How to become an optimist if you are a pessimist - is it real and what to do?

For many of us, a positive attitude seems difficult to achieve, but everyone who has managed to master it is sure that this is the only way to live. It’s hard to disagree: being an optimist is more profitable and more pleasant than being a pessimist. If only because the former not only get sick less often and suffer from mental disorders, but live longer. Such individuals are more confident in themselves, arouse sympathy, have many friends, and build a career more successfully. Looking at them, it seems that everything in life comes easily to them: problems somehow miraculously bypass optimists.

Experts are convinced that more opportunities actually open up for optimists. After all, they look at the world with interest, generously share positive emotions, charging those around them with their energy and love. And this way of perceiving life will definitely return to them. At the same time, people immersed in apathy do not know how to notice the good in others, are always dissatisfied and most of the time are in the grip of negative emotions.

The main reason to change your way of thinking and become an optimist is the ability to see the world in bright rather than dark colors, without focusing on problems. Such people find a way out of even the most hopeless situations.

What are we missing in life?

Why do we live? Surely not in order to devote all your time to work, solving some problems, or everyday issues. Our goal is to live a productive, interesting, colorful life with optimism. And there are all conditions for this.

By refusing positive thinking, we deprive ourselves of a lot. This is how we set a bad example for our children, friends, and acquaintances. And this is also the highest degree of ingratitude for the life given to us. Yes, it can be difficult. But a person can be strong, learn to smile, and charge other people with positivity.

Pessimism, unlike optimism, is the attitude of someone who has given up. Don't miss a single day to do something good, lift someone's spirits, be optimistic.

Emotional background scale

Let's look at the reasons for the lack of optimism. Pessimists are people broken by circumstances. They give a negative assessment of life and do not even try to change it. It’s as if they are slaves who have no rights or freedoms. However, in modern society, everyone is the master of their own life and can change it at any moment.

The mechanism for the development of pessimism looks like this. A person is born an optimist, lives, enjoys life until a negative circumstance appears that traumatizes him. If we are talking about a sanguine person, most likely he will cope with the situation and will live on with his characteristic optimism. But if a melancholic or choleric person gets into trouble, his emotional scale will first go towards strong feelings, and then apathy will set in. Everyone has their own experiences and emotions in life, the only difference is how people deal with them. For some, a broken nail is enough to cause depression, while others experienced a real tragedy and did not break.

To break in this case means to lose optimism, to become a pessimist. These are people who are emotionally broken, who no longer accept positive emotions, and find negativity in everything. They prefer not to fly so that they don’t have to fall later. The transition from joy to sadness for them is like falling from a height. They don't allow themselves to become optimistic. And over time they simply lose this ability.

False optimism

Wanting to return the wings of optimism, the joy of life, a person can already consider himself a daredevil. He is strong for deciding to change. But just a smile is not enough. This is not optimism. True joy comes with setting the right priorities. What is important? So that the weather matches your mood and the suit fits? No, these are little things. Let it rain, let the tights tear. All this is insignificant. The rain will pass, but the tights - initially it was clear that they would not last forever. Go to a cafe, order your favorite coffee. And then go shopping. This is what optimism looks like.

Optimism is a perception. This is not a forced smile, but the ability to see good even in bad.

Reasons for pessimism

Scientists have been trying to understand personality traits and the impact of optimism on health for hundreds of years. Thus, according to recent research, the two main reasons for the formation of optimistic and pessimistic worldviews are:

  1. Genetic predisposition.
  2. Upbringing. As a rule, pessimistic views prevail in the family; parents never praise the child and constantly predict his failures in all fields.

Read more: How to learn not to be afraid of anything

The experiment, conducted by London professor Tim Spector, involved identical twins. The girls grew up in the same family and in the same environment, however, one of them is cheerful and cheerful, and the second regularly experiences depressive episodes.

The professor’s goal was to answer the key question: what factors actually influence the formation of human personality and how this can be influenced. Spector was able to discover a specific set of genes that function in one girl, but are inactive in another. It turned out that only half of the differences between people are due to genetics. At the same time, external factors can activate or, conversely, weaken specific genes. The name of this process is epiginetics.

How to find harmony

Understand that the concepts of “good” and “bad” are subjective. They don't exist. Accept what is happening as it is. Don't think about how it could be. Comparing reality with fantasy always leads to a pessimistic assessment. How to develop optimism and become an optimist? Advice from psychologists boils down to finding harmony:

  • Remember who you are and where you are. State your name.
  • Briefly recall your past life.
  • Appreciate the present.
  • Think about the future.

Could it be better? Yes. Could it have been worse? It could have been a lot worse. Events just happen. And you, as before, have this life, the opportunity to manage it.

Accept what has already happened. Please accept with gratitude. Harmony begins with humility. Be optimistic.

To come into harmony with yourself and the world around you, and develop healthy optimism, try these techniques:

  • Watch less TV.
  • Limit your visits to the Internet to once a day.
  • Meditate twice a day for 2 minutes. First, learn to focus on your breathing. Turn off your thoughts, concentrate on how the air leaves your lungs and fills them.

And further. Think about the present. An optimist will not return to the past over and over again.

A little about pessimism and optimism

Before research, pessimism and optimism existed as philosophical concepts. Among the prominent representatives of the philosophy of pessimism are Hartmann and Schopenhauer; according to them, the world is not just bad, but even hopeless. Pessimists often discuss the meaning of life. What is the point of birth if life ends in death anyway? Why is the world filled with evil and suffering?

As a rule, as a result of such discussions, pessimists come to the conclusion that the world is inherently vicious, and humanity is unable to change anything and will never change anything. However, most people with such views are no different from others; they also create families and go to work.

Despite such popular “pessimistic” ideas, optimism also has well-known representatives. As a rule, in philosophy, a positive worldview is associated with Gottfried Leibniz, who believes that humanity lives in the best of all worlds.

A little humor: there are two children in the family: an optimist and a pessimist. For the New Year, their parents prepared gifts for them: a toy horse on wheels for the pessimist, and a pile of fresh horse manure for the optimist. The children woke up in the morning... Pessimist: “Well, the horse... uh... small, but I wanted a big one... completely white... and I wanted apples... uh... wooden, but I wanted a live one...” Optimist: “But I have alive!!! I just went out for a walk!”

The best self-control exercises to become a little more optimistic

By developing the ability to concentrate on the positive, learn to be an optimist in everything. Stop yourself from thinking about bad things. It's a whole new world: you'll feel like you've opened the curtains and let the sun in.

  • Develop a negative attitude towards bad thoughts. Every time negativity appears, force yourself to squat or snap your hand with a money rubber band.
  • If you are overwhelmed by negativity, anxiety, apathy, self-pity, change your facial expression. Move your cheek muscles, make different grimaces. This will change your inner state.
  • Helps remove the negative “dog breath”. Remember how dogs that have been running for a long time breathe. Quickly, often, superficially. Open your mouth and breathe in the same way for about a minute. Emotions will leave you.
  • Smile at at least three people every day.
  • Read books daily. Make a list of the ones you want to read.
  • Exercise every day. Sport helps produce joy hormones.
  • Get a cat. If it’s very busy, you can have some fish. But better than a cat. This is a living creature that can entertain and distract from heavy thoughts. The cat will make you happy - these animals take away negativity, relieve stress, and heal. These are scientifically proven facts. By receiving additional positive emotions, you will quickly develop optimism.
  • Call your friends, family. Every day, choose someone to talk to. Do not correspond, but talk, meet. Choose live communication.
  • Keep a success notebook. Write down everything that made you proud of yourself since childhood.
  • Watch films that motivate, charge with optimism, and inspire. Lists are available on the Internet.
  • Keep a wish notebook. Write down everything you want there. Think over ways to implement each point, go towards your goals.
  • Walk outdoors every day.
  • Take photographs of the city streets, yourself, and friends.
  • Forgive everyone who has hurt you in the past. I'm truly sorry. Try to understand and don't get angry anymore.

Why is this necessary?

Psychology research shows that you need to be optimistic not only to feel good, but also to achieve your own goals and success. Optimists, according to research results, achieve what they want more easily, for several reasons:

  • They think through everything related to their desire: how to achieve their dream, how many ways there are for this, what will happen when the dream comes true, etc.
  • They are not afraid of a problem arising, because they know its solution or know where to put their energy to resolve troubles.
  • They are not afraid or ashamed of their own mistakes. Unfortunate events help them learn lessons, gain experience and move on.
  • Optimists try to squeeze at least a drop of good out of any situation.

How to become an optimist and how to improve your mood if you are a pessimist: advice from a psychologist

Most often, focusing on the negative is an innate quality. All 4 types of temperament are present in a person to varying degrees. Among pessimists, the melancholic type is dominant. Temperament determines a person's reaction to everything that happens. For melancholic people it is sadness and tears. Almost everything upsets a person. It cannot be remade. But you can learn to cope with the first reaction and switch quickly.

The instructions for developing optimism are still the same: work on yourself, follow the advice described above. Whatever the initial settings, man is a self-determining creature. You wake up in the morning and the day lies in the palm of your hand. What colors you paint it in is up to you.

Is it possible to change your thinking?

Is it possible to become an optimist if you are a pessimist in life? How to get rid of pessimism ? It is quite possible to restructure your thinking.

After all, optimism is a daily choice that a person makes. Sometimes you really want to get depressed, cry to your friends and hide from the whole world under a warm blanket.

But if we assume that with the help of a series of simple actions everything can be adjusted, then the motivation to get up and “work” towards a happy future will appear by itself.

After all, optimists look at life so easily and positively not because difficulties are unfamiliar to them . They simply realize that everyone has an attempt to influence what is happening.

So it's not all that bad.

In order to become an optimist, you do not need to have any special qualities.

You just need to train the ability to shift attention from bad to good.

RULE No. 2. Self-irony, not self-examination!

Self-flagellation is a bad helper, which takes a colossal amount of energy, depleting you mentally and physically. And most importantly, it does not bring us one step closer to solving problems. The critic that appears in our head during difficult moments in life can tirelessly scold us for the mistakes we have made, pushing us into a state of depression. Self-irony in such situations has a valuable psychotherapeutic resource, eliminating destructive moods. By looking at a situation that we perceive as negative from a different angle, we can sometimes find some humor in it. If you managed to smile or laugh, then this is a sure sign that you are not in a good mood with a depressive mood, which means that you will certainly be able to cope with your existing problems. Therefore, it is quite natural that most optimists have a sense of humor and self-irony.

Lift your mood daily

In order to maintain a positive attitude, you need to fuel it with films, books, trainings, and music. Do what you love, allow yourself a little weakness after a working day. Motivate yourself with literature and films, it really helps not to lose confidence in your abilities.

Sports, music, meetings with friends must be present in your life. These attributes are necessary for every person, and an optimist uses them to the fullest, they bring him happiness.

Open up to friendship

As a child, we could easily and naturally find new friends. This becomes more and more difficult to do with age. In addition, relationships with some of your existing friends deteriorate or simply become obsolete. The difference between adult relationships is the awareness of choice. We got to know each other in the sandbox, kindergarten or other places because we were forced to spend time together in the same location. But even this does not detract from the main advantage - it was easy for us to talk to a stranger and immediately start playing together.

Adults need to learn this too. For some this comes easy, for others it is a real challenge. By limiting connections, we stop developing, learning new things, and simply forget about pleasant friendly gatherings. Don’t think, we don’t encourage you to make friends with passers-by on the street. It would be strange. Today it is very easy to find friends with similar interests using the Internet. It will be both interesting and useful. Such friendship is much more sincere and honest than “forced” friendship.

It is important to know

You could observe the latter, for example, at work. When a person pretends to be friends, but in reality they hate you. Do not let such people into your personal space and try to limit communication with them.

Ronald Hubbard, mentioned at the beginning of the article, put this emotional background at 1.1 on the scale. Suspended between fear and anger, he does not openly show hostility and prefers to wear a mask. This is his defense.

Communication with such an individual can be dangerous, because for the most part they are angry and envious. But you can easily neutralize its negative impact if you identify it right away. Here are his behavioral characteristics:

  • starts the conversation first and tries to prevent questions from being addressed to him;
  • allows himself barbs and caustic remarks (he does this in a veiled manner, so it’s difficult to call it a direct insult);
  • will definitely respond to the remark and will not miss the opportunity to undermine your authority in the eyes of others;
  • constant lying, even unnecessarily;
  • actively collects and spreads gossip;
  • does not act “forward”, it is characterized by cunning combinations.

With such a friend there is no need for enemies. Just don’t let them into your life, look for real, sincere relationships and people.

Positive Attitudes

It won’t hurt to master a few positive attitudes that you need to constantly say to yourself.

For those aiming for a long and happy life, you can repeat: “I am always lucky, everything works out easily and quickly for me!”

Even if at first it seems that nothing is changing, don’t stop. As you say it every day, you will notice that you yourself have begun to believe in these words.

The power of thought

They say that thoughts are material. Whatever scenario you imagine for the development of this or that event, this is most likely what will happen. If you are afraid of the upcoming interview, you will see in your mind that it will not go well - most likely, this will happen. And if you try to calm down and relax as much as possible, imagine that the meeting will end successfully and the employer will like you, there is a high chance that you will get the coveted place. And the point here is not that it is enough to attract luck with the power of imagination. Thought can awaken great inner work in a person and concentrate efforts on the goal.

“This is how a positive thought works: first we think, then we imagine a picture - a certain image of our desire, and in the end we show activity - we begin to act,” says Alexander Mutovkin. – When we take responsibility for our thoughts, our dreams become reality. For a person who has taken the path of optimism, it is very important to learn to think positively. And you also need to radically change your attitude towards yourself - accept yourself unconditionally, with all the shortcomings and flaws, love your imperfections, this is where optimism begins. And then it will become possible to listen to myself, understand what I really want, and accurately follow my desires, without turning back or retreating, despite stereotypes, doubts of friends, dissatisfaction of parents. You will certainly be rewarded - optimism will give a different quality to your life, help you move away from dissatisfaction, envy, comparison, hatred and come to love, gratitude, joy.

Have a rest

Work always entails stress, which is why the body needs to recuperate. Even an ardent optimist needs a couple of days off a week, otherwise the positive attitude will be eaten away by fatigue. It’s better to work twelve to fourteen hours on weekdays and rest on Saturday/Sunday than to sit in the office from nine to six all seven days.

You also need to pay attention to your own sleep schedule. It is easier for the body to go to bed and get up at the same time, and the duration of sleep should be at least eight hours a day.

Real life instead of social networks

For those who want to change their thinking to a positive one, it is worth limiting your time on social networks. And, if it is not possible to completely leave there, then at least it is very possible not to spend hours of your life there aimlessly.

It turns out that modern people’s dependence on their social networks has an extremely detrimental effect on their attitude towards life. After all, in fact, it replaces real communication and events that occur outside the walls of the house.

Change your life!

But it’s easy to say, and not at all easy to do. Where to start and how to move along this path? Here are some tips to help you look at your life differently and believe that you can really change it for the better.

● Take a piece of paper and write your negative attitudes on the left side of it. And on the right, rephrase them into positive ones. For example, on the left: every spring and autumn I will get sick because I have health problems. Right: Every spring and fall I feel full of energy and health.

● Try to surround yourself with people who think and think positively, strive for those from whom you are charged with positive energy, invite them into your environment, communicate with them, learn from them.

● Try to see those situations that cause you negative reactions in a positive light. Having trouble boarding a plane for fear of an accident? Imagine being greeted by your loved one when you return home, and interesting people waiting for you when you go to the office or to a business meeting. And then you will think about how you arrive, and not about how scary it is to drive and get into an accident.

● Try to see the best qualities in people. The world is dual: there is good and evil, plus and minus, day and night. So in every person there is both good and bad. Focus on its strengths.

● Imagine your life the way you want it to be. Make a collage by cutting out pictures you like from magazines and pasting them onto a large sheet of paper the way you want. Perhaps this way you will be better able to understand your desires and create your own program that will inspire you.

● Create a treasure trove of positive emotions that you have experienced and that have brought you happy moments in life. Revisit them often in your mind and share them with others.

● Learn to track your negative thoughts and emotions, catch yourself on them and switch to positive ones “here and now”, without putting off thinking until the evening or morning. This cafe has slow waiters and is not very cozy? But there is delicious food and good music here. This internal dialogue will help you focus on the positive and lift your spirits.

● If you feel that it is difficult for you to cope with the problem on your own and all your efforts do not bring satisfaction and do not lead to the expected changes, it is better to seek help from a specialist.

Magic transformations

This is perhaps one of the main skills that any aspiring optimist should learn. There are two options for transformations - and both change the surrounding reality beyond recognition.

Option 1 - when what you want turns into something completely unnecessary. Remember Krylov's fable about the fox and the grapes? The fox, who was unable to get to the grapes, consoles himself with the fact that they are probably not tasty at all. The correct approach is optimistic: what is inaccessible to us for some reason should not be so attractive as to spoil our mood and occupy all our thoughts.

Practice. You stood in line for forty minutes for movie tickets with your child, but they ran out right in front of you. You are given exactly two minutes to look with envy and hatred after the lucky owner of the last ticket and think about why you were so unlucky. Immediately after this, you have to remember that the theater is stuffy (with such a crowd of people), and the film is not that good to spend two hours on. Smile and cheerfully tell your child about all the disadvantages of the event you planned and did not take place (a prerequisite is that the facial expression must confirm your words).

2nd option - when the inevitable turns into the desired. You find the positives in the situation and voice your discovery to the child. Ideally, this should be done quickly, almost automatically (this will require very little training).

Practice. Has your car broken down? It’s great - because you can walk and see all the delights of fading (or blooming - depending on the time of year) nature, ride on a swing and meet various friends along the way. Are you waiting for someone and just can’t wait? Great - it's time to play his favorite game with your child.

Give warmth!

The next step towards a happy and joyful life is love. Even if you don't have a soulmate, there is probably someone who really needs you today. Right now.

Try to develop a good habit of doing good deeds. To do this, you don’t need to be a very rich person or have a lot of time, it’s enough to be empathetic and sensitive to others.

Feed a homeless puppy, accompany a lonely grandmother on a walk, hold the door to let a young mother with a heavy stroller through.

You will see, as soon as such a habit appears in your life, your soul will become much lighter and lighter.


A smile is an indispensable attribute of an optimist. Start your day with a smile, smile at your reflection in the mirror, at your significant other, at your parents, at your neighbors, at those around you. A smile will give you and everyone around you a charge of positive emotions for the whole day.

Important: the smile must be sincere, then the effect will not take long to arrive.

A pessimist is most often stingy with smiles and laughter, even when everything is going well. He believes that if everything is good now, then something bad will definitely happen soon.

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