So, I have realized recently that I have a tendency to be a pessimist. There was a time when I was more optimistic... before I learned more about the world, actually. It seems the more I learn about the world and what it really means to live in it, the more pessimistic I get. But the darker my outlook, of course, the worse I feel and the worse the world looks to me. I have also noted a possible tendency to self sabotage, as if success scares me, or as if I don't believe I deserve it. Part of that's laziness and part of it is somewhere else.
What I wanted to find out is this: for those of you who have changed their own minds, and your responses, how did you do it? For those of you who are trying, what are you trying?
My goal is to be able to see the bright side of things more often and to deal with criticism in a non self destructive way. I want to be more open to learning and be better at thinking things through before doing them. I'm tired of being a bundle of raw nerves, reacting when I shouldn't, and generally being infantile. I thought I was making a lot of progress for a while there but it's never permanent.
So, for those who have had success in becoming more optimistic and starting to see the good in things, what worked? I want to get to the place where I can think "hey, I have a job! They pay me to be there!" instead of "ugh, I have to go to work."
First of all, if you say ugh, I have to go to work, then you are in the wrong job. People that are happy at work, are happy to go to work. They "LOVE" their job's. If you are not happy to be there, then you are in the wrong job. If what you really want to do is out of the question, then can you find a happy medium? Or, is the market so bad, you have to stay where you are, then you just have to make the best of it!!! You have to find something that is good there. Perhaps a friend? Someone you can only see at work? Or maybe, some part of the job that is enjoyable? Focus on the things that you like, or enjoy, and things will look better to you!
That same thinking can work for your outlook on the world, also! Find those things you like, or enjoy, and concentrate on those! THAT, is what I have to do, while I am stuck here at home, in pain so dire every day. I concentrate on the things l like to do, read good books, work crossword puzzles, play with my pet rat, Bubba. I think of those things that I enjoy, and it helps me have a better outlook, period. Pessimistic? I used to be the King! Not any more. I decided to be happy, no matter what pain I have to live with! And I am! I appreciate the small things more. Like a visit from a friend, or family member. Or I go visit the same. I still enjoy a walk around the neighborhood, looking at the flower's, saying hi to stranger's, enjoying the weather. I do whatever it takes to find some kind of joy in my otherwise barren existence. I am much happier for it.
I don't know if this will help you or not? But I had to try! No matter what come's my way, I try to make the best of it, you know? When you face a negative situation, try to see the good in it, if any? If not, try to infuse some good into it, if possible? These are some of the things I do, to make this world a better place!
Sounds like a lot of it just comes down to making the decision to see the good in everything. Thanks, Dennis, it did help because there were some valuable reminders in your post. It's a skill I need to relearn, so I'd better get to practicing.
My job isn't the best, but there is a lot of good in it. I'm pretty much stuck in this field because of my education and the economy, but within this field I have one of the better jobs around because I don't have to sell and I feel like I get to help people. I know ultimately that I don't need to enjoy my work, that's why they pay me to be there after all, but finding the good aspects of it helps the day go by faster.
Still, the takeaway message is to just practice looking at the bright side of things. However I do it, whether it's gratitude lists or mindfullness or affirmations or whatever, the point is, do something. I appreciate your response.
Hi Roh, I have to say I lost my pessimistic view of life when I divorced my ex. Not suggesting that for you. Here are a few things I noticed I did that really helped me change after I divorce her . 1. Get out of the house. Sit in a park and eat a meal. Could be by yourself or with family/friends. Look at the beautiful world around us. Feed the ducks & other birds.
2. Go somewhere near home you always wanted to visit, but never do. Walk in the park, visit a museum, look at an art gallery, or just go watch a movie. Think about what is going on around you. Remind your self how wonderful your children and your spouse are. All I did when I was with my ex was work and come home. I never took time to just enjoy.
3. Realize every day you wake up, it's a good thing. You go to work and have a job. It may suck, but look at the unemployment in most of the US. I would rather scrub toilets and pick trash than sit on my butt and collect a check when I'm physically able to work.
4. Find something to believe in. Plain and simple, everyone needs something to believe in. Believe in it and jump in whole heartly. You will find joy in that. Me it's Boy Scouts. One of the best way to show our young people nature, the glory of this world and give them self worth.
5. If you have a bad habit, stop it. From biting your fingernails to smoking. Find something to stop that improves your life. It's a hard struggle, but well worth it.
All in all, look at the good things around you and let the little things slide. If someone cuts you off and no one is hurt, forget about it. It isn't worth the aggravition. If you work retail and a customer is complaining at you, be nice and then realize how crummy they must be in life to let little things get to them. Good Luck
My thoughts are that you find life brighter when you have done things by yourself to improve it Not necessarily for yourself but maybe for someone else.
So, is there anything at work that you could improve? Maybe work techniques, making something simpler to understand/do, brighten up the office, build a useful database, or something else? It's all about job satisfaction. The more of that you get, the better you feel and it's easier to get when you take steps to find it.
How about a home improvement project? Something that you can do in stages?
Break your routine. Different things work for different people. I used to swim at lunchtime when I had bleak days. I found that it got me kind of (ahem) high. Trust me, I was bulletproof in the afternoons (lol). Maybe (power/nordic) walking, running, tennis, squash for you?
Find a challenge. Many years ago, I worked as a (lone) barmaid in a pub in the highlands of Scotland during my summer holidays. I wasn't used to close contact with the public (prior to this I had been a waitress). Anyway, I would do as I had learned in restaurants, I served and left the customers to it - basically, I was uncomfortable staying with them, was painfully shy and just hadn't a clue). Long story short - on the third day, I overheard a customer saying to another "well, they're going to have to get someone better than THAT" and decided "the HELL they are!" and set about enjoying myself. And that is exactly what I did. I decorated the bar in my style, played my music, told jokes, played games, became the village bar billiards champion and basically had the time of my life. And the biggest bonus was that it was contagious Few left the pub without a smile. But if I hadn't overheard that phrase I'd probably have been miserable all summer ... I needed the challenge.
There's nothing inherently dirty about sex, but if you try real hard and use your imagination you can overcome that.
Roh, this is a great question, and it's a problem that a lot of people struggle with. And, IMHO, the responses offer some wonderful ideas. You might also find a blog I wrote some time ago to be helpful: Feeling stuck? How to get free.
It would be great if you let us know which approaches you are trying in approaching this problem and how those approaches are working for you.
Thanks very much, everyone, for the great advice. I think I'm going to archive this and read it periodically.
I'm going to be doing the home improvement project soon, and that will make my living space a lot nicer. I recently got a small windfall so I'll finally be able to get some things I've been needing for literally years... like adequate tables and shelving and a computer that is better than a little netbook.
I think that finding a challenge and a passion is something I need as well. I was really getting into my art for a while and I'm trying to get into that again. I kept getting scared off by the challange of certain aspects of it, and I was uncomfortable about my spouse's identification of the areas where I was slacking. I'm trying to internalize the following concept: "Feedback is a gift." If I don't know where my shortcomings are, I can't progress. If I don't progress, I stay stuck. Who wants to be stuck?
A heartfelt thanks again, Dennis, Sluggo, FCL, and Dr. Leslie.
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