I once had a housemate who projected optimism in a very peculiar, but entertaining way in times of extreme irritation. Overall he is a positive person, but sometimes an unfortunate mishap is unavoidable. An example of this could be seen if, for instance, my friend had spilled a cup of steaming tea onto himself. His immediate response would be to scream at the top of his lungs:
“Oh my goodness, that felt so good! I’m so glad that just happened to me!”
Of course, this was generally a sarcastic statement as he wouldn’t actually be excited about the accident. Some people simply call this laughing something off, but I like to describe this process as drowning out immediate pessimism with crude optimism. But if pessimism has no time to gain momentum, your optimism can easily remain intact.
But what if it isn’t this easy?
What if the situation you currently face is not something you can brush off or quickly blow over?
Spilling hot coffee on your lap may cause a sudden surge of negative thought and pessimism that can be immediately deconstructed, but what if the trouble you face is overwhelmingly persistent and not easily handled?
How can you preserve your optimism if negative thinking is constantly banging at your door, or worse, has been given the key?
When an apartment unit catches fire, the content of that apartment unit may be completely reduced to ashes but the neighboring unit remains intact. How can this be?
The answer to this is actually quite simple. Using building materials designed to inhibit flames for an approximate period of time and spacing the units accordingly provides adequate time for the fire department to arrive and handle the issue. Because the landlord or builder had the insight to design the structure in a way that would protect the neighboring units, he is saved the mental anguish of filing numerous insurance claims and incurring a massive loss.
This same basic concept can apply to your optimism. It is important to first set up as many safeguards as you can within your mind. Plan for the worst, best, extremely bad, and even the average. Knowing you have some type of capability or plan of action under certain circumstances means you can take action immediately when negative thinking sets in. I personally will just use the power of self-talk to persuade myself into believing that circumstances are actually not so bad after all. I’ve had this method in practice for most of my life and it has gotten me through countless hard times. This may not be the best action plan for you, but give it a try. Maybe you can spin it into something suited for you!
Negativity can be used to your advantage
Now, what if the coping skills are available, but still you find yourself caught in the headlights of pessimism. Maybe the situation you face is different than anything you’d ever imagined and has caught you off your guard. When hit with very sudden issues, sometimes the mind takes a heavy blow and needs some time to catch up. This provides a window for optimism to slowly leak out.This may sound backward, but in situations like these, I feel it best to accept that negativity, using it to seal the leak. Meaning, by allowing the negative thoughts to take form you effectively transfer control of the negative energy exuded by pessimism.
The next part of the process is actually something I’ve mentioned in previous articles. Use the negative thoughts you’ve allowed into your head on a temporary visa to paint a clear picture of the problem that will later be used to disqualify and disable future negative thinking. By doing so, you have effectively transmuted your pain into power. Adding to your strength and integrity every time. The ride may be rocky, but you’ll soon notice that giving negativity some leeway completely disables it.
Depression is a ruthless cycle, that is prevalent in the life of many people that reach far and wide for success and it takes real effort to take control of it. Not many people are willing to discuss mental health, even with the people who call them a friend. Success is less important than your wellbeing. If nobody else cares, I assure you that I do.
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Categories: How-to Reinvent Yourself