Do you ever wonder how some people manage to bounce through their life without seemingly having a care in the world? When you see someone who is consistently looking at life in a positive way, it doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t have any worries. It simply means they have learned the skill of being an optimist and looking at the silver lining of most situations.

Being an optimist doesn’t come easy for all of us, and often it’s a skill that really needs to be worked at. However, with a little practice and patience you too can start looking at the brighter side of life. Here are a few ideas to help you get started:

#1 – Think “it’s just a mood.” Sometimes you really do have problems that need to be taken care of. But other times when you feel low, you may simply be experience a temporary feeling. It’s a good idea to look at your worries or feelings and think “is this just a mood or do I really have a problem to worry about?”

By learning to separate our moods and feelings from actual problems, we learn to accept that we feel low but that it is just a feeling and it will soon pass.

#2 – Smile more. Sometimes all it takes is a smile to change your mood. Make it a point to smile at least several times a day – at your children, friends or even strangers. A smile will most likely get another smile in return which will help to boost your overall mood and good feelings.

So even if you’re having a bad day or feeling a little down, try smiling for a while. Accept your feelings and take strength in that you still have control over the outcome of your mood. Smiling will help you gain that control.

#3 – Wake up on the right side of the bed. Optimists wake up and think “today is going to be a good day.” While this may seem easier said than done, it is possible with a little practice. Before you go to bed each night, think about how you will feel the next morning. Imagine yourself waking up happy and full of energy, ready to face your day.

If this is the last feeling you experience before you fall asleep, chances are you will be in a good mood when you wake the following morning. Take a few minutes each night to do this simple exercise and notice how you feel the following morning.

#4 – Keep a gratitude journal. Sometimes we have to be visually reminded of all the good things we have in life. By keeping a gratitude journal you acknowledge the things you are grateful for in life, and this in turn leads to an overall positive outlook.

Start by writing down the obvious simple (but significant) things, like your health, your family, your home, etc. Then go on to more specific things as you feel necessary. This is your journal to express yourself however you feel fit.

#5 – Don’t let others guide your mood. If you go into the grocery store and the lady behind the counter is rude to you, don’t let that get you down. Simply think maybe that person is having a bad day or is dealing with some personal issues.

The best way to stay optimistic is to not let negative people or their problems rub off on you. Accept that not everyone will be in a good mood but that this does not have to dictate the state of your mood. By taking control of your moods little and often, you’ll develop a confidence that will lead to overall optimism.

It’s not easy to be optimistic all the time, and we all have challenging times in life. However, by accepting that we cannot change certain things but that we can somewhat control our moods, you’ve made the first step to a more positive, optimistic you.