How To Notice & Quiet Your Inner-Pessimist
Have you noticed people are a lot more positive these days? Social media and the internet have helped create a new wave in our culture where positive quotes bombard our screen time and we have become a culture of sharing inspiring tidbits from our daily lives.
We are all finding the more we incorporate positive thinking habits into our day, the more we enjoy life, and the more success we find. So why not make a conscious decision to confront your old ways which might be holding onto the residue of past generations that had more pessimism than optimism?
The positivity generations are making a new world and it means that we each can raise the happiness in our communities just by being positive. We can also start to break out of our fear-based thinking to expand and find our greatest potential!
Think of the fun creative things that optimism can help you achieve at any age. Perhaps you will embark on studying a new career you’re passionate about. Maybe you will decide to start being bolder in your personal fashion or try a daring sport you’ve always wanted to do! Harvard studies have even shown optimism reduces mortality rates and we know it boosts your health significantly too!
We have a simple approach to noticing your inner pessimist that even your grandparents or children will benefit from. Basically, we will notice the thought, redirect the mind, and visualize something positive. Sounds like a cinch, right? Let’s put it into practice so you can see how awesome it makes you feel. But first, consider something for just a moment; this article has found you for a reason and it will be a turning point in your life, for real.
Step 1: Notice the Thought
At a certain time each day - maybe right when you wake up and right before bed - take a moment to check in with your thoughts.
Pessimism will not have a big red sign that calls itself out. You’ll have to notice if you feel negative which will reveal that you do indeed have some pessimism running your operating system.
It might be about many things in fact. It might be a feeling that your life isn’t going well but in truth, you’re allowing yourself to think that it isn’t. It might be that you’re not optimistic about improving certain areas of life be it, home, family, love, finances, health or other topics.
Label the pessimistic thought as best as you can by mentally stating or writing down, “I’m being pessimistic about (fill in the blank).” Now don’t get down on yourself about it or think less of yourself in any way. That won’t help.
Step one is now complete because you’ve recognized it and you can now change it!
Step 2: Redirect the Mind
Now you can redirect whatever you were thinking was going to go bad to a thought that it will go good. Words help guide our thoughts so look at what you said you were being pessimistic about and then create a statement that says it is going well and getting even better. Even if you don’t yet believe this, it will start to shift your deeper pessimistic thoughts that are creating those beliefs and making a self-fulfilling prophecy without you realizing it.
Say this statement as if you already believe it even if you feel like you’re acting. Say it with conviction either out loud, mentally, or write it down. This is a very similar technique that people use to overcome addictions which is that they recognize it and then decide what they want instead. Perhaps this pessimistic thinking is actually an addiction that you picked up from your environment as a kid which you are about to kick by using this simple and empowering time tested technique.
The more you use it, the more natural it is to do it without trying. Soon you’ll be thinking things are going good without having to redirect the thought.
Step 3: Visualize Something Positive
Now to really start to create a new habit and replace the pessimism, we will generate feelings, actual emotions, related to optimism.
They say when you kick one habit it’s easier if you replace it with something else and they also say it takes about a month to make a new habit. In order to generate these feelings and emotions of optimism, we will use visualization techniques. This will start to get you used to feeling optimistic, which is something you will actually experience. It kind of feels like you just found out you won something you really worked for and wanted. Take a deep breath and when you’re ready, you will simply close your eyes and picture the things you said were going well in step two, actually going well.
See, we told you it would be easy. Have fun with the visualization. See the details and notice how you feel when things are going well and outcomes are even better than you wanted. This will start to build lots of positive emotions and after about a minute take another deep breath and notice how different you feel.
The brain doesn’t know the difference between real life and visualization and so this is a powerful technique to boost your emotions.
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A few other ways you can start to notice your inner pessimist is to just pay attention to your thinking and your words throughout the day. When you see someone or hear someone, is your impression immediately negative? Practice consciously noticing positive things about others and you’ll find your day really brightens up. Instead of noticing someone was late, perhaps see that they are able to manage parenting three kids and being good at their job. If you catch yourself saying something negative when someone asks how you’re doing or if your daydreams are dreading doing something or thinking the rest of the day is going to be a drag, consciously make an effort to override that mild pessimism with some spicy optimism by using a mental affirmation that today is going to be awesome.
Keep your words positive and try to compliment people or include more positive words into the way you talk to make your language charged with positivity. It can be really fun to get into this noticing of the inner pessimist as if you are a detective looking for evidence that will solve the crime of you not being as happy as possible!
Using the three steps outlined in this article every day will help you start to see the layers of your own mind and it will help you paint your life with more beautiful colors and experiences. If you truly commit to this just as you did to things you have really cared about in the past, it has the potential to be even more rewarding than anything you’ve ever committed to in the past. It will open up a whole new world for you where you are extremely excited not only when you wake up but all throughout the day.
Get into those good vibrations and start to fall in love with life!
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