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Look on the Bright Side Day falls on December 21st every year, purposefully celebrated around the same time as the winter solstice. For centuries, many cultures and religions have viewed the winter solstice as a special occasion. This day is the shortest of the entire year and the longest night, symbolizing the death and rebirth of the sun. The winter solstice marks the moment that the gradual waning of daylight hours reverses, slowly beginning to lengthen our time with the sun. It is often associated with optimism as, though the long night is cold and dark, the sun will shine again, bestowing the Earth with even more energy and light than before.

This point is especially significant for those who did not, do not, or cannot have artificial lighting and a heater to keep warm during the frigid winter months. This solstice presents humanity with beautiful symbolism, a reminder to be grateful for all you have. While being optimistic isn’t the easiest, there is always a reason to have hope, even if it’s merely acknowledging that the sun will rise again.

If that doesn’t encourage you to think of your cup as half full, know that keeping a positive mindset is linked to several health benefits. Not only does optimism support a healthy mind, reducing levels of depression and anxiety, but positive thinking can also increase your life span. An analysis of 15 studies involving over 200,000 participants discovered that optimists had a 35% lower risk of developing heart disease, a 15% longer life expectancy, and a 50% higher chance of living past 85 compared to those with a negative outlook, even after considering “healthy” behaviors.

Along with all the beneficiary results mentioned previously, having a healthy mindset toward life will also make you a better person to be around. Being plagued by negativity like the rest of the world will only perpetuate the undesirable circumstances and feelings you’re already facing. So, be brave and be the change. Of course, it’s natural to be upset; some situations are less than ideal, and some live in our memories forever. However, once the circumstances and emotions are accepted, it is worth it to yourself to focus your attention elsewhere, on something positive.

Try to look on the bright side today and every day forward, working to become the best version of yourself possible. It will help you in both your personal and professional life.