There are many things in life that you can’t change. The good news is that you can change your attitude about them. Optimism is a tool that can help you stay on the sunny side of life.

When you approach life with an optimistic attitude, you will attract positive things that help you thrive instead of merely surviving.  Are you unsure how you can muster that positive thinking? We have some ideas to help you.

Twenty Behaviors That Help You Look at the Sunny Side

It’s just as easy to have positive thoughts as negative ones. With a bit of work, you can change your mindset and life. Here are twenty ways optimists look at the sunny side–even on their worst days.

1. Practice Gratitude

Do you know that special feeling you have when someone surprises you with a gift? When you smile and offer a sincere “thank you,” your thankfulness is a blessing to the giver. Try to keep that attitude of gratitude with everything in your life, which only makes things brighter.

Remember to thank everyone for the smallest acts of kindness. Count your blessings and consider creating a gratitude list. The more gratitude you show, the more positive affirmations you send into the Universe.

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2. Spend Time Outdoors–on the Literal Sunny Side

If you want to stay on the sunny side, it makes sense that you spend some time outdoors. Mother Nature is the perfect mentor to show you how to be more optimistic. She teaches you that the dark storms won’t last forever, and a stunning rainbow can inspire you.

Even if you have an indoor job, try to go outside and get some fresh air during breaks. Spend a weekend camping in the woods or spend an afternoon at the seashore. Delight in watching the beautiful wildlife that shares this world with you.

3. Do Good Deeds

Saying something kind and uplifting to someone doesn’t cost you a cent. In fact, being kind to others is priceless. If you want to be more optimistic, try bringing other people to the sunny side by doing good deeds.

According to an article published by the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, doing kind deeds for others makes a brighter world. Per the article, it can also boost your serotonin levels and make you feel happier. What’s there not to love about bringing joy to other people and yourself?

4. Use Your Sense of Humor

Another great way to keep on the sunny side is to keep your sense of humor. No wonder even ancient physicians prescribed laughter as a medication. It soothes your spirit, lightens your burdens, and boosts positive thoughts.

Keep a good sense of humor and enjoy a hearty laugh every day. Please don’t take our word for it… here’s advice from one of history’s great thinkers.

“He who laughs at himself never runs out of things to laugh at.” – Epictetus

Watch a funny movie with your partner or go to a comedy club. Read a joke book or some humorous essays. Never miss a moment to giggle, laugh, or even chuckle.

5. Rest Your Mind to Be Open to the Sunny Side

It’s not easy to have optimistic thoughts when your mind is exhausted. Your brain is just like every other part of your body. To perform at optimal levels, you need to give it some rest.

You don’t have to go to sleep to get rest. The best way to give your mind a break is by diversion. Do something relaxing and stop focusing on problems for a while. A well-rested brain is more apt to find better solutions and make you more positive.

6. Surround Yourself with Other People Who See the Sunny Side of Things

Remember the old saying that one rotten apple can spoil the whole basket? It’s the same way with a pessimistic attitude. When you hang around people who are always grumping and spouting negativity, their attitude soon rubs off on you.

Instead, surround yourself with people who have a positive outlook on life. It doesn’t mean they are perfect or without problems. They have just learned to accept life as it comes and improves their coping skills.

7. Avoid Ruminating about the Past and Worrying about the Future

It’s disheartening to see how many people waste their present by living in the past. They often begin their thoughts with “if only” and “what if.” These statements are not evidence-based. Moreover, they can harm your well-being.

Neither is it healthy to worry about the future. Counselors often observe how so many people have anxiety over things that will never happen. That’s enough to make you want to live in the present and be happy.

8. Try to Find the Positive in Situations

Having an optimistic view doesn’t mean that you are oblivious and carefree. Nor does it mean that you live in a world where everything works out perfectly. You can be a realist but still, hope for the best.

9. Practice Mindful Breathing

In the Greek language, the word “pneuma” is the same for breath as it is for the spirit. Yogic traditions also equate your energy with breathing. Mindful breathing works in tandem with yoga practice and other mindful exercises.

Try taking a slow, deep breath through your nostrils and holding it for several seconds when you feel stressed. Then, gently exhale through your mouth, aware of the warm, life-giving oxygen. Mindful breathing benefits your body as well as boosts your spirit.

10. Take A Walk

The next time you feel frustrated or downhearted, try taking a walk. It is good exercise, but it gives you time to free your mind. Walk around the block or wander through a park or the forest.

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11. Connect with a Friend

Being connected to others is a basic human need. It’s what builds a sense of community and personal empathy. While you need some solitary time, don’t forget to reconnect with your circle of family and friends.

12. Get a Good Night’s Sleep

When you don’t get enough sleep, you’re probably cranky in the morning. You go throughout the day in a zombie state, looking for the next cup of coffee. According to an article published by Harvard Medical School, positive thoughts can lead to better sleep.

Conversely, negativity can interrupt your sleep patterns. It can create a brain fog that makes it difficult to concentrate. Give the sheep a break and think on the sunny side for better slumber.

13. See the Sunny Side by Giving Yourself a Pep Talk

Do you ever pay attention to how you talk to yourself? Do you create positive affirmations in your mind, or is it a constant inner chatter of negativity? Boost your self-esteem and confidence by repeating positive affirmations and mantras that resonate with your spirit.

14. Get Your Body Moving

If you live like a couch potato, you’re bound to be more pessimistic. A daily exercise regimen keeps you physically fit, but it benefits your mind and spirit. Getting healthier is something to bring you more joy and may extend your lifespan.

15. Do Something Fun

There’s a reason why people say that all work and no play make you dull. While you need to work for a living, you still need some time for fun. Schedule time for some of your favorite hobbies or do something exciting with your family or friends.

16. Write in Your Journal

Journaling is an ideal way to put your thoughts and feelings into words. As you reflect on your entries, you can see moments that inspired you and made you happy. You can build on your experiences and compose a gratitude list.

17. Practice Meditation

You don’t have to resign yourself to an aesthetic lifestyle to benefit from meditation. Designate a quiet space in your home or office to sit or lie quietly. As you practice mindful breathing, allow your brain to clear itself of negative thoughts and be in the moment.

18. Nourish Your Soul

There’s a big difference between being religious and being spiritual. You needn’t belong to any particular religion to attend to your soul. You also don’t have to appeal to a specific deity to reap spiritual benefits.

Nourish your soul with meditation, visualization, prayer, or whatever works. Maybe you attend a place of worship and find comfort in faith traditions. Remember that your spirit is just as important as your body and mind.

19. Celebrate Small Victories

Are you tired of procrastinating your joy? Take a walk on the sunny side and use any occasion to celebrate. When you lose a few pounds, break a bad habit, or finish a project at work, make a celebration of it.

20. Bring the Sunny Side to Others

One of the best ways to cultivate joy in your life is to bring it to others. Consider volunteering for a worthy cause that’s dear to your heart. It makes you feel good, and you’ll be doing something worthwhile for others.

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Final Thoughts on Finding the Sunny Side So You Can Stay Optimistic in Life

While nobody walks on cloud nine every minute, the good can still outweigh the bad. Joy isn’t an emotion but rather a choice that you make. When you choose to be positive, your path will be brighter and your life sweeter.