3 Ways to Help You Overcome A Pessimistic Mindset
Have you ever felt a dark cloud over your head, bricks on your shoulders that are weighing you down or a sense of worry, fear and lack of motivation to do anything? While these feelings don’t discriminate against gender, women are more likely to face these challenges at some point in their lives. We carry so much on our shoulders from being a mother, professional, wife, cook, maid, etc. We offer love, support and nurture everyone around us because, well, that’s just the nature of being a female, but little does everyone know, we need the love and support sometimes more than anyone else. Pessimism, anxiety and depression are all topics that most women prefer not to discuss, but they are REAL and no one should be shy or afraid to talk about them. Little do you know, most of the people around you are currently suffering or have already suffered from one of these mental illnesses. I have struggled with anxiety and depression especially after having children. Whether it was related to post-partum depression, the major changes going on in my life, or simply an offset to the natural changes in my body and mind as I grow older, the point is, I suffered. You are not alone and pessimism won’t win. While I can confidently say that I have overcame it, the feelings still present themselves from time to time. I’ve just been able to fight them and found ways to prevent them from taking over my life. Here are three ways you can overcome a negative mindset.
- Establish a support system. Sometimes these feelings can come in waves or creep up on you out of nowhere. When it hits you hard, you will naturally look for people to lean on. Find someone you trust who cares for your wellbeing and will listen when you need them to most. It’s okay to talk about your feelings and it’s okay to cry. In fact, tears are proven to elevate your mood and release toxins in your body that have been built up due to internal stress. Hiding these feelings could potentially make you feel worse.
Being able to gain insight and advice from your support system will make you feel like you’re not alone and that you have people who believe in you and are rooting for your happiness. Call them, invite them over, take a trip to see them. After all, that’s what love and friendship is about. We should be able to lean on the ones we care for when we need to. My support system consisted of my husband, my mother and my sisters. The ways in which they helped me get through this challenge is indescribable.
- Distract your mind. You won’t always have your support system there. They may not be on call or always available when these negative thoughts and feelings come on. Find ways to distract your mind for the time being. You have to find the strength within yourself to overcome the helplessness and negativity that you feel in the moment. How can you do this? Get out of your comfort zone. Go for a walk, stroll around one of your favorite stores or read an interesting book or magazine. Do something out of the norm that will allow your mind to leave its negative state and explore another interesting topic.
Some form of physical activity is also an amazing way to free yourself of pessimistic thoughts. Exercise is proven to release endorphins which is a chemical in your body that interacts with your brain and triggers a positive feeling in your body. Go to the gym, take a jog (if you have little ones, strap them in their stroller; they could use some fresh air too), or even do some at home exercises that you find online or on a tv program. You WILL feel better after doing this.
- Have faith in what is meant for you. You must come to terms with the fact that what is meant to happen will happen. Each and every one of us are a storybook just waiting to see what’s on the next page. Remember that these pages are already written, and while we have the ability to change or alter certain things, some of those things are just destined to happen. Once you can fully accept and implement this thought process, you won’t fear the future or what’s to come. Have faith that with an optimistic mindset, you will be happy and content with the end of your story regardless of the circumstances. Train your mind to search for the good in the bad ALWAYS.
Stop yourself from entering into a black hole, and if you already have, do not lose hope. You WILL find a way out. Starting with the above three tips will be your first step in getting there. If you don’t try to push forward, no one else will do it for you. Look at the beautiful things around you and remind yourself that there are millions of people in the world that have it worse. You are beautiful, you are strong and you have a purpose; do not allow your negative mindset to trap or hinder you. Your capabilities are boundless.
Fatimah Daher, Director of Public Relations