The post is developed in partnership with BetterHelp.
Constant negativity is a real burden. Whether you realize it or not, negative thinking—i.e. pessimism—can really bring you down, not to mention those around you. Worst of all, constant pessimism can take a big toll on your mental health.
If you don’t have any hope or optimism for the world, what is there to live for? A pessimistic mindset is more likely to lead to mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.
If you feel like you’re pessimistic, don’t worry. There’s always time to change. Read on to learn about four ways that you can combat pessimism.
4 Ways to Overcome Pessimism
While it may seem impossible, overcoming pessimism is possible with enough time and effort. As you’ll see, sometimes little changes can add up to big ones, and you can improve your mental health if you set your mind to it.
Make One Small Change at a Time
If you’re pessimistic, you may be more likely to ignore doing the little things. What do we mean by little things? Errands, household chores, tasks for work, etc. If you constantly fall behind with these things because of your negative mindset, however, you’re setting yourself up for more problems.
So, start out by simply making one small change at a time. Let’s say that you constantly engage in negative self-talk. That may mean things like “Ugh, I suck” or “I always screw up.” Focus on restricting your negative self-talk and instead try being more positive with yourself.
One simple change at a time will eventually add up to a more positive mindset.
Actively Practice Being Optimistic
If you’re more of a negative, pessimistic person, it can be hard to practice optimism. But this is all the more reason to make a point of it. If you actively practice being optimistic, it will get easier with time.
We’re not saying that you can simply pretend to be happy and that you magically will be—if that were the case, people wouldn’t have nearly so many problems when it comes to happiness and mental health. Instead, try practicing being intentional about your mindset, even if just for a couple of minutes a day.
For example, you can try practicing gratitude. Sit comfortably and either think to yourself about what you have to be grateful for or write it down. You may be surprised at the perspective this gives you and how it helps lift you out of your negative mindset.
Take an Objective Mindset
If you’re constantly negative, i.e. seeing the glass half full, you may be doing yourself a disservice when it comes to being objective. It can be hard to have an honest, unbiased opinion when you constantly assume the worst.
While you may think you’re not a pessimist but a realist, as is often said, it’s not likely the case. Many of your negative thoughts, if you think about them objectively, are just that—thoughts. There may be no real substance or factual backing to them if you stop and think about it.
By striving to be more objective about the world, you may start to lose some of your pessimism.
Many pessimistic people reject the idea of therapy as they tend to take a negative view towards nearly everything. This is unfortunate, however, as a therapist may help you better understand where your negativity is coming from and how you can work toward a more positive mindset.
You can also consider taking advice of a trusted friend, family member, or other person in your community. Fortunately, guidance is there for the taking, and there’s an abundance of it nowadays thanks to the internet: https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/pessimism/
Ultimately, mental health is so important to our overall well-being. It can be tough to realize just how much of a burden it is to be negative all the time. Not only does it make you miserable, but it will make those around you unhappy as well. This means people won’t want to spend time with you, which will cause you further mental anguish.
Fortunately, you can alter your negative mindset. It just depends on you wanting to and committing to it. And, if all else fails, a licensed counselor will be able to help you overcome your pessimism.