It is often said that there are two categories of people: those who see the glass half empty and the others, who prefer to see it half full. Philippe, Florence, Anaïs, Éric and Théo are part of the second camp. They have this trait that many envy them in the face of the crisis we are going through: optimism. Either “a frame of mind which consists in seeing the good side of things, to find that all is for the best, to not worry about the present embarrassments and to augur well for the future”, according to the definition of the dictionary . But in practice, how were they able to overcome the year 2020? And how do they initiate the one that awaits us? Overview of their tips to apply on a daily basis.
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Anaïs, 31, communication manager in the restaurant business. Last March, with the approach of confinement, while some were biting their nails in anguish, Anaïs, she was planning her exile in a house on the beach in Normandy. “It was obvious that I was not going to go through this situation, I wanted to be an actress of a positive moment,” she recalls. Today, while her sector is suffering the full brunt of the crisis, the thirty-something, who has the chance to continue working, refuses to give in to the sirens of “ambient hysteria” and instead prefers to gain height on the situation. . “This is an opportunity to play sports at home, eat less, drink less and then frankly, I tell myself that in a completely different context, with the cold of January, I would not have had this vital need to go out every night, ”she concedes.
In the event that boredom awaits her, she concocts atypical activities, in compliance with sanitary rules: a 45 km bike ride or even a wetsuit swim in a sea at 16 ° C. “I have this superstition peculiar to my Algerian origins which leads me to believe that negative thinking does nothing good,” she admits. So I always prefer to favor the positive to create a virtuous circle. ”
Create rituals and keep a journal
Florence Servan-Schreiber, 57, journalist and author of Bloum: write to flourish and enjoy (Ed. Marabout). For many years, Florence Servan-Schreiber has applied in her daily life and those of her readers the principles of positive psychology, this “science of happiness” aimed at revealing our inner potential. The journalist is convinced of this: human beings are capable of influencing their life and thus their optimism. Starting with the creation of rituals. “Having regular dates that make us feel good is an invaluable source of energy to deal with anything,” she says. A commitment in an artistic field, the cooking of a tasty meal or a conversation with friends, bring a reassuring lightness.
And the impact would be twofold if it is a new activity. “Nothing fuels our optimism more than having the feeling of progress,” she says. For that, you have to take the plunge, confront something about which you know very little in order to feel yourself building a new skill. ” Take a course, try origami tutorials or register for a writing workshop, for example. The journalist also pleads in favor of intimate writing in her latest book. “By keeping a very brief but daily diary of our troubles, doubts and successes, it becomes easy and reassuring to see to what extent difficulties which seemed insurmountable to us have been dominated and for the most part already forgotten,” she notes.
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Observe the weather and listen to testimonials
Théo, 36, architect. As long as he can remember, Theo has always loved taking light, literally. When he was little he often had his suspenders pulled up when his head was in the clouds or when his nose was stuck to the classroom window. “We have no control over the weather, but we know that after the rain comes good weather. It may sound silly, but I have always found this prospect very reassuring, ”he says.
When the sky is gray and the temperatures drop, the architect seeks the ray of sunshine from those close to him, “the smileiest and funniest of course” and, where appropriate, in inspiring audio testimonials. Her favorite podcast? Feet on the ground, broadcast on France Culture. “A gifted woman who listens to the trees talk, an illiterate man who learns to read at 40, suburban kids who build huts in the forest of Bondy… These are life stories that give you a little faith in human, he reports. My favorites are those made by journalist Élise Andrieu. There is no better remedy for melancholy. “
Feed humor and watch for innovations
Philippe Gabilliet, 62, professor of social psychology, spokesperson for La Ligue des Optimistes de France and author ofIn praise of optimism (Ed. I have read). Looking into the retro of 2020, Philippe Gabilliet struggles to find anything to complain about. “I have no reason to be pessimistic, I can continue to work remotely, I take more advantage of my wife and my two daughters and I even have time to watch series on TV”, summarizes- he. Faced with a situation of adversity which limits us in action, this “born optimist” praises small pleasures. His ? Call friends every week at a fixed time to have a drink via Zoom and share jokes and humorous videos around the theme of the pandemic. “More than ever, it’s important to play down the situation,” he underlines. It is not a tragedy but a collective ordeal that we will overcome. ”
According to him, we can also take a look in his history books to put things into perspective. “We have been shown time and again that any major crisis leads to a rebound or a very strong recovery,” he says. To nourish this reasoning, be careful not to go through the information too much, sometimes too anxiety-provoking. The professor of social psychology likes to consult the media highlighting “novelties that bring hope”, like the editions of Libé des solutions, by the newspaper Liberation. “This helps fuel my unbounded belief in human intelligence, its capacity for innovation, invention and adaptation to difficulties,” he concludes.
Read (and reread your bedside books)
Éric Antoine, 44, magician, TV host and author of Magic Optimystic (Ed. Robert Laffont). While theaters and shows have momentarily lowered the curtain, Eric Antoine has developed an interactive and dematerialized show, Connections, to continue to make its spectators laugh and dream. The fault (or luck) with his insatiable curiosity, “a motor of optimism”, according to him. “To question oneself, not to constantly seek the ticket of pessimistic confirmation, contributes in a certain way to looking at the world differently, to heal oneself and thus to develop one’s creativity,” he observes.
Books also contribute to this better perception of the events around us. During confinement, Eric Antoine plunged for the third time into the famous novel and second prize Goncourt by Romain Gary, The life ahead. “A magnificent filial love story between an old Jewish prostitute and a little Arab boy”, summarizes the magician. According to him, the author addresses everything that makes “the lightness and the difficulties of humanity”. He adds: “It is one of the books that will accompany you all your life and which will enlighten you a little more with each reading about you”.