Pessimism and its impact on health

What is pessimism?


Pessimism is not a mental illness, but rather a personality trait in which someone tends to adopt a more negative – or in some cases, more realistic – outlook on life. A pessimist usually expects unfavorable results and becomes suspicious when things appear to be going well. Pessimism is the opposite of optimism. While someone with pessimism generally has a negative outlook on life, someone with optimism sees things from a positive point of view – tending to look at the benefits of things, “glass half full” attitude, rather than focusing on their disadvantages.

In addition to causing illnesses, pessimism is responsible for the difficulty in recovering from a pathology. This is because individuals with optimistic attitudes tend to more easily adopt a healthy lifestyle, including balanced eating habits and physical exercise. These people are also more likely to follow prescribed medication treatments, and the belief in improvement contributes to a faster recovery.


Signs of pessimism


Signs of pessimism include:

  • You feel surprised when things actually work;


  • You avoid pursuing your desires due to the belief of possible failures;


  • You tend to focus on what could go wrong in a situation;


  • You believe that the risks often outweigh the gains;


  • You tend to focus on your flaws or weaknesses rather than your strengths;


  • You often feel uncomfortable by people with an optimistic behavior;


  • You assume that all good things will come to an end eventually;

How does pessimism affect mental health?


When we feel pleasure and happiness, there are emotional elements at play that have a direct impact on our physical and mental well-being. Furthermore, our health can be positively influenced by the potential of optimistic thinkingsince this tends to reinforce our immune system, reducing the risk of disease and even favoring greater longevity. Several studies report the effects of positivity, particularly in the context of heart health. By nurturing optimism, there is a reduction in the potential for heart attacks and strokes. Individuals who have previously faced a heart attack and embrace positive practices have the prospect of living up to 15 years longer than those inclined to pessimism.


Positive thinking has a great impact on our entire body, as it helps prevent mental and emotional illnesses, such as depression, anxiety, loneliness and stress, alleviating symptoms and rehabilitating the body. However, the opposite also happens. A pessimistic mindset, in addition to contributing to an increase in physical, emotional and mental discomfort, negatively impacts the immune system and can aggravate various diseases and symptoms.


Tips to ward off pessimism:


Make a list of what is going well in your life:


Observe your surroundings and reflect on the areas where things are progressing positively. This can cover the professional sphere, emotional relationships, family ties and friendships, physical well-being, financial situation, residence and even small everyday events. Practice gratitude toward all of these advantages.


Stop claiming:


It is essential to break the cycle of complaints and regrets and focus instead on overcoming challenges. Many individuals spend most of their time pondering issues while looking at the past. However, it is impossible to change what has already happened. It is more productive to turn your attention to solving the problem in the present moment, directing your efforts towards actions that will lead to the desired result and generate a positive impact.


Manage expectations:

An overload of expectations can lead to considerable disappointment, especially when events do not follow the anticipated course. Those who frequently find themselves frustrated tend to cultivate a pessimistic mentality, always expecting the worst in things and people.


Train good humor:


There are individuals who have a natural inclination towards good humor, while others tend to be more reserved and serious. However, it is important to recognize that cultivating a good mood can also become a habit. The presence of joy radiates positivity in the environment, providing benefits not only for you, but also for everyone who shares your coexistence.


Get rid of grudges:


Holding on to past resentments ends up only harming ourselves. Negative feelings consume and weaken us, which is why it is not advisable to harbor hurt feelings. The appropriate approach to releasing distress and moving forward is through the practice of forgiveness. Depending on the situation and the trauma, a psychologist can greatly help to overcome this memory and develop forgiveness for the other person.


Think about happiness:

When boredom arises, unfavorable thoughts can take over the mind and ruin the day. Therefore, it is extremely important to engage in activities, projects or even allow yourself to daydream. These actions help to ward off negativity and attract positive aspects. A contented mind has the ability to generate prosperity in different aspects, as we transmit to the universe what we have and what we are.


How to deal with pessimism?


Human beings tend to focus a lot on defeats and falls, and celebrate their victories very little. Therefore, it is important to work on positive thinking and the search for moments of happiness daily. We cannot let ourselves be contaminated by the pessimistic threats that surround us every second.


If you have noticed the recurrence of worrying thoughts and believe that this is changing the way you deal with the world and people, seek specialized help. A qualified professional, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist, after examining your case and analyzing your medical history, can suggest an appropriate and sensitive approach to your needs. It is usually possible to achieve significant improvement in symptoms and pessimistic patterns through a combination of medication and therapy. However, each situation is unique and must be treated with due care and responsibility.

The post Care for Life.


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