Zen Habits | How to Turn Pessimism into Constructive Results

End of Pessimism by Aphysicist


If I generalize for a moment, most of us struggle with sustaining a positive mindset. Yes, a negative frame of mind cannot be helped at times. These are times of crisis when we surrender to the more defeatist thoughts. However, these times of tragedy are few. At most times, our problems can be easily addressed. The solution is available but we don’t make the effort. This is because we allow negative energy to cement itself in our minds. Once a pessimistic attitude is established, it is very hard to look at the brighter prospects in life. The simplest of tasks seem like an impossible mission. Here, I would like to discuss about how you can turn yourself into an optimist and lead a more fulfilling life.

Try to Engage Positive Thoughts

For naturally-cheerful people, retaining positive thoughts is not difficult. They have loads of positive energy- enough for others to feed off it. The rest of us need to work hard towards raising our quotient of optimism. This might sound challenging but it is just a matter of developing some good habits. At workplaces, we come across the more light-hearted and easy-going people along with negative people.

Try to converse more with the happier souls. Ensure that you don’t get too close with people who are habitually cynical. The more cheerful people you interact with, the better it is for your mental health. Whenever you get the opportunity to share your ideas or intimate thoughts, choose an optimistic person. This will ensure that you are protected from excessive skepticism.

Don’t Escape From Negative Thoughts

You have to acknowledge the truth that just like feeling happy, you will feel low at times. Accept that at some point, you will attract or exude negative energy. Everyone is susceptible to having depressing thoughts. Don’t try too hard to block them from your mind. The harder you try to resist, the more penetrable they get. However, you should have the wisdom of slowly weaning away the pessimism. This clutter of gloomy thoughts is best broken by pursuing something you love to do. It can be outdoorsy stuff like hiking, attending a music concert, or exploring new local marketplaces. Just take up an activity that engages your mental and physical faculties to the fullest, leaving no room for depressive thoughts.

Vent the Negativity

I have realized that negative people are often those who have been bitter for a long time. They don’t know how to create an exit for the pessimism inside them. This bitterness is malignant; like a cancer cell, i.e. it grows and multiplies. Over a period, such people become irritable and bad-tempered. They tend to view every interaction with suspicion. If you too have been unable to drain your negativity, you are at a risk of becoming habitually skeptical. You can avoid this.

Try to identify friends with whom you can share such thoughts. It is better to have a small group so that you can get different perspectives. Communication can be in any form. Even sharing detailed emails with someone you trust can do the trick. If nothing else works, take 2-3 sessions of psychotherapy where you can vent out anything within the confines of a private chamber. If you find yourself being repeatedly overcome with resentment or frustration, try to join a help group where people are encouraged to share their emotions.

Try to Be More Thankful

To turn into a truly optimistic person, you need to develop some new habits. Write down the things you possess or have achieved in the recent past. This could be anything from your new mobile phone to gifting a cardigan to your mother. Try to appreciate the fact that you have much more than people who struggle with necessities like shelter and hunger. I still do this and it helps to declutter my mind. When you develop this habit, it will also become easier to forgive and forget. Letting go of possibly unpleasant emotions is also emphasized by Zen thinking.