Realist, cynic, sensible, unindealistic…are you one of those people who considers yourself rational and grounded? I’m flippin’ tired of people trying to make these qualities sound good! Of course, there are times when rationality can solve problems and levelheaded people are great in crisis situations. I pride myself in my ability to show these qualities when necessary. HOWEVER, too often people use those terms as a cover up for their pessimism.
Anger and pessimism are something that I have been trying to cut out of my life for some time now. I decided, around the time I graduated college, unchecked anger would fester inside of me; not only ruining my day but affecting my relationships with loved ones.
Getting the anger out was surprisingly easy. I am very self-aware and it was just a process of recognizing when anger was brewing and quickly repeating to myself, “it’s not worth the energy, it’s not worth the energy…” and taking deep breaths. It works! Anger is no longer a factor in my life and it’s wonderfully freeing. Of course I still get the random bought of uncontrollable fury but at that point I remove myself from the situation until I’ve calmed down.
The part I’ve really be struggling with is learning how to STOP COMPLAINING. Did you ever have a person in your life that complains, a lot. Not that they know it or would even be able to change it but boy is it a downer. I’ve had lots of people like that in my life and can’t help recognizing that I was one too. Yep. Me, a complainer. So this is my next step in personal growth. Learning how to cut out the “realism” and pessimism and just learn how to appreciate anything and everything.
My current personal growth activity: say or think a bad thing – say out loud 3-5 great things about the same subject.
example: Man this rainy weather sucks…but…it means I get to snuggle down with a cup of tea without remorse, and that my car is getting a rinse, and that the horrible drought this summer is finally ending!
See, it’s not so hard and it’s starting to make a world of difference. So try it, I dare you. It’s a real way to flip your brain to the happy side.
It’s always a pleasure for me to realize that you mind works in such a positive way. It makes it so much easier to enjoy life. It’s great that you are passing it on to others.
Oh, and by the way, you write so well.
Thanks Dad. I got so much of this from you. So extra thanks. Love you more.
First of all, I miss you! Secondly, you and your dad’s relationship makes me so happy, and he’s right about you affecting people in a positive way! I feel like I have the same issue (super pessimist here) … maybe it was architecture school that did it to us?!?! So anyway here it goes … architecture school made me a pessimist but it also made me extremely organized and creative, gave me opportunites to travel the world, and I met some truly amazing people (including you!) I’m really going to work on three good things for every bad thing! Love you!
Thanks Eeca! Sometimes I think we fueled each others’ fires. I think architecture school DEFINITELY didn’t help. But now that we’re in the real world, everything is what we make it. I guess we can’t really complain.
I LOVE your three. Let me know how the exercise works out. Don’t forget about it!
And yes, my Pop is amazing. Missing my family pretty badly right now, being in Peoria. BUT…I get to explore a new place called Illinois, I get a sweet apartment for SO super cheap, and I have learned that I wouldn’t actually mind living in a small town because all the people are so nice!
Ok, I hope you’re having a wonderful day. I love and miss you tons.
One of my favorite sayings when someone makes me angry is “I’m not going to let them rent space in MY head”! Works especially well for me when I’m on the road with so many rude drivers or coming across a nasty store clerk. It keeps me from dwelling on the bad experience . . . .
Heck yes. I swear the affirmations really work. It’s the only way to start to value your own opinion over others.
Ah, thank you for this post. I am actually trying really hard right now to focus on increasing my own positive thinking. I’m definitely having my ups and downs in terms of progress but I’m TRYING!! I’m very aware that my complaining and negative thoughts put a strain on my relationships and my own happiness. I have found, so far, that doing something that I really enjoy can put me right back in my happy place without any need for complaining (like running, baking, reading, etc). I will definitely be giving your ideas a try!!!
Jess, That’s so awesome that you’re even recognizing it and working on it. That’s further than most people get in their lifetime let alone their 20’s. I read something today about this Japanese concept called Kaizen. It’s basically simple, specific, gradual, and continuous improvement. It’s the only way to change your lifestyle and/or thinking habits. Keep on keepin’ on! It’s a long and endless (but very fulfilling) endeavor.
Pingback: Pessimism -