People use pessimism as a coping mechanism to deal with disappointment. If you believe good things can never happen to you, then you won’t feel bad when nothing goes right in your life.
It’s a type of reasoning that we use to prevent pain and hurt, but the effects could be much worse. Studies have shown time and again that optimistic people live a healthier life than pessimistic people.
But what if you are naturally inclined towards negative thinking? The good news is that it is completely possible to become a positive thinker – it’s a choice after all – and when you do, your life will change dramatically.
The following tips are simple and easy to carry out, and with a little effort, you’ll start to see the positive effects almost immediately!
1. Put things in perspective.
If you tend to see the worst case scenario every time something goes wrong, why not take it a step further.
Exaggerate the negative consequences to include even the most implausible results.
Then do the same, but exaggerate the positive results to fantastical proportions.
- You’ll start to feel silly, but taking things too far in either direction helps you to gain perspective.
- You’ll realize that it’s highly unlikely that the doomsday scenarios you envision as a result of your actions will play out.
- And you’ll see that even your initial reservations are not justified.
Pessimism can become such an ingrained habit that we fail to reason when issues arise, resorting instead to snap judgments. Exaggeration helps stop the habit.
2. Distract yourself.
When we concentrate on doing something, we often forget the pessimism. We switch gears focusing on getting the job done and making sure that we do it to the best of our ability.
Do activities that you are good at and that requires focus. You’ll literary forget to be negative.
When you’ve completed your project successfully, you’ll feel good about yourself, and more confident in your skills.
It’s also usually a good idea to distance yourself from environments that foster drama and negativity. Whenever you find yourself in these situations, you can take steps to put yourself in a different environment especially when you have a choice.
3. Act like an optimist.
Try spending a full day acting like an optimist. Just humor me and try.
Don’t worry if you receive an odd comment or two. When problems arise, act as if you are looking on the bright side of life.
Say how you’ll find a solution and that everything will come right in a matter of time.
You’ll soon find yourself in a situation where your positive outlook leads to confidence, which contributes to actually finding a solution to the problem, which leads to commendations and so on.
Initially, you may feel like cringing inside because of saying and doing things that you don’t actually believe in, but the positive effects will soon catch on and you’ll start to enjoy yourself which will help you make positivity into a habit.
4. Believe in success.
Pessimists are sometimes so used to thinking negatively that they don’t even consider the possibility of success.
They believe they’ll fail – thus making this possibility much more likely. There’s a greater chance of success if you at least acknowledge the possibility of success and keep trying to achieve it.
5. Associate with optimistic people.
Optimism is catchy. That’s because optimistic people can be quite passionate in their belief that everything will work out for the best in the end.
They are very good at motivating people and lifting their spirits up.
- Do more activities with optimistic people.
- Learn from them.
- Ask them why they feel optimistic about things you doubt.
Their reasoning could allow you see things from an angle that you would have never considered before.
You’ll soon see the benefits of being more optimistic. With a positive outlook on life, your mind and body will experience less stress, which in turn will lead to better productivity and better health.
Experiences that challenge us to our limits will always come our way, but optimism is a strong tool to use to face those challenges head-on.