3 Ways to free yourself from pessimism

assorted character wall painting

Have someone ever told you: “Don’t be so negative, be happy! “

Did you find it useful? Research on optimism forecast that the most common answer is no. Happy is a word that people use to force optimism. Just because someone said “be happy” does not give you the tools to deal with a situation that you are feeling pessimistic.

Pessimism is not a faulty personality trait. We all tend to it. Depending on your genes, your upbringing, and your culture, the degrees of pessimism vary immensely. 

Positive psychology points out that people who tend to be more pessimistic tend to see adverse events in their life as permanent. When something goes opposite to what they desire and want, they tend to think that it is impossible to change it. 

On the other hand, people who tend towards optimism could see the same situation, and when they feel pessimistic, they find a way to turn it around. Things are not permanent for them, and they find another option that leans towards positivity.

Some people lean more toward pessimism and others to optimism. But we all have a pessimistic quality in our thinking and actions. If you feel like your thoughts tend to be more pessimistic than what you would like, there are many things that you can intentionally do to start learning a more optimistic perspective of life.

Daily optimism

  1. Let go of things that are not essential. Look around you and notice all the stuff you have but do not give any value to your life. Identify the vital things that you require to meet your needs. The stuff that is not essential, give it away, donate, or recycle it. Focusing on your needs will make you assess what the things that are meaningful in your life are. Doing this exercise of letting go will make you focus on all the goodness you have and how you have a lot more than you think you do.
  2. Stop comparing yourself to others. Pessimism and social comparison promote feelings of inferiority. If you find yourself looking at social media when you feel down, you are more likely to feel worse about yourself and your life. Stop social comparison and any habits that promote this type of behavior.
  3. Maximize your pessimism to find optimism. This option could seem contradictory, but we are looking to create a balance between negative and positive. The best way for me to explain it is to give you two questions. If you only have 24 hours to live, what would you? Would you waste time worrying, disagreements, or complaining? Let go of any worry, rigidity, and need to be perfect and right all the time. Focus on living each day on creating value for others, positive connections, meaning, and satisfaction increasing life satisfaction.

One quote

Here is a conversation between Christopher Robin and Eeyore.

“It’s snowing still,” said Eeyore gloomily.

“So it is.”

And freezing.”

“Is it?”

“Yes,” said Eeyore. “However,” he said, brightening up a little, “we haven’t had an earthquake lately.”

One question

Do you consider yourself a pessimist or an optimist or a bit of both?

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