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Can a pessimist become an optimist?

How can you remain optimistic, pessimists v/s optimists.

From early years, kids and teens pick up the emotional vibes in their homes. If the atmosphere is comfortable and loving, children flourish even if they innately have a tendency towards anxiety. But if the environment is tense and dysfunctional, optimism is one of the first things to fade. It's hard to be emotionally stable and hopeful when that is not being modeled for you by your parents.

Pessimists sometimes are better equipped for tough times. If you’re a pessimist, you may foresee obstacles, expect things to go wrong, and perhaps plan for difficulties more willingly. Pessimists are more likely to build safety webs, and don’t find their world views coming into question when things go wrong; they already expect that to occur.

Whereas, Optimists tend to be healthier, happier, more successful (financially, socially, and in many other ways), and enjoy stronger and more fulfilling relationships. An optimist will seek new answers instead of dwelling on problems; they’ll have hoped to get through hard times.



So how can you remain optimistic without missing chances to keep yourself prepared for crises? 

Hope for the best and plan for the worst: With this you can have many benefits of optimism without leaving yourself at risk and unprepared. Alike, pessimist think about things that can possibly go wrong, and try to find back-up plans and possibilities for dealing with the unexpected.

Notice your negativity: Understand what you say and how negative it is. Track your thoughts on a daily basis and notice the negativity and conclusions that you draw. Identifying your negativity is essential to change.

Think of what’s important: Enjoy what you have, and also remind yourself that you are more than what you have. You may want to take time, periodically, to reconsider your own strengths and resources.

Develop gratitude: Be grateful for what you have, without becoming so involved to it that you can’t imagine your life without it.

Remember that whatever you face, will pass:  Major setbacks do not cause people to feel unhappy for as long as people predict. After a few weeks or months, people who have experienced a major crisis generally return to regular level of happiness or unhappiness. Generally, optimists tend to feel happier, and pessimists tend to feel less happy   but if you’re a pessimist, it’s possible to be a ‘learned optimist’.

Search for positive angle of situations: Mostly, situations can be seen in both a positive and negative light. You just have to seek the positive one and keep reminding yourself of it in order to eventually believe it.

Positive thinking brings a lot of benefits, such as better wellbeing and better sleep. Optimism can be damaging if it keeps you locked into fantasy and you are in denial about your current reality. A mix of optimism and realistic thinking help people navigate through life. Realistic thinking does not mean to see the bright side of life; not at all. It is a way of supporting your optimism with the action steps so that you can create a positive future.

It’s only after you’ve stepped outside your comfort zone that you begin to change, grow, and transform- Bennett

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Tips to Cope with Teenage Anxiety

Teenage anxiety can be so difficult to manage. Amidst the many changes which occur, anxious thoughts and feelings can become prevalent. Here are some tips which might help you find your calming spot.
ArchitaTeentalk Expert

At some point in our lives, we may experience anxious thoughts and  feelings caused by different stressors. It can be in the form of aches and pains, worrying thoughts, racing heart rate, sweating, fear and likewise.

Signs of anxiety can include but are not limited to:-

  1. Feeling restless

  2. Being easily tired

  3. Concentration concerns

  4. Being irritable

  5. Tense or sore muscles

  6. Having no or unsatisfying sleep

  7. Seeking reassurance from others

  8. Excessive list making

There might be many things which bother us on a regular basis. However, it’s important to remember that we are in control of our thoughts and feelings. In a moment of anxiety, try some of the following tips to cope with it and help yourself.

  1. First and foremost, remember to BREATHE, Inhale deeply through your nose and exhale through your mouth

  2. Learn to identify anxious thoughts and actively recognize if they are reasonable or irrational

  3. If they are unreasonable, challenge them and try to see if there is evidence supporting those thoughts, if not, try to invalidate them

  4. Avoid drinking caffeine if you are feeling or anticipating feeling anxious

  5. Try to find the following around you. 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste. This will help you bring your attention back to the present and distract you from the anxious thoughts

  6. Set aside a certain amount of time during the day when you allow yourself to worry about whatever is bothering you. Aside from this time, try to control or stop your anxious or worrisome thoughts.

  7. Get some physical movement into your daily schedule (exercise, yoga, running, walking, jogging, skipping, sports, cycling, martial arts, etc)

  8. Do some work round the house or organize something like your closet or study table

  9. Cultivate stronger and meaningful friendships and relationships with people

  10. Find that one thing that helps you feel calm and repeat it

Anxiety can be abundantly scary and so terrifying. But when you learn to identify what makes you anxious, learn to replace those thoughts with something more realistic and rational. Writing these irrational and challenging rational thoughts really helps. Talk to a friend and ask them to challenge you because then you can be accountable to them along with yourself.

You’re stronger and braver than your anxiety. Remind yourself that you can control it and if there is something negative, certainly something positive is also present. You’ll just need to look closely and patiently. Stop. Breathe. Repeat!

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Disclaimer: TeentalkIndia does not offer emergency services and is not a crisis intervention centre, if you or someone you know is experiencing acute distress or is suicidal/self harming, please contact the nearest hospital or emergency/crisis management services or helplines.