Attempting to ban pessimistic thinking

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, July 1, 2015

For most of my life, my outlook on situations has been pessimistic.
The website defines a pessimist as a person who habitually sees or anticipates the worst or is disposed to be gloomy.
At some point, in most of our lives, we’ve been disappointed by people we thought of as close friends and disillusioned with ourselves when we experience setbacks in the workforce.
For me, it’s been hard to place trust in people for fear of getting hurt or letdown. But I realize, probably the main person I’m hurting is myself.
I could be losing a great friend or missing out on a lot of great things in life because of my inability to trust and let my defenses down.
Life is not an easy ride. And it’s certainly not made any easier by putting ourselves through grief when we create misguided scenarios in our heads.
In an article on, the author states, “We put ourselves through so much stress, anxiety and mental anguish because we dwell on negative possibilities that aren’t actually happening. It’s a case of overactive imagination being used for ill, not good. We could save ourselves a lot of suffering if we could stop our minds from dwelling on the most horrible ‘what ifs’ we can come up with.”
As hard I try, my optimism almost always takes a back seat to my pessimism. My philosophy has usually been “expect the worst and you won’t be as disappointed.”
Lucky for me, the article also lists a number of strategies to help me become a more positive thinker.
The first tip is acknowledging how busy people are and don’t get upset when you don’t receive a response in what you believe to be a timely manner. Next, stay busy and don’t dwell on negative outcomes, the website states.
The author also suggests meditating when you’re infatuated on a negative possibility and take steps toward a solution when you are expecting a certain negative event, however likely or unlikely it might be.
The next time you find yourself dwelling on the negative, call a friend you trust and talk through your feelings. According to the article, focusing on the negative promotes low self-esteem and prevents people from taking risks. A way to avoid this is to retrain yourself to look for the positive.
Another tip is to the trust the master plan and believe that the universe is not out to get you. The majority of the time, things work out. The author also suggests stopping being so unkind to yourself. Dwelling on how inept you think you are and engaging in negative self-talk are unhealthy behaviors.
Try giving others the benefit of the doubt, the author states. “Unless you actually work for the Psychic Friends Network, remind yourself that you aren’t a mind reader the next time you find yourself assuming the worst about someone else’s thoughts or motivations.”
Live in the moment and even when things don’t go our way, life goes on, the author states. Finally, the author suggests writing about your worries.
We’ll see if the pessimist in me is ready to embrace the positive and stop thinking the worst.

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