Being optimistic and looking on the bright side when things are tough, and everything around us seems to be in a state of chaos, isn't easy. It's the only sane thing to do, however, when we're trying to battle against the odds. We need to cultivate a positive attitude, believing in ourselves and our ability to deal with crises. We also need to believe that we're not helpless victims of circumstance and that we can make in a difference in the world.
There is overwhelming evidence that being optimistic helps make us happier, and also that we are likely to be healthier and live longer.. A recent study at the Boston University School of Medicine, based on the long-term tracking of almost 70,000 women and 1500 men over several decades, found that on average the most optimistic men and women had an 11 to 15 per cent longer lifespan.
There are bound to be times when we are overcome by loss, disappointment, or grief, and there are times when we may well feel despair at the state of the world with all its crises. Many people worldwide also suffer from depression, and may need the help of therapy, but there is much we can do for ourselves, when we feel low, to overcome negative emotions.
I wrote The Book of Hope and The Book of Joy (see my books page) to help everyone who wants to be more optimistic and to find happiness and peace of mind. Not only are my books inspirational but they are also practical, with affirmations and meditations, as well as stories of people who have triumphed over adversity. We all need to feel uplifted from time to time - and my books are the perfect antidote to despair.