"I'm not pessimistic, I'm realistic, " this phrase often comes from the mouth of a person who generally discovers the bad in his environment rather than the positive. People who struggle with pessimism perceive negative stimuli far more than positive ones. The overall attitude to everyday life and life is characterized by a very critical, mostly negative attitude. This attitude, in turn, influences what people perceive in their environment and how they perceive it.
Every person goes through phases that are more or less marked by fears. A particularly intense fear here is the fear of the future. The student is afraid of the certificate just before the summer holidays with the fear of sitting. The high school graduate fears falling through the high school graduation and the job starter fears after the termination within the probationary period, never again to find a job. Fears are part of life, as this does not always go straight up.
However, if we let ourselves be guided exclusively by our fears, we will always focus on the negative, and in the long run we will notice how much life energy costs.
Pessimism has previously ensured the survival of humanity
Pessimism is not exclusively negative. We owe it to him that humanity survived at all. Hardly anyone in the Stone Age thought he would approach the predator pack because he saw that the pack was just chasing and probably full. The pessimism and the resulting fear have driven him to circumvent beasts of prey far and not put himself in unnecessary danger.
Even today, pessimism has its merits. For example, those who always run out of work and are terribly afraid that there might be a mistake in their presentation for the lecture will go through their PowerPoint so often and so intensively that it is optimized from start to finish and completely correct.
Anyone who approaches this thing too optimist relies on the first result that he has on his laptop and thinks "that suits everything". Pessimism urges people to engage more intensively with possible problems, while in some cases the optimist tends to be able to talk small about problems and ultimately can not overcome them through the avoidance tactics.
However, pessimism does not make people happy, even though the pessimist is better able to deal adequately with problems.
If pessimism has positive qualities, then what is negative about it?
Pessimism prevents people from seizing opportunities. For example, the option to move to another department, the chance to take on a big project at work or to change the free time, for example to start with sports or to learn a musical instrument. Because internally, the pessimist always starts from failure. Why would he change department if his colleagues might be awful there? Why learn an instrument when it certainly lacks the talent for it?
This allows a pessimistic person to miss numerous opportunities. For example, the chance to learn new things in the job or to fully unfold in your free time with new activities.
Often, pessimists develop the feeling of literally attracting misfortune. There are two causes for this. The first is that people tend to react negatively to pessimists as well. The pessimist does not leave a positive impression with a stranger when making small talk, at the party he finds it difficult to get in touch with others and in the worst case he is even shunned. The environment reacts to people's pessimism with a negative attitude.
In addition, the negative experience of the pessimist is related to the self-fulfilling prophecy. Man discovers in his environment the things he is currently focusing on. A woman with a very strong desire for children will discover pregnant women, women with prams and toddlers everywhere. A person wondering about getting a Mini Cooper will only discover this car in the street.
The topics that concern us intellectually influence what and how we perceive something. Who now assumes that everything goes wrong, that he attracts the misfortune formally, which will also perceive only negative experiences. Positive events simply pass him by without the person having consciously experienced them.
Pessimism becomes particularly problematic when it influences social contacts. A pessimistic attitude often helps to make a negative impression on the first meeting of a stranger, as the pessimist only talks about how dissatisfied he is in his job or how terrible the flaws in his home are.
Finding new social contacts thus becomes a challenge. Even more dangerous is the situation when existing friendships slowly dissolve, because the friends turn away. Because: A pessimist also pulls down the whims of the people around him. Friends who have to listen to nothing but jinx stories for years and are always confronted with the negative view of the pessimist, therefore often let the contact at some point fall asleep, because they no longer stand this attitude.
Why is it worth repressing pessimism and giving optimism a chance?
Optimistic people are happier. They walk contentedly through their lives and see in each and every one a chance for new happiness.
Lucky people are also given more opportunities by their environment, which optimists in their positive attitude feel confirmed and strengthened. Those who show a friendly and open manner, in turn, meet the people around him much more positive. It makes it easier for people to get in contact with each other, it's quicker to win the trust of other people and is more often invited to parties and celebrations.
Being an optimist does not mean shutting out reality or closing your eyes to negative aspects. Being an optimist means accepting these negative aspects and learning how to deal with them properly. We can poke our heads in the sand in the face of a terrible event and think every day how awful this is and quarrel with our fate. But we also have the option to accept this event, to learn to deal with it, to accept that this is now part of our lives and to reorient ourselves.
The foundation for a healthy dose of optimism is already laid in childhood. Decisive here is the handling of the parents with the fears of the children. Parents are confronted with the task of teaching the child what fears are unfounded (such as the fear of the monster under the bed) and what fears the child should hear (eg, a big dog who not only barks but aggressively growls and showing the lips). Children who learn how to handle fear through their parents are more optimistic later in life.
Nevertheless, every pessimist also has an optimistic side, as even the greatest optimist sometimes reveals a pessimistic attitude.
Pessimism and optimism are also related to the sex of man. Women are more prone to a more pessimistic attitude in everyday life than men. However, in particularly challenging and difficult individuals, they are more likely to accept the situation and develop optimism. Men, on the other hand, tend to be generally more optimistic. However, when it comes to a crucial, critical experience, close your eyes and refuse to accept the problem.
Your own mood is also closely related to the time of day. In the mornings after getting up, humanity generally tends to have negative thoughts. If the body has started up, we have found the day and we have gotten into the gears, we develop a more positive attitude.
By the way, people who tend to pessimize are therefore not more suicidal. Pessimism is a general attitude towards life and the events that happen to people, not a psychiatric illness. Pessimism is a basic mood, a perception of the environment. Pessimism is therefore by no means synonymous with depression.
Pessimists have many prejudices against optimists
People who are characterized by a negative attitude to life often encounter optimists with numerous prejudices. For example, they think that optimists deny facts, lie to themselves, are naive, or simply unrealistic, and deceive themselves until they live in their own reality.
These prejudices can not be totally dismissed. Yes, it is true that in some situations optimists overestimate their own abilities or are too careless in approaching a situation.
But even the pessimist is up to something. He pretends to be helpless at the mercy of his misfortune and that the whole world is evil and wants him bad.
Is it too optimistic if a person with cancer fully believes in their healing? And is it really realistic if the pessimist thinks he is going to die? Is it too optimistic if scientists believe they can find a cure for AIDS?
Only through a healthy dose of optimism do scientists always make groundbreaking discoveries. Because her optimistic attitude has driven her to pursue her goal and to accomplish something that mankind thought was not possible until now.
Optimism does not mean being completely unworldly and believing that you can defy gravity and go over water. Optimism means interpreting events differently than the pessimist. They do not turn their energy to discovering and celebrating the negative, but to focus on the positive.
Optimism is a matter of attitude
The ability to focus on the negative and thus more quickly discover dangers has ensured the survival of humankind. Only that in many cases people today are not able to let go of this ability, even though it is no longer needed for survival. In general, man is conditioned to perceive the negative things in life rather than the positives.
This fact is further reinforced by the fact that we often perceive luck only after the fact. If we spend a great summer in which we see many friends, often go barbecues and just have a great time, we look forward to it. But only next year, maybe when we go through a difficult period, will we longingly think back to this summer and remember how happy we were at that moment. But at that moment, we have not been aware of this happiness.
Let's go out of the house and it's raining, we catch a lot of red traffic lights on that day and then we get bumped into the train, we roll our eyes and take all these negative experiences very intense. If we run to work in the sunshine, wearing airy clothes and looking forward to the delicious breakfast, which we have in our pocket, we do not perceive this as particularly positive.
If you want to be more optimistic, you have to learn step by step to focus on the positive. One big mistake that people make again and again is in the definition of "happiness". Many people are convinced that happiness always has to appear in a very big way. For example, the job promise, the partner's expensive gift or the summer vacation. But luck is also in the little things. For example, that we got the last banana in the supermarket, that we just caught the tram, that our colleague is waiting for us to stop the door or even when a cat crosses our path and lets us stroke it, To perceive these little forms of happiness is true optimism.
In order to displace the pessimism more and more out of your own life and to give the optimism more space, it can be helpful to keep a kind of happiness diary. This can be a block, a nice notebook or nice stationery, collected in a folder. On this daily five positive moments are noted. Five may sound like a lot, but every person experiences five positive events a day, even if the day has generally gone rather badly.
Here are especially the small aspects. It can be positive, for example, that we have not spilled the full coffee, we have found our favorite jeans immediately, the colleague smiled at us nicely or we had a friendly conversation with the neighbors.
It is important that this form of the diary is written and not on the laptop. Who takes a pen in his hand and actively writes that stores the positive experiences much more intense than who types this on a keyboard. Thus, the change to a more positive attitude towards more optimism is much more effective.
More ways to be more optimistic
In addition to their own, very personal happiness diary in which positive moments are held, there are other methods that help support and help gradually letting go of pessimism.
For example, ask yourself at moments when you develop a negative attitude, where it comes from. Why are you negative? And is not there something positive for the situation?
You may also be confronted with a situation that you think you can not master or that you are not prepared for. In such moments, you should ask yourself why you think you are failing. Is there any valid reason to believe that you are not up to the task? And even if you are unsure if you will succeed, you will only experience this when you start and finally start.
Optimism does not mean that "peace, joy, pancake" prevails every day
Going through life with a healthy dose of optimism does not mean that we perceive every day as absolutely wonderful and we wear a permanent smile on our faces. Even optimists go through phases that demand a lot from them and in which they mostly think negatively. Even optimists have days where they feel that nothing works and everything gets out of hand. Even optimists sometimes feel like crying. Unlike a pessimist, however, these phases do not last very long.
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