Do you worry a lot? Do you catastrophize — expect worst results of a situation when it usually turns out to not be the case — like I’ll never find a job, or so-and-so will get into an auto accident if she drives in the snow, or “You know, it always happens to me that I get cheated”?
Yes, sometimes the worst case scenario comes to pass. But, if you stop to think about it, it usually doesn’t. You even might want to keep track each time you find yourself thinking this way.
Some people, and maybe you’re one of them, don’t realize that it’s almost like a superstition — unconsciously they think if I expect the worst it won’t occur. Or, maybe that’s not true for you but nonetheless it may have become a bad habit.
Here’s a possible way to lessen the power of that habit and challenge the superstition if it’s underlying this negativity. Send yourself a positive message. The way to do this is whenever you start thinking like a pessimist — “I know I failed that test” or “No one will like my performance” or “People think I’m unattractive” — say something different to yourself. Say to yourself, “I’ll get a good grade because I studied hard,” or “My performance will be appreciated,” or “I look good.”
If you’ve been in the habit of looking at things in a negative way this technique won’t necessarily ring true but say it to yourself anyway. And, keep saying it to yourself in your head. After a while it might take hold.
You might also choose to give yourself a message each morning like, “Overall today will be a good day.” It takes time to change a habit but you can at least make a dent in it if you make a choice to take charge of it and to try to feel better. You might feel a little of your worry and the sadness that can come with it can lift with this technique. It’s good to combine this with other depression-lifting ways — perhaps through counseling.