Looking on the Bright Side: Outlook Skills

Life is bound to be stressful, but there are things you can do to reduce the amount of stress you juggle on a daily basis. You can decrease the amount of stress you have by viewing events in a different light. The ways you cope by adjusting your viewpoint are called Outlook skills. These are particularly helpful when you:

  • feel depressed,
  • tend to be cynical,
  • experience grief, and/or
  • limit yourself.

You may already be familiar with relabeling — rather than assume the worst, allow yourself to look at it another way. Rather than get cranky your dentist is running late and you’re stuck in the waiting room, think of it as extra free time and let yourself relax.

Another way to change your outlook is called whispering. Let’s face it, we all talk to ourselves. We don’t always do it aloud, but we are the film critics to the movies of our lives. Maybe you spill something. Do you usually think something such as “oh good job!” sarcastically? Or do you clean it up and go on your way? Try whispering good things to yourself instead. You can combat that little nagging voice. Try making an index card with a list of positive messages. If you start to get down on yourself, just look at that card. Add to it when you want, and carry it with you.

  • Do you let your inner voice bog you down?
  • Do you relabel, or do you sweat the small stuff?