How To Make Yourself Happy When You're A Pessimist

Photo: getty
girl happy and smiling

Defined as a state of well-being and contentment, happiness is one of the most important emotions, so it's no wonder why even as a pessimist you want to learn how to make yourself happy. 

It’s easy to confuse the source of happiness. 

Sometimes we expect other people to make us happy — partner, friend, or family member. In other cases, we place a high value on the situations that unfold around us. 

But the reality is, only you can bring about your own true happiness

While this isn’t difficult for everyone, it can pose a tough challenge for people who have a pessimistic outlook on life. When nothing is good, why be happy?

This is a pessimistic person’s mindset. 

RELATED: How To Totally Master The Art Of Being Happy In 6 Steps (Or Less!)

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have this perspective every now and then. 

However, over time, I have learned ways to shut down the negativity and create genuine happiness within myself. 

Here are 10 ways to make yourself happy when you’re a pessimist. 

It’s totally possible to shift your outlook and cultivate positivity. 

1. Challenge negative thoughts. 

For a pessimist, it can feel like negative thoughts are realistic and necessary for everyday life. But this couldn’t be farther from the truth. 

It’s okay to question your initial reaction to things. As a matter of fact, it shows immense maturity and growth. 

When a negative thought pops into your head, shut it down. Give the reversed response and see how that makes you feel. I’m sure you’ll be a lot happier. 

2. Let yourself enjoy life’s little moments.

All too often, I find that I don’t actually let myself be happy. Since I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop, I don’t see the point in giving into happiness that might be fleeting. 

However, just because you celebrate a happy moment doesn’t mean it’ll be taken away or something bad will come along. 

Life is full of ups and downs and it’s a waste not to celebrate the ups. Because when they happen, they’re really good! Try allowing yourself to smile and be in the moment

3. Do things that are guaranteed to bring you joy. 

This will probably look different for everyone, but a simple way to let happiness into your life is to put it there.

Do you love to read? Does going for a nightly walk make you happy? Whatever it is that you know will make you happy, do it!

This shows that you are making your needs and desires a priority. 

And with the practice of self-care, you can begin to feel true happiness that you know began with you and the decisions you made. 

4. Make healthy habits stick. 

Sometimes we just need a little direction in our lives to feel happy. Healthy habits such as regular exercise, a nutritious diet, and meditation can make a huge impact on our lives. 

They will shift the focus from negative thoughts to positive goals that not only bring us joy but strengthen our physical well-being. 

It’s hard to stay in a pessimistic mindset when you’re taking care of your body and maintaining habits that will only benefit you. 

5. Let out your negativity through creative outlets. 

There’s nothing better than being able to express your inner thoughts. And in order to be happy, this might include releasing negativity. 

Journaling is a great way to let it all out. Or maybe you would prefer a more artistic approach such as painting or coloring. 

You shouldn’t be ashamed of the feelings you have. Being a pessimist isn’t an illness, it’s just your mindset and by freeing it creatively you’ll give it less power over you. 

RELATED: 10 Ways To Be Happy Alone​

6. Stop complaining.

Let’s face it, there will always be times when complaining is a necessity. But it shouldn’t consume every conversation you have in your life. 

Similar to challenging negative thoughts, you must begin to put a stop to the complaints. Once you put those at bay, it’ll become easier to see the good things. 

Besides, a negative attitude will start to wear on others. And you don’t want to be the most unhappy person people know. 

7. Start talking about all that you’re grateful for. 

You can do this in many various ways. Whether you decide to start a gratitude journal, talk with friends, or have a conversation with yourself before bed, being grateful is a step to happiness. 

When you recognize all the wonderful things in your life, it becomes pretty hard to have a pessimistic outlook. 

Even if you jot down something as simple as access to clean drinking water, you’ll notice how easy it is to be happy if only you would let yourself. 

8. Surround yourself with people who are optimistic. 

Sometimes the best way to learn how to make ourselves happy is to turn to the experts.

Who in your life has a positive outlook that you aspire to possess? Whoever just popped into your mind, think about getting lunch with them soon. They might just inspire you to be the best version of yourself.

Don’t be afraid to open up about your challenges. Listen to their responses and take advice when needed. It’s a little easier to make yourself happy when you have the support of others. 

9. Recognize that it doesn’t have to be sunshine and rainbows all the time. 

The biggest misconception in today’s society is that there are only two sides of the spectrum — you’re either positive and happy all the time or negative and sad. 

This process shouldn’t be so much about replacing negative thoughts with positive ones, but rather understanding that we can accept both the good and bad that come our way. 

For me, true happiness came when I wrapped my head around the idea that things can be shitty, but I can still find joy. It doesn’t have to be so black and white. 

10. Be gentle with yourself. 

It might take a lot of practice to get out of your old ways of thinking. Unfortunately, you can’t decide to be less pessimistic and just wake up happy the next day. 

Most likely, this will take some hard work. And as crazy as it might sound, find some happiness within that realization. 

Go easy on yourself and remember why you’re putting in the work — to find genuine happiness within your life and yourself — because you deserve that. 

RELATED: Sorry, But Happiness Is Not A Choice (And Don't Let People Tell You It Is)

Isabella Pacinelli is a writer who covers relationship, self-love, spirituality, and entertainment topics.