It’s challenging to convince someone with a negative outlook on life to reframe how they see things. But the truth is, it can be easy to always expect the worst. Sometimes it takes a little more brainpower to be optimistic because it means you have so much more to lose. The thought process for naturally pessimistic people may be to expect the worst and hope for the best. But taking a chance on all of the positive outcomes that may occur can actually end up being more beneficial for your health.
Being negative all the time can take its toll on the body, with the individuals being more at risk for developing high blood pressure, heart disease, or even sleep disorders. So while you don’t have to become a full-blown optimist, at the end of the day, making an effort to see the silver lining may just be your chicken soup for the soul and body.
Does Something Specific Cause Pessimism?
People who lean toward pessimism aren’t entirely to blame for their point of view. Some people may actually be genetically predisposed to more negativity than others. Still, it is often the result of some extraneous circumstances that leave a sour taste in your mouth. Traumatic experiences such as illness, the loss of a loved one, a rough breakup, or losing your job can certainly make life begin to feel hopeless. And of course, who wouldn’t develop a cynical outlook after being exposed to those high-stress situations?
Pessimism isn’t something one should aim to eliminate from their lives because it’s just not realistic. Optimism on its own doesn’t mean that you’ll never become ill. In order to experience the health benefits of lower levels of pessimism, all you need to do is find a balance between moderate optimism, realism, and a healthy dose of pessimism. Here’s how you can start making those changes to your attitude:
Give Yourself Credit For The Good Things
It’s easy to get caught up in the adverse events happening in your life, but you’re better off expending your energy on savoring the good things. When positive things happen, take a moment to give yourself credit for making it happen or even inviting it into your life. Appreciate the strength it took to get to where you are now. If you win an award, don’t just attribute your back-breaking work; think about the determination and resilience within you that made it possible.
Focus On Solutions
The next time you find yourself obsessing over a problem, stop for a moment and see if you’re being catastrophic, first of all, but then ask yourself if there’s a solution to your problem. If so, what is it? What steps do you need to get there? If you feel it’s much too long of a process, think about what you can do in the immediate moment that will at least make the problem a little bit better. Want more advice on how to handle negative thinking? Visit https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/pessimism/ to learn more.
Check Your Energy Levels
Are you getting enough sleep? Are you exercising and eating healthy? Sometimes our pessimism can stem from being grumpy because our minds and bodies aren’t getting everything they need to function optimally. Take note of the foods you eat, how much water you drink, and how many hours of sleep you’re getting a night. Think of training for life as if you were an athlete. The more you fuel your body, the better things will turn out.
Choose To Be Realistic
When something negative occurs, you don’t have to approach it with sunshine and rainbows, but you should consider every side of the story before making yourself feel bad. For example, if you failed a test, instead of focusing on the fact that you failed, think about whether or not you devoted an adequate amount to studying. Could you stand to study more next time?
Rather than being hard on yourself, use it as a learning tool to ensure that you’ll have a more positive experience the next time around.
Focus On Your Strengths
If you feel like the world is constantly crashing around you, try thinking about what you can do to make it a better place what strengths and skills do you possess to create the future you desire for yourself. Suddenly, when you look at it this way, things don’t feel so out of your control anymore. Focusing on what is within your power can make you feel like you’ve taken the reigns to life, and it can now be whatever you want it to be. Go out there and create your optimism!
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.