Optimists are "…too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble."
Thankfully, optimism is a habit that anyone can learn. Thanks to the phenomenon known as neuroplasticity, our brains literally grow and change shape, forming new neural connections during repeated thoughts and experiences. By repeating positive thoughts and actions as often as possible, we can train our brains to choose optimism more often, even under challenging conditions.
Optimistic thoughts are actually observable in brain scans. Optimism has been shown to regulate levels of the stress hormone cortisol and increase dopamine and other pleasure-inducing neurotransmitters in the brain. Optimistic thoughts also calm the amygdala (the brain’s fear sensor), which allows the prefrontal cortex to do its best thinking.
So there you have it: Optimism feels good to both the brain and the body. Look, I’m not suggesting that we all go bury our heads in the sand. However, each act of optimism helps train our brains to see the bright side of life and therefore shifts the overall level of joy in the world.
So seek small ways to spread optimism if you can, even if it's something as simple as a smile. Every act of love, kindness, and hope counts. As the song goes, "Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me."