Is your glass half-full or half-empty?
Some people are naturally pessimistic and are happy being so. They view themselves as pragmatic and as having a better sense of reality. Then there are those of us who feel weighed down by negativity and wish that we could be more optimistic. This is completely possible. It all lies in the way we perceive things…
1. Stress management
When we conceal our anxieties, they only build. Each concern can snowball into a feeling of being overwhelmed. Each person has their own way of letting off steam. This varies from exercise, to listening to music, to reading a good book. More of us are beginning to realize how important proper stress management is to both our physical and mental health.
2. Constant reality checks
It is sometimes necessary to debate the validity of your concerns to determine whether they are rational or not. This is called self-rationalization and one of the most recognized methods is the worst case scenario. This is when you consider the worst possible situation, then go on to consider whether it is likely to happen. For example, a loved one said they would call once they arrived by subway to a certain destination. They should have reached that destination 15 minutes ago. You may dream up scenarios of there being a train accident or some other frightful incident took place. But after a little thought, you find that it’s more probable that they either have yet to reach their stop or they will simply call you when it is convenient for them. You never want to leap to conclusions and cause yourself unnecessary stress.
3. Support of friends and family
Friends and family are usually more than willing to provide you with a much needed reality check. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have close friends and family members to confide in though. It is detrimental to find some type of support when you are feeling extremely confused or overwhelmed. This support may have to come from a trusted co-worker or a member of a support group. Sometimes all it takes is another person’s point of view to put things into perspective.
4. Own your feelings
Accept that you have complete control over your perceptions and internal responses. You may not have control over what happened on your commute to work that upset you. But you are able to decide whether you become relieved when the day is finally over, or frustrated, claiming you are always being dealt a bad hand.
Denni Gill is an up-and-coming Canadian poet.
www.urban-eden.org chronicles her own spiritual growth.