The key to optimism is gratitude.
Having a private journal is highly recommended, and here is why:
At the start of every day for only five minutes, put yourself in a quiet room, pull out your journal, and write the date down, along with five things for which you are profoundly grateful. Don’t do this while you’re driving and certainly not while you have the radio or television on.
However difficult your life is at any particular moment, if you take five minutes, you will come up with five things about which you can honestly say, “I am deeply grateful for these things—these five things.”
You cannot imagine how effective this is in shaping your entire day. A study actually identified the extent to which people’s health, mood, and effectiveness throughout the day all skyrocketed when they started the day not by thinking, but by writing down five things for which they are grateful.
Try and think of five new things every morning. It’s ok if you are unable to think of them right away, or if there is some overlap. If you can only think of three new things, it’s perfectly fine to use two things from the previous day. The act of thinking about them is what’s important, and committing them to paper is immensely powerful.