We live in increasingly negative times fueled by the disintegration of social bonds and the dissolution of religious faith. A measure of optimism helps to combat gloom and gives us the courage and the energy to shed adversity. Can you muster hopefulness in the midst of despair?
Of course, you can!
Always remember, that life teaches us that this, too, will pass.
Dispute thoughts that a present adversity is hopeless or permanent. Describe the causes of your pessimism on a sheet of paper; next to each cause, document the evidence that it is real and not imagined. For each real cause, write down at least one way to counteract it. Challenge the imagined causes with alternative explanations and contradictory evidence.
Share your concerns with people you love. Talk through problems with them. Let them help you.
Reject unnecessarily negative assumptions. Example: Rather than believe that the world is falling apart, tell yourself, "We would benefit from a moral renewal."
When you feel yourself slipping, talk yourself out of despair. Say something like, "I'm going to overwhelm this bad feeling. Optimism is pouring in through every pore of my skin."
Recognize that two common causes of pessimism are fear and hate. The greatest danger of these emotions is that they shut off your mind. Determine whether either is at the root of your discouragement, and if you discover one of these emotions, exorcise it.
Distract yourself from depressing thoughts. Every time you catch yourself complaining, quickly immerse yourself in an activity that will take your mind off t he troubling subject.
Keep bleak news in perspective.