5 Ways to Overcome Pessimism in Your Life
- Tracie Miles Proverbs 31
- 2017 27 Apr
“Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.” (Proverbs 4:23 GNT)
Pessimism is a universal epidemic which has permeated the hearts of so many. It is negatively impacting the minds and souls of people everywhere. Chronic negative thoughts about the problems we are facing today in regards to jobs, homes, marriages, child rearing, the economy, state of the government, and racial division, coupled with stark differences of opinions about everything from politics to faith to football, has created a cancer of negative thinking that is spreading rapidly throughout our world. But just because the world is negative, doesn’t mean we have to be too.
We all have the power within ourselves to intentionally choose to be positive, despite the circumstances we are facing personally or are happening in the world around us.
The inner peace and joy that come from the miracle of a transformed and renewed perspective and outlook on life is unmatched. With a transformed heart and mind comes a transformed life because where optimism and positive thinking grows, so does joy and happiness, regardless of circumstances. Just as negativity is contagious, so is optimism. Our choice to transform our thinking might not only change our lives, but the lives of others.
Below you will find five tips for helping you begin to retrain your brain and tap into the joy-filled life of optimism you have been longing for. When we change the way think, we change the way we feel and live, because as we think, so will we be.
1. Think of the circumstances that often make you feel as if you’re sinking, whether emotionally, mentally, spiritually or physically. Think about what emotions you struggle with most on a daily basis in relationship to those circumstances (fear, anxiety, sadness, grief, anger, unforgiveness, etc.). Ponder how different life could be if you could escape from those negative feelings and feel positive about them instead. Ask God to help you control your thoughts so you can reclaim authority over your feelings instead of allowing them to boss you around and control your life. Often we sink because of how we think about what we’re going through, not because of what we’re going through. Make a personal commitment to anchor your heart and mind in positive thinking because hearts anchored in God don’t sink.
2. Make a list of what you are losing by maintaining an attitude of toxic negativity. Peace? Joy? Contentment? Happy relationships? Health? Invite God to help you see the losses you may have not considered until now. Ask for open eyes to see the toll negative thinking is having on you in various ways. When we begin to recognize the toll pessimism is taking on us, it can become our true inspiration and motivation for lasting transformation of the mind.
3. What misconceptions about yourself, your life or your circumstances have you trained your mind to believe? Make a list of what you believe to be true about these things, then ask yourself if God’s opinion lines up with your own. If there is a discrepancy between what you believe to be true, and what God’s Word says is true, devote energy into trying to retrain your brain to believe God’s truths over your own. Ask God to prick your heart each time you think the untrue statement again and remind you of His truth. Over time, you will come to embrace His truths over the enemy’s lies.
4. Spend time in God’s Word and in prayer every day. Quiet time with our Lord can transform a heart and mind like nothing else. Although most believers know the importance of these habits, few actually make them a priority in their life. Set aside a specific time each day, and ask God to help you be aware of how your heart and mind are transforming and when you are successful in overcoming negative thoughts.
5. Embracing a life of positive thinking doesn’t mean it’s always going to be easy. Be prepared for the enemy of our souls to try to keep you from being positive. Guard your heart and mind by asking God to help you avoid the whirlpools of negativity that try to bring you down and be aware of when you get caught up in one of them. Each time you struggle with negativity, invite God in again and keep fighting to stay afloat.
To dig deeper into each of these tips and learn how to apply them to your life, and to receive a daily devotion and challenge activity for each tip, sign up for my free 5 Day Optimist Challenge. Visit my blog for more information at www.traciemiles.com.
Tracie Miles is passionate about inspiring women to deepen their relationship with Christ and live a life of joy, peace and happiness despite their circumstances. She is a speaker and writer with Proverbs 31 Ministries and enjoys sharing at women’s events around the country. She is the author of three books, including her latest release Unsinkable Faith: God-Filled Strategies to Transform the Way You Think, Feel, and Live.
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