Emotional Advice on Optimism

Susan Burk says “Always be optimistic, even if you have to irrational about it.” This is closely related to last week’s emotional advice, on faking a smile until you feel one.

So why should we engage in irrational optimism and fake smiles? Surely it would be better to be honest about our emotions. And it’s true. We do need to be honest about our emotions: I’m not advising that we hide, stifle or lie about our feelings. The idea behind both these pieces of advice is to be aware of the effect our thoughts and actions have on our feelings.

Taking an optimistic view of something may not improve the situation. But it can affect how you feel about it. Even if the only result is to laugh at how irrational your optimistic view is. If you can find a way to bring laughter or just a smile into your day, your mood will lift. One way to do this is to intentionally bring joy into your life. Another way is to be irrationally optimistic.

And if nothing else, just spend a few minutes admiring these pictures. I bet you’ll find a smile on your face.