Throwback Thursday: What are you optimistic about?

Hello and welcome to my blog! I am a mess physically and emotionally. My back and neck are strained (pulled muscles) and I have a migraine. Emotionally I’m either angry and yelling or sad and distant. Nevertheless, I’m trying to be optimistic and productive. A year ago, I wrote about a book I was reading but stopped reading a long time ago (I have 9 books I still need to finish) and I wrote this:

What are you optimistic about?

I started reading this book “What are you optimistic about?” yesterday, and it got me thinking.

What am I optimistic about?

The economic fall in Lebanon suddenly rises and for the Lebanese Lira to get its value back?

Nope. My thoughts were accurate. The then 2000LL to 1$ ratio is now 17000LL to 1$ and prices are tenfold everywhere.

The political bickering to stop and for us to finally have a democratic country that doesn’t imprison Muslims just because they have beards and who look after the Sunni Muslims of the country and build our wonderful country instead of putting our money in their pockets, leaving us to starve?

Not really. Again, I was right, and I wish I was wrong.

How about my son being able to go to school this year, as opposed to last year when he couldn’t go to school 1st due to the revolution and then because of COVID-19, and having a normal social life where he can play with his friends and not feel confused about what day it is and why he can’t just go to school?

This year no, but I have hope for him to go next year when he is going to be in 1st grade. True, this year he only attended 2 weeks of school, but he had a graduation ceremony and that made me very happy. Plus, I signed him up for summer camp and karate classes. He got used to staying at home so he makes a fuss every time he has to go but I don’t know if he will be attending school next year, not because of covid, but because of the fuel crisis.

How about this: Do I feel optimistic about getting over my anxiety and depression?

Yes, because I’ve done it before and I can do it again. That’s why I’m writing this post, to find things to be optimistic about. A year passed by and I’m still depressed. I’ve been in and out of depression several times this year. I’m disappointed with how my life turned out but I made my choices and I have to live with them. I’m working on finding inner peace rather than chasing happiness.

Before I continue, what is optimism? To me, it is hope for a better future and it stems from my faith in God. I now believe that optimism is being able to see the bright side in every situation.

Let’s talk bigger.

The book I’m reading was written by 100 people who have never experienced poverty, and who have high social statuses, but let’s see what they’re so optimistic about. In my opinion, the people who wrote this book are 1%ers who no one can relate to. Money and social status play a big role in happiness levels.

I won’t relay the whole book. I’ve only read a few pages so far, but 2 prominent things were:

1. Optimism about decreased violence.

As much as I find it hard to believe, but statistics say that there has been decreasing in violence over the years and that although violence still exists, it is usually hidden and condemned.

My personal opinion is that people with power still exercise their power on the weak, torturing people. And I believe it’s not well hidden, people are just too scared to do anything about it.

I don’t believe violence has decreased. Just have a look at what’s happening to minorities in America, Syria, and Palestine.

2. Optimism about the end of war.

I must say that if it weren’t for my faith, and the knowledge I have, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

See, I’ve read the book “the signs of the day of judgment”, and in that book, it says that Palestine will be freed, and that KSA will become all green instead of being a desert, and that Jesus will descend and kill the one-eyed gargoyle (dajjal) and bring peace to the earth. Now nobody knows when the day of judgment will be, but I have a feeling it won’t be during my lifetime. At the look of things, the apocalypse is nothing like the film 2012, but rather something different, killing us slowly.

I stand by this opinion.

So, what are you optimistic about?

I asked this question on Instagram and one person answered “nothing” while another answered “to get out of Lebanon“, so there’s that.

What am I optimistic about?

1. I’m optimistic about not becoming poor, or at least I have hope and I keep praying. I’m still optimistic about this.

2. I’m optimistic about not catching COVID-19 or any other serious disease. Still optimistic about this.

3. I’m optimistic about not becoming paralyzed, but I’m not so sure about cancer. Both my grandparents died of cancer and 2 cousins of my dad’s as well, but I hope I don’t get cancer. A year has passed and I still feel the same way.

4. I’m optimistic about not becoming obese. I’m not exactly model weight but I have the hope and confidence that at least I won’t go overboard. I’m a little optimistic about reaching my model weight, but not with my current diet.

I don’t know what tomorrow holds for me, and even today is full of surprises.

5. I’m scared, but deep down I have hope that tomorrow won’t suck and that I can become a better person if I keep trying to get over my social awkwardness, and most of all I pray for world peace and the end of poverty. I have lost hope in getting over my social anxiety, but I will keep trying to improve myself.

I still haven’t finished the book, though now I’m tempted to pick it up again, but I got a busy day today.
I got plenty done today but not enough.

21 easily achievable things you can do to be more optimistic

Hello and welcome to my blog! Have you ever noticed the sound water makes when it boils? Yesterday, I taught my son how to know when the water on the stove boils just by listening. He was mind blown. It’s the little things.

We are going through tough times, at least here in Lebanon and many other countries. Some people are thriving, but everybody has problems, even the rich and famous. The trick to getting through life with optimism is to focus on little things that help you look on the bright side.

Here are 21 little things you can do to be more optimistic:

“Optimism is a conscious decision to live your life choosing to have a positive attitude. Being able to look on the bright side can be uplifting and hopeful.”

1. Start journaling. Write down something positive about every day. I haven’t done this but during the day, I slow down and register the positive things, like a nice breeze coming from the window, or my husband and son bonding, or my son playing pretend with the cardboard superheroes I drew and he colored and cut. It’s probably better to write them down, though.

2. Appreciate what you do have. Tell your loved ones how much you appreciate them. I feel so grateful to have my husband and son in my life, and I constantly tell them that. Every once in a while, I let my siblings and parents know I appreciate them too.

3. Be kind to yourself always. Remember you can do anything and that progress takes time. Don’t be so hard on yourself for losing your patience, for procrastinating, for wanting to stay in bed all day. We all have good days and bad days. On your good days, thrive. On your bad days, if all you do is survive, you did well.

4. Make a list of things that you are looking forward to. My author copies arriving. The possibility of going to the beach. Finishing reading all the 9 books I’m in the middle of reading.

5. Think of all the reasons to be cheerful. The sun is shining and so are you. It’s a very uplifting song.

Sun Is Shining https://g.co/kgs/xf1Gwi

6. Don’t compare yourself to others. If you’re feeling envious about something, sit back and think about why and how they’ve achieved that. You are unique in your own way and you can achieve anything you set your mind to.

7. Take time to reflect on what you’ve achieved this year. We’re always in a rush, absorbed by the daily hustle, that we forget to look back every once in a while and see how far we have come. Emotionally, I may have matured only 1%, but I’ve come a long way with my blogs and books this year. I even have a podcast now. I still have a long way to go, and sometimes it seems daunting and far fetched, but looking back gives me the courage to keep moving forward.

8. Look for the good in every single person you see. Humans are a mix of good and bad. Some people have a hard shell but are very sweet on the inside, once you break through their walls of fear, insecurity and shame. Choose to see the good in people, even those who seem unbearable at first.

9. Listen to inspiring music or a podcast. I listen to uplifting songs every once in a while. They really help when I’m feeling down. Songs like “don’t be so hard on yourself” and “fight song”. I also listen to podcasts, such as “the happy times”, “pick the brain”, ” kaylns coffee talk” and “the science of happiness” podcasts.

10. Write down your top priorities and plans for the future knowing that you will achieve everything you want. The key is to plan your future, knowing it will come true. Not as if you are making castles in the sand, knowing the waves will just come and wash them away.

11. Stay present and appreciate the beauty of the moment. (Feeling the sun in your face, details in someone’s face, the clouds, sounds, …) Especially when you are feeling overwhelmed or depressed, be mindful of these tiny moments.

12. Be proud of yourself on the little wins in your day to day. So you’re not feeling very productive today?! Go small. Get up. Make your bed. Grab a cup of coffee. Today I don’t feel like getting out of bed. I’m tired and in pain and my mood is off, but I got up in order to wake my son and get him to eat breakfast, and that was my 1st win of the day. Then I ironed (a tedious task) and kick started my day. My to do list is a bit demanding today but I’m sure if I go step by step, I can turn my day around.

13. Shift your mood by doing something you enjoy. I watched a YouTube video while I was ironing. Then I had to turn my headphones off because my son was awake.

14. For an upcoming situation you’re worried about, write down the best scenario that can happen. I’m worried about the future of Lebanon. There doesn’t seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel and I’m torn between living it up because I don’t know what the future can bring and living carefully and saving up in case there are worse days ahead. The best-case scenario is that things turn around for Lebanon within the next few years.

15. Focus on solutions, not problems. It’s so easy to get caught up in your problems and playing the victim and feeling helpless, but it gives hope to try to find solutions to whatever irks you.

16. Let go of the expectations of others and focus on what matters. It is so easy to get lost in the expectations of our loved ones, so much so that their voices become our inner critic, and their opinions become our convictions. It’s important to find your voice and tune out most of the noise.

17. Surround yourself with optimistic, positive, kind people. There is a saying that you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. In my case, they’re 2 people, but their moods and behaviors have a great impact on me. That’s why I read a lot of positive content online, to try to make up for my lack of a social life.

18. Change ‘I can’t’ into ‘I can’t…yet’. The power of yet is so strong that a book was written about it. I’m YET to read that book (see what I did there?).

19. Take care of yourself. When we feel our best, we can see things more positively. Shower, sleep early, dress up, rest, exercise, eat healthy. I get so focused on getting my son to do all this, I forget about myself most of the time.

20. If you’re not happy with something don’t complain about it. Just change it. Complaining doesn’t yield any positive results. It just sucks you into a vortex of negativity and despair. I know because I tend to complain a lot, but I’m working on changing what I can and letting the rest go.

21. Find three good reasons to be hopeful about the future. My son (I want to see him turn into a young man), my books (I want to keep writing, keep improving, and see my books being bought and hope I make a positive impact on people through my books), and friends (I’m hoping as covid dies down and the economy gets better, I get to hang out with my friends again and go places; maybe even travel).

To do this challenge, go to: https://21dayschallengeapp.com/app/challenge

What do you do to be more optimistic?

Positive affirmations.

What are you optimistic about?