Humour, hobbies and friendships: Your tips for staying positive

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Tania Garda

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Tania Guarda says she lets negative people vent and offers constructive criticism, or simply lets it pass

Are you a glass half empty or a glass half full type of person?

A US study revealed that optimists are more likely to live longer than those who have a more negative look on life.

The theory goes that optimists may find it easier to control their emotions which protects them from the adverse effects of stress.

Researchers in the US also suggested that pessimists could benefit if they thought about a future where everything turns out well.

We have been finding out how some of you stay positive and what tips you might have for pessimists.

‘Don’t linger on negativity’

The expression “the grass is always greener on the other side” does not necessarily ring true for Tania Guarda, from Lisbon in Portugal.

“Everyone has problems. I try to enjoy and love my life for what it is. I truly cherish what I’ve got – good health, family, a loving partner and a job I enjoy.”

To avoid anxiety, Tania tries to imagine herself sorting out her problems and focusing on how she will feel afterwards.

She also does not linger on the negativity of others, adding: “I don’t let negative personal comments get to me.”

‘A sense of humour’

Vicki Siska, from Colorado, has been through some stressful times but has managed to remain optimistic.

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Vicki Siska

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Vicki’s partner died after 41 years of marriage but she still remains optimistic and happy

“Music feeds my soul, a sense of humour keeps things in perspective, and I have good friends who love and care for me,” she said.

Humour also helped Pippa Kennedy, from Hertfordshire, stay positive. She watched box sets of the BBC TV series Dad’s Army to help her get through a bad break-up.

“I also think being grateful for what you have – and lots of chocolate – helps,” she added.

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‘Praise yourself’

Susanna Chapman, from Liverpool, told the BBC she tries to praise herself for the smallest possible thing.

“I took the trash out, that was so brilliant, so thoughtful of me,” she tells herself.

Susanna also tries to turn her positives into negatives.

“Instead of thinking, ‘oh no, I stayed up all night watching YouTube’, I can think ‘it’s great that I watched those funny videos, laughter is good for my health’.”

‘Laugh at your misery’

“In Dutch we have a saying “geen groter vermaak dan leedvermaak” meaning “no bigger pleasure than malicious pleasure”, Ad de Leuuw, from Breda, the Netherlands says.

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Ad de Leuuw

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Ad de Leuuw’s late father’s top tip is to “laugh with your own misery”

But the most important tip from his Dad was to learn to laugh at your own misery, which Ad does and says his life is “one big party”.

‘Have plenty of hobbies’

Sue Oakley Dunn, in Kidsgrove, Staffordshire, says she remains positive and healthy because she does “what makes my soul sing”.

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Sue Dunn

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Sue says: “If plan A fails, there’s always plan B”

She also puts her positivity down to having plenty of hobbies and fresh air.

“It works for me,” says Sue who also avoids “scaremongering stories about the sun and alcohol”.

‘Keep fit and healthy’

As well as the benefits of friendship and laughter, Robyn Black, who does yoga and meditation, recommends staying fit and healthy.

“Be grateful, make lists and tick stuff off, keep mentally engaged with things that interest you,” she says.

Compiled by Sherie Ryder BBC News UGC hub