Confession: I have been really struggling with negative thoughts and pessimism. It’s funny because I always considered myself an optimistic person but within the last year or so, I feel like I’ve been a
realist pessimist. I am not exactly sure where this pessimism stems from but it is starting to affect my daily life. I want to remember the goodness in people. I don’t want to automatically assume the worst. I don’t want to let one bad moment ruin my entire day.
Maybe it is stress. Maybe I am sleep deprived. Maybe I am overworked. It may possibly be a combination of the three; nonetheless, I want to change my way of thinking. I want to go back to looking on the ‘bright side’ and, most importantly, trust that God has my best interest in mind and wouldn’t allow me to venture through any circumstance that wasn’t character building in one way or another.
What have I been negative about? Short answer: a lot. Quick list: relationships, the state of the world, people in general, my future career, my body, my home and my neighborhood. The big things.
I am a little embarrassed to admit this but I figured that I probably wasn’t the only one struggling with this so I wanted to share with you all.
So- the big question is… How do I change my mindset?
I recently finished Joyce Meyer’s book The Battlefield of the Mind and it ultimately aided me in realizing there was a problem. I realized that I cannot have a positive life with a negative mind. Let that sink in. It seems so simple and yet, why is it so hard to change our thoughts? I know a lot for it can be circumstantial; however, despite our circumstances we need to be hopeful and try to stay as positive as we can.
Driving around my neighborhood over the past couple of weeks has made me realize what Meyer repeats throughout her book: It is all about perspective. Why did my neighborhood help me draw that conclusion? Well, I tend to complain about my neighborhood a lot. It isn’t the place I want to raise kids (our house is too small and we have no outside play space) and sometimes it can be really ugly. Driving around last week, it occurred to me again: it is all about perspective.
When I focus on the things I don’t like about my neighborhood, yes, it can be ugly or ‘not so picturesque’ but my neighborhood is actually quite charming. Sure there are some things I would change but no place is perfect. Nothing on earth is.
In changing my perspective on something as silly as my neighborhood, I have started observing it through a different lens.
If I change the perspective of my mindset (and thought life), I think I could live a life that is much more positive.
What do you think? Do you ever get stuck in a season of negative thoughts?