HEALTHY LIVING
08/04/2014 08:28 am ET | Updated Aug 05, 2014

6 Things Every Optimist Believes

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What if the solution to being happier and healthier depended on how much liquid you thought was in a glass?

If you approach reality with a glass-half-empty mentality, there may be a thing or two you can learn from those who see it from the other side. Optimism has been linked to better cholesterol, a better handle on stress and a stronger immune system.

So how can we start adopting a brighter mentality? There are certain beliefs people on the sunny side remind themselves of on a daily basis -- and just knowing these facts enhances how they live their lives. Below, find six silver linings optimists know to be true.

Good things are going to happen.
rainbow

Life is a series of ups and downs -- and when they're in a valley, optimists anticipate the peak that's right around the corner. It's that buoyant attitude that can better help you cultivate resilience, writes psychologist Sherrie Bourg Carter, Psy.D. "The truth is that disappointments and challenges are an inevitable part of life," she explains in a Psychology Today blog. "So why not view them as opportunities to learn, grow and improve? If you do, you're on the road to resilience and that's exactly where you want to be during tough times."

Gratitude makes you stronger.
Optimists aren't just very aware of the positive aspects of their lives, they make sure to take stock of them. As a result, these simple acts of gratitude improve their mental well-being. Research has shown that expressing thanks can increase joy, result in better sleep and even improve heart health.

Tomorrow is a new day.
morning

As Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, "Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense."

Optimists know that when things don't go their way, they've just had a bad day -- not a bad life -- and a new one is coming tomorrow. Optimists know tomorrow is a fresh start, which can in turn help lessen the negative experience of that bad day. Not a bad way to end a bad day, after all.

Anyone has the power to make a difference.
Part of having a sunny disposition is choosing to see all the goodness that exists in the world. While some may feel this is a daft outlook, optimists may see their attitude as a way to make a difference. Research suggests this approach benefits them: A 2013 study found that realistic optimists were more likely to achieve more success and happiness due to their positive, yet grounded views.

Sleep is critical.
dog sleeping

No one likes to be around someone who wakes up on the wrong side of the bed. In order to have a positive attitude rather than a grumpy one, optimists get their proper shut-eye. And this habit helps: Research suggests that getting enough sleep may be linked with positive personality traits, such as optimism and self-esteem.

Forgiveness is key to a happier life.
We all have our pitfalls -- and optimists choose to see those as opportunities for second chances. As Contagious Optimism author David Mezzapelle explains, adopting a bright mentality allows you to let go of a grudge in order to live a long, joyful life.

"This is easier said than done but you need to forgive those that have affected your ability to find the silver linings," he told HuffPost. "I believe that the easiest way to forgive and move on is to reflect on the fact that the past is the past. Just look at it this way; the person that you are having a hard time forgiving probably wishes that he or she could erase the past as well."

This GPS Guide is part of a series of posts designed to bring you back to balance when you're feeling off course.

GPS Guides are our way of showing you what has relieved others' stress in the hopes that you will be able to identify solutions that work for you. We all have de-stressing "secret weapons" that we pull out in times of tension or anxiety, whether they be photos that relax us or make us smile, songs that bring us back to our heart, quotes or poems that create a feeling of harmony or meditative exercises that help us find a sense of silence and calm. We encourage you to visit our other GPS Guides here, and share with us your own personal tips for finding peace, balance and tranquility.

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