Fostering Realistic Optimism

October 29, 2023

A Transformative Journey to Well-being

Shanie Matthews

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500-hr-RYT, YACEP Yoga Alliance registered Yoga and Meditation Teacher and C-IAYT Yoga Therapist trained by the Ananda School of Yoga & Meditation.


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Alongside our trusted yoga poses and mindfulness exercises, there’s a gem from the realm of positive psychology that can play a significant role in your journey of creating the life you deserve. It’s called “Realistic Optimism.” It’s not some elusive trait you’re born with. Rather, it’s a skill we can nurture and harness to transform not just our perception of the world but our physical well-being too.

Imagine your brain as a dynamic dance floor where this superpower of optimism takes center stage. It’s like an upbeat, inspiring track that gets your left prefrontal cortex grooving. This particular part of the brain handles the controls for cognitive management and emotional responses, and yes, we have the power to be the DJ.

realistic optimism

Why does it matter?

Recent studies have shown that tapping into optimistic vibes leads to more motivation and unyielding perseverance. This positive mindset fuels not just your physical health but also your relationship with self and others. And guess what? It even kicks our ability to perform at our best. Now, who wouldn’t want that?

The not-so-sweet news? Pessimism, optimism’s party pooper opposite, usually brings along anxiety as its entourage. This combination can seriously dampen motivation, scatter your focus, and result in less-than-stellar outcomes in life.

But here’s the magic of realistic optimism. It’s the art of blending your perception of life’s twists and turns. It’s like practicing a balancing yoga pose – you learn to find stability even in the wobbliest moments. This mindset opens the door to embracing opportunities that might otherwise appear as risks or failures. It’s all about believing that the future is a treasure trove of promise and adventure.

For all of us on the journey of healing from a TBI, cultivating realistic optimism can be the secret sauce that supercharges cognitive recovery.

7 Tools for Creating Realistic Optimism

So, let’s roll up our yoga mats and get optimistically realistic. Here are seven exercises rooted in positive psychology on engaging realistic optimism, perfect for weaving into your daily life:

  1. One door closes and another door opens“: Begin each day by reflecting on how a challenging experience led to unexpectedly positive outcomes.
  2. Gift of time“: Practice kindness by offering your time and support to three different people each week, making their lives a tad brighter.
  3. Counting kindness“: Keep a daily diary of your kind deeds, strengthening your connection to compassion.
  4. Three funny things“: Chronicle the three funniest moments from your day and dive into the joy they bring.
  5. Gratitude letter/visit“: Share gratitude with someone who’s been a ray of sunshine in your life. If possible, deliver your message in person.
  6. Three good things“: Create a daily record of three positive experiences and dive deep into why they uplifted your spirits.
  7. Use your signature strengths in a new way“: Uncover your top character strengths. Let them shine through your yoga therapy practice. These strengths can be a powerful addition to your TBI clients’ well-being journey.

So, light your inner candle of optimism. Let it illuminate the path to well-being for you and your TBI clients. 🧘‍♂️✨

Seeking Guidance for Your TBI? I’m Here to Help You Thrive. Let’s Connect and Craft a Path to Empower Your Life with Brain Injury Positivity.

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