Some people often turn to negativity as their good defence mechanism. Why keep high expectation when you can imagine the worst and be pleasantly surprised when something better happen? However, holding on to such thoughts can hurt both your mind and body. Recently, studies have shown that pessimism leads to a loss of friends and family which in turn invites a sense of loneliness in the individual’s life. It also leads to increasing amounts of stress from reacting to the worst case scenario making people lose sleep and appetite.
What then is the best way to deal with this pessimism that is bound to claw into our lives from time to time? Read through this article to find the best way to defend your mind from wandering into the dark so that you can always keep a positive outlook.
- Surround yourself with optimists
You often imbibe the characteristics of the people that surround to you. In fact, scientific research shows that you are the average of the people closest to you. Therefore, this has to be the short-cut to happiness. Allow yourself to mingle with individuals that have a positive outlook towards life. Don’t cringe at their happiness but try to incorporate that attitude in your life. Talking to them, discussing your problems with them and spending time with them will ensure that inculcate an optimistic outlook.
We have all heard the famous fact about facial muscles being less strained when you smile than when you frown but the implications of smiling are much deeper. For one, they make you look younger (even though they might give you laugh wrinkles!). Second, a research conducted on a group of people, half of whom were forced to smile all through the survey and the other half that scowled all the time, showed that people who smiled constantly found jokes funnier and even their answers were happier in comparison to the other group. Usually your face muscles react to your mood and contort into a smile. In this study it was proved that controlling your expression can also change your mood, a fact that can be very well utilized in therapy.
- Live in the present
Thinking about whether you will have achieved your goals in ten years or whether your relationship will culminate in a marriage might bring a lot of stress. Not everyone can be dreamy eyed and hopeful about the future. So steer clear from thoughts about the future and over-thinking. By constantly thinking about the future you miss out the good things that the present has to offer. Even if you are intent on planning ahead, try imagining good things happening to you. For example, instead of worrying that your dog may not be alive ten years later, think of the fun things that you can do with your dog in the meantime.
- Invest in love
Love the people around you- your family, friends and colleagues. Your warmth towards them will almost always be reciprocated in kind gestures from their side. Kind gestures will in turn reinstate your faith in the goodwill of people and you can start expecting positive things from people. This is an important step towards being an optimist.
- Look for inspirations
Occasionally when you lose the road and cannot help being doleful, an inspirational story or quote can give you something to fight for. Adages like “Every cloud has a silver lining”, “Anything is possible”, “Fake it till you make it” will help you stay strong in the face of all negativities. Stick post-its on your bathroom mirror or work table and try following them in real. Whenever you come across a bump in your peruse these notes to find the one that will get you through that tough time.
- Appreciate the good things in life
Feel blessed with what you already have. It is easy to be jealous of other people who were born rich or won a lottery. We are always looking at other people and sulking about how we don’t have things that someone else has. Instead of doing that, adopt a thought process where you look at what you have and be happy about that. So what if the other girl has flawless skin or hair? You have healthy lifestyle or are doing great professionally. It is not possible to have every good quality in the book. So, we should learn to be happy about what we have and not spend days on end grieving about what we don’t.
- Do not hold on to negatives
So, you heard that someone was talking ill of you or your best friend said some bitter words to you in a fight. Try forgetting such trivial issues as soon as possible. It is usually a big deal in the heat of the moment and you realise that you were inane to have reacted to it so much. It consumes a lot of energy to hold on to negative episodes and mull about it. It eats into the time that we can invest in doing productive work and it also depresses us. It is best to move on as fast as possible. For example, breaking up with a lover is always difficult. But once it takes place, you should quickly move on to better things and not brood upon the bad things. You can engage yourself in work and be productive or you can read or socialize.