How to Start Spreading the Optimism This Summer: 7 Simple Tips

by Henrik Edberg

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
Winston Churchill

Optimism.

It can turn a situation that looks negative or bleak into an opportunity or something to learn from.

It can replace the draining thoughts of pessimism with something that will give you more energy and enthusiasm again.

And it can help you to jump over obstacles, to keep moving when you fall or stumble and to not give up just because you have had a couple of temporary setbacks.

So not just adding more of it to your own life but to the lives of the people in your world is good idea.

Because you tend to get back what you give in the long run. And in the short run, well, you get to enjoy the smiles when you spread the optimism. And you’ll boost your own self-esteem when you feel you are doing the right thing.

Here are 7 simple tips that can help you to get started with that.

1. Just be there for someone.

Listen and lend the optimistic and grounded perspective to someone in your life in need of it.

At first I find it best to just the let other person vent, to let him or her get issue at hand out into the light. So I am just there fully and listening.

Oftentimes this might be enough. Because just being there will help him or her to let the emotional tension out and to analyze the issue and to find a solution or to let it go.

If she or he gets stuck in negative thinking or in making a mountain out of a molehill then it can be helpful to add your own perspective to ground him or her and to help shift perspective on the situation.

To make him or her see that if you zoom out then things aren’t that bad really. And together the two of you might be able to find a solution or a first step that he or she can put into action.

2. Play positive music.

Uplifting music is of course a great way to boost your own mood and open up new perspectives again.

You can do the same for people around you. Put on a really positive song when you are hanging out. Or send them an uplifting playlist for Spotify or a similar program.

3. Take 30-60 seconds to give a genuine compliment.

Think about one thing that makes the other person tick. A small or bigger passion. Or something good that people too often take for granted about him or her.

And then give a compliment about that. It often means more than you might guess.

4. Smile.

A smile puts you and the people around you into a better and more relaxed headspace.

It works even when you don’t feel that much like smiling. If you like, do a brief experiment. Force a smile for 30 seconds or a minute if you are feeling a bit negative and see what happens to your mood.

5. Help someone to wind down.

People have been busy with work or school ever since the beginning of the year. This can add a lot of tension and stress. And that can certainly get in the way of optimistic and constructive thinking.

So help someone in your life to wind down. Suggest going for a picnic. Just laugh and perhaps go for swim in the nearby lake or ocean. Just lie together in silence on the blanket and watch the clouds go by for a while.

A break like this can do wonders for the mood and perspective for the both of you.

6. Hug.

A hug is, perhaps often even more than a smile, something that can make someone feel a little better and a bit safer again. Use it when appropriate of course.

But don’t underestimate the effect of it and how that little nudge can turn someone’s thoughts around towards something brighter and more positive again.

7. Pay it forward.

If someone in your life adds a bit of optimism to your life then don’t just return it somewhere down the line. Pay it forward to someone else too.

And together build a growing upward spiral of optimism, encouragement and kindness.

Image by Luz Adriana Villa (license).




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{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

Sue Poucher June 4, 2014 at 6:38 pm

Henrik- Thank you for sharing the best of you. I have visited your sight several times now and each time I have found many useful ideas. Thank you for making our world a better place and for giving me the tools to do the same.

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Henrik Edberg June 5, 2014 at 3:28 pm

Thank you for saying that, Sue, I really appreciate it!

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Jennifer June 4, 2014 at 6:39 pm

I love the pay it forward idea because it really promotes the idea of passing along positivity and becomes this chain reaction and can really go far.

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Henrik Edberg June 5, 2014 at 3:30 pm

Yep, it can grow in ways one might not be able to see or even dream of.

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Sarah Reid June 4, 2014 at 7:12 pm

Hi Henrik-

I love your newsletter. You have a wonderful gift for putting your brilliant insights into sentences that inspire.

Thank you!
Sarah Reid

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Henrik Edberg June 5, 2014 at 3:30 pm

Thank you, Sarah!

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Joyce June 4, 2014 at 8:24 pm

No. 1 is vital. Sometimes people are in difficult situations and need someone to listen. Just stopping to listen is very important and may be a life and death difference.

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Henrik Edberg June 5, 2014 at 3:31 pm

I agree, it can really make such a big difference.

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Diana Marinova June 4, 2014 at 8:41 pm

Pay it forward hits home for me! When i feel down, i always get out there and do something good for someone, for a stranger – just like that, for no reason; just because i can. When i see the smile on their face and the gratitude in their eyes – priceless!!!

Thank you for a great post and reminder, Henrik! Enjoy the rest of your week :)

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Henrik Edberg June 5, 2014 at 3:32 pm

Thank you for sharing your favorite, Diana! You enjoy the rest of your week too!

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Marcia Lannon June 4, 2014 at 9:59 pm

Love reading your suggestions, wish more people would do the same.
I read all of Norman Vincent Peale’s books starting back in the 1950′s,
and have tried to live that way ever since. Know I will enjoy reading
your information. Thank you for sharing.

Positive Thoughts
M. Marcia Lannon

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Henrik Edberg June 5, 2014 at 3:32 pm

Thank you for the kind words and for reading, Marcia!

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Trish June 5, 2014 at 1:40 am

Thank you for always lifting my spirit with your positivity blog. I always walk away with a spring in my step after reading, with a more uplifted attitude and a simplified approach to living and loving life. Thank you.

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Henrik Edberg June 5, 2014 at 3:50 pm

That is wonderful to hear, thank you!

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Mazmoon June 5, 2014 at 2:22 am

I feel as though you’re speaking to me…thank you for all of this.

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Henrik Edberg June 5, 2014 at 3:50 pm

You’re very welcome!

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Melinda June 5, 2014 at 2:50 am

Great suggestions! Love it!
Can anyone recommend good happy music playlists on Spotify?

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Henrik Edberg June 5, 2014 at 3:52 pm

Thank you! I do not have any public playlists to recommend at the moment, but will probably write about later on if I find a few.

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Amy June 8, 2014 at 6:21 am

One song comes to mind: Happy by Pharrell Williams. It *will* make you smile!

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Joan June 5, 2014 at 5:55 am

I really appreciate your insightful articles. They are truly inspiring.

Ive been trying to pay it forward since a stranger bought my coffee in the drivethrough. That was a few weeks ago, and I haven’t yet. No opportunity came up.

I had forgotten till I read this.

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Henrik Edberg June 5, 2014 at 3:58 pm

Happy to hear about that stranger’s kindness, hope you find a good way to pay it forward!

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Sandra Pawula June 5, 2014 at 10:29 am

I vote for smiling! I see what a difference it makes for people when they suddenly catch your smile and light up. Compliments are fabulous too and so is helping others. I don’t think you can beat this list for giving yourself a boost.

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Henrik Edberg June 5, 2014 at 3:59 pm

Much appreciated Sandra, thank you for sharing your favorites!

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Pamela DeNeuve June 5, 2014 at 11:51 am

Henrik, thank you for your post. I love that so many actions on this list involve sharing with others. Pay it forward,smile, help someone wind down, hug and pay it forward are all ways for me to reach outside of myself and spread optimism. I absolutely agree that to share this optimism in our own life but the lives of others.

I had a perfect example this week. I recently discovered I needed to make some major changes in my life. To address this, I decided to write two sentences per day on this topic. One sentence reflected old behavior and another sentence to make an affirmation for my new behavior. I thought of my grandson who is in college struggling with the same issue. I emailed him and suggested we partner and share our “positive” sentence and “negative” sentences with each other.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but my grandson was suffering from a major setback and was depressed. He leaped on the opportunity and we were able to discuss his dilemma and help him make an action plan and we are emailing sentences to each other every day. This certainly helped me and also helped someone, my grandson, who was desperately in need of optimism. Thanks for your reminder.

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Henrik Edberg June 5, 2014 at 4:00 pm

Thank you very much for sharing your inspiring experience Pamela, I am glad that the two of you could help each other out! :)

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NIWARIMPA NELSON June 5, 2014 at 2:56 pm

Surely,i did enjoy reading this,thanks so much

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Jerry Legaspi June 5, 2014 at 8:27 pm

Your blog is really worth reading. No words can really express what I’m feeling right now — its just great. I hope you continue, and someday and I wish very soon, you might just create your own book. Thanks for your reminder.

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Margaret June 6, 2014 at 5:42 am

Henrik, you always seem to know just what I need to hear. Thanks for your inspiration!

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Flaviu June 6, 2014 at 9:11 am

Thank you, Henrik! I am often in search for positivism and your posts are helping me a lot.

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Ian June 7, 2014 at 4:34 am

Hi Everyone.
I find that a smile is such a wonderful thing. Peple respond/engage much more readily if you have a pleasant look on your face.
I hand out the poem below sometimes and often get really good feedback. Lets spread it around the world:

A smile is infectious
You catch it like the flue
When someone smiled at me today
I started smiling too
I turned around a corner
And someone saw my grin
When they smiled back at me
I knew I’d passed it on to him
I thought about my smile
And considered its worth
A smile just like mine
Could travel around the earth
So if you feel a smile begin
Please don’t delete it
Lets start an epidemic quick
And get the world infected :-)

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Ryan Biddulph June 7, 2014 at 9:10 am

Being there for others is an instant positivity booster. Thanks Henrik!

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Jeff June 8, 2014 at 2:35 am

I love the idea of positive music and genuine compliments! Great reminders! Thank you! :-)

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Fr. M Arul raj June 8, 2014 at 4:24 am

Dear Henrik
A Young man with hundred year old man’s wisdom.
You are great and you make your readers great.
Your articles are inspiring and enriching.
God Bless you.

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Tita June 8, 2014 at 1:43 pm

I would say that number 5 also helps you because doing an enjoyable activity with someone else raises your happiness and optimism. Not to mention, you can create some great memories.

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Rizwan June 9, 2014 at 8:06 am

Dear Henrik
Your articles give me energy and hope. I am a Pakistani national. I have lived and taught English in China. Coming back to my home in Pakistan has been a nightmare for me. Drowning economy, low wages, extremely hot weather but frequent power cuts, mosquitos, noise, reverse cultural shock, too much religion, hypocracy. Lying and so much. My wife and other family members rejected me . The positivity which I had grown in me got shattered. I make very little cash to feed my kids. I remain silent because my spouse speaks loudly. This is affecting me and my kids negatively.
I survive by remaining good and myself.. I am so thankful that your articles help me to boost my energy.
All the best
Rizwan

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Sebastian Aiden Daniels June 10, 2014 at 3:59 am

My favorite ones are definitely paying it forward, smiling, and playing positive music. I think doing something nice for a stranger or being nice to someone in a service industry is something that is simple and kind that can pay positive emotions forward everyday.

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Jowett June 10, 2014 at 3:50 pm

Looks like this steps are not only applicable during summer, I love it. Works throughout any season!

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Mélissa June 11, 2014 at 3:43 pm

Your article is inspiring. Thank you for sharing with us.

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Carol June 12, 2014 at 1:17 am

I’ve enjoyed reading your blog and your posts. I’m a student at UofT learning about social media, web 2.0 and the principles of good blogging. The “beat” of your blog is refreshing and informative. You’ve done an excellent job incorporating scannability, authenticity, and voice. Thanks for your continued positive outlook on life!

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Gideon June 12, 2014 at 11:56 am

Thanks a lot Henrik! Just what I needed to hear to keep me through th day.

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Melissa June 14, 2014 at 7:07 am

Great Article! Keep up the great work!

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jocelynchoy June 29, 2014 at 2:56 am

thank you so much for this articles…
They are very useful..

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