Practices for People Who Are PessimistsJune 10, 2013
I am going to confess something…I have to really work at being positive. I am not a naturally-optimistic person; as a matter of fact, I lean toward pessimism more times than not. So for me to stay positive requires a lot of effort on my part.
I know most of you who are reading this do not have this issue (did I mention that I am sarcastic as well); but I have learned that being and staying positive really is a choice that we make about the everyday decisions in life. I have studied various causes for pessimism and they are many: personality, upbringing, experiences, chemical makeup, relationships, etc. But at the end of the day it is our attitude about life in general that shapes our behavior.
If you happen to see the glass half empty, give some thought to a few of these suggestions, and maybe you’ll learn to appreciate what is in your cup!
1. Start Your Day with God.
One of the main reasons we feel frustrated and aggravated throughout the course of the day is because of the way it begins. If you do not allow God to set the order of your day, someone else will do it for you. In solitude and quietness seek the Lord and ask Him to give you the right approach and attitude for every event of the day before you.
2. Stop Taking Yourself So Seriously.
I am the most negative when I am the most selfish. I have learned that most of my pessimism is rooted in jealousy, bitterness, and frustration. Let’s be honest about it- the world does not revolve around us. Leadership guru John Maxwell says, “The entire population of the world-with one minor exception-is composed of others.” Give yourself a break, and lighten up a little.
3. Learn a New Joke and Tell It to Someone Else.
It is scientifically- proven that when we smile we produce more serotonin in the brain which is an antidepressant. Isn’t it true..the people we like to be around the most are the people who make us laugh and smile. The Bible says a “merry heart” doeth good like a medicine. How often have you smiled in this very day? Go ahead and practice it right now. A smile is only one step away from a laugh.
4. Celebrate Thanksgiving More than Once a Year.
For everything we criticize in life there are at least a hundred other things to be thankful for. Learn to appreciate the blessings instead of accentuating the burdens. Someone told me years ago, “Instead of complaining about the person beside you in church that cannot sing just thank God that you have ears to hear her.” The daily blessings and benefits of the Lord are all around us. Make a list if you have to and thank the Lord specifically for each item.
5. Have a Spirit of Giving.
Nothing takes the mind off of misery like giving. Consider this great truth by Calvin Coolidge, “No person has ever been honored for what he received. Honor has always been the reward of what people are willing to give.” It is true- giving what you have is greater than what you have! And when you exhibit a spirit of giving you’ll be amazed at how quickly your outlook changes.
The church of Jesus Christ needs to desperately find its joy. We are blood-bought, Spirit-filled, God-loved people. Our home is heaven, our hope is Him so go ahead and let your heart be happy!