smile each time,

Exercise

Your body is a machine that was designed to function with physical activity in mind. Find an activity that you enjoy, and integrate it into your daily routine. Even starting off with a few minutes a day is a great way to implement the habit.

Practice Gratitude

Part of being an optimist is the ability to look backward pessimistically: what is the absolute worst thing that could have happened? Aren’t you grateful that didn’t happen? -Things could always be worse, and as counterintuitive as it sounds, an optimist is always aware of that fact—it allows an opportunity for gratitude.

If you don’t feel cheerful, that’s ok. But if you’d like to change that, think of this list as ways that you can “fake it ‘til you make it.” If you actively partake in these activities, you will be following the habits of what cheerful people do, and your mood will start to follow.

Before you know it, these good habits will be ingrained and provide further fuel for more good habits. It takes work. But it is worth the effort. Practice these skills, and you will gain a positive attitude that can continue past the holidays and outlast any pandemic.

The Hamlets at Vernon is an assisted-living and long-term care community in Vernon, BC, Canada. Designed to take the worry out of senior retirement home living and following the tenets of Christianity, The Hamlets at Vernon offers compassionate care in a beautiful environment.

If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about our community, please call us at (236) 426-1488.