Mindfulness Meditations teach us to NOTICE what is happening around us and within our bodies and minds. The first step to becoming more Optimistic is to be aware of what is happening. These practices train us to "observe" what is happening in a non-judgemental manner (i.e. I am not a bad person for having this experience, emotion or thought). Whenever you notice your mind wandering off this present moment awareness CONGRATULATE yourself for noticing, then bring your attention back to the present moment focusing exercise. The more you practice this noticing the better you will become at noticing what is happening in your day to day life. When we just observe and then "label or note" what is happening we shift our interpretation from that of "I AM ANGRY" to one of "I AM EXPERIENCING ANGER IN MY BODY RIGHT NOW." This shift allows us to not get so attached to any experience and that allows us to CHOOSE an action (instead of just re-acting automatically).
Self-Awareness Meditations are exercises that train us to dig deeper into what we are noticing (in our bodies, minds and around us). This helps us uncover the "real story/belief" that is currently active in our minds. These exercises help us decipher what is really at the root of our stories that we are telling ourselves. If we notice FEAR for example then we look closer to uncover the story regarding "WHAT exactly am I afraid of" and more importantly "What am I not trusting that is causing this fear I am noticing right now". Active beliefs/stories create our emotional states and these states cause our actions/re-actions. Understanding our stories/beliefs is the first step to becoming more Optimistic. We can then start to shift our beliefs to something more balanced. For now let's just understand WHAT our stories are.
Re-Framing Meditations help us to re-frame our current beliefs/stories to something more balanced and positive. Our active beliefs/stories create our emotional states and these states trigger our actions/re-actions. Many times our current beliefs/stories are skewed or exaggerated. Noticing when we are doing this allows us to re-frame our interpretation of what is happening (or what has happened) to something more reasonable. It will take time to UNDO long held exaggerated beliefs but neuroscience tells us that what we focus on changes our brains structure and function. Be patient and kind. You WILL see a shift and that shift to more balanced beliefs shifts our emotions to ones that are more balanced as well. There are also other types of Re-Framing Meditations. These are Meditations that change our focus to something positive in our lives. There are Meditations in this list that help you be more kind and compassionate to yourself and others. There are also Meditations in this list that help you to focus on what is good in your life. The more we practice these Positive Meditations the more we shift our thinking in an Optimistic direction.