Do you think South Africans are overtly optimistic? Or do you think we are particularly pessimistic? According to the latest Perils of Perception survey, if you guessed the latter, then you’re correct! Not only are we particularly pessimistic, we are the most pessimistic nation in the 38 country survey, with Brazil, the Philippines, Peru, and India not too far behind.
On average, it turns out that South Africans are more likely to consider things to be worse than they actually are; especially on issues such as murder, teen pregnancy and immigrant imprisonment. This isn’t great – but we can easily combat this! By following forgood’s eight suggestions on how to be a more positive and optimistic person, hopefully you can influence those around you and we can slowly change our perceptions of our beautiful and dynamic country!
How to turn that frown upside-down!
- Be grateful. Understand the power of having an attitude of gratitude! Think of everything worth being positive about and be thankful for them. Doing this will allow you to only see the positives where others see problems.
- Exercise and eat well. A healthy body makes for a healthy mind! Consider this fitness Opportunity to bike for a Cause – helping the children of Kids Haven in Joburg!
- Imagine your best self. Your best self is strong, confident and intelligent. Once you learn to believe in yourself and carry yourself as such, it’s contagious to those around you!
- Be in touch with nature. This is so easy to do in South Africa, a country regarded as one of the most beautiful in the world! If you need a place to start, how about helping Uitkoms Home for Girls by making their garden pretty?
- Surround yourself with positive people. People can hold us back – or lift us up. When you surround yourself with positive people, it’s hard not to be positive too!
- Give yourself something to look forward to. Like perhaps a volunteering Opportunity, anyone? Check out our Mandela Day Campaigns for some inspiration!
- Look for your silver linings. Try to find the good in the bad. When you develop this healthy habit, it’s hard to not be optimistic!
- Listen to happy music. Music has the ability to take us places that can boost our mood. If you have an old instrument laying around, consider donating it to KidsCan in Western Cape and maybe they’ll play you an uplifting tune!
There is so much power in being an optimistic person and we clearly need that in South Africa. We can’t expect to grow if we are constantly focused on things that may not be so great. We’ve come a long way and we have a long way to go but by helping others and working towards being our best selves, we’re building a better, optimistic nation.