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Practicing optimism

HPRC Fitness Arena: Mind Tactics, Total Force Fitness
Optimism brings with it a number of health benefits. The good news is you can learn to increase your level of optimism and start enjoying these benefits today.

There are exercises you can do to improve your mindset and your optimism, the belief that things will go well for you in a given situation. This is important because optimism is associated with health benefits such as:

  • less risk of death from heart attack;
  • lower risk of depression following events such as the death or illness of someone close; and
  • better personal relationships.

Military training for contingency planning can help you identify what can or did go wrong as part of your important risk-assessment skills. However, when you transfer these strategies to noncombat life you may find focusing on potential problems hurts more than it helps. Balancing optimism and contingency planning can be difficult, but the good news is that you can learn optimism too. Here are some strategies to get you started.

Optimism can boost performance—give it a try!

HPRC Fitness Arena: Mind Tactics, Total Force Fitness
 “Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier” – Colin Powell, 65th Secretary of State, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and retired U.S. Army four-star General

Optimism is a hallmark of resilience, and being optimistic can enhance your performance. Having a positive outlook can also help you harness your mental and physical strength to deliver your best performance, no matter the conditions. Whether you’re facing physical, mental, or emotional challenges, learn how to shift your thinking from negative (pessimistic) to positive (optimistic), and see how an optimistic perspective can help you achieve a greater outcome. For help on how to accomplish this, check out HPRC’s "Reframe your thoughts for peak performance."

Make the grass greener on your own side of the fence!

HPRC Fitness Arena: Mind Tactics, Total Force Fitness
"The grass is greenest where it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you may be."-Robert Fulghum, author & essayist

"The grass is greenest where it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you may be." – Robert Fulghum, author & essayist

Don’t waste time hoping for a better situation; make the best of wherever you find yourself and plan to be successful while you’re there using the resources you have. Whether you have performance goals of enhancing your physical fitness, becoming stronger mentally, bolstering your spirit, eating better, or enhancing your relationships, make sure that your “tools” are in good condition and ready to be used at any time. This can be particularly helpful if you (or your loved one) are on TDY or deployment because you can carry your performance-enhancement tools within you and employ them when needed.

For ways to sharpen your tools for Total Fitness (resilience and performance enhancement), check out the One Shot One Kill performance enhancement program to be prepared no matter where you are. Or if you have specific performance areas you want to strengthen, check out the other domains of HPRC’s website: Physical Fitness, Environment, Nutrition, Dietary Supplements, Family & Relationships, and Mind Tactics.

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