What to Do When the Future Feels Hopeless - Deepstash

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What to Do When the Future Feels Hopeless

https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2020/09/what-do-when-future-feels-hopeless/616448/

theatlantic.com

What to Do When the Future Feels Hopeless
Humans like to feel optimistic about and in control of where their life is headed. The pandemic has made it very hard to feel that way.

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Key Ideas

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Living in the future

Living in the future

We spend 30 to 50 percent or our self-generated thoughts (what we think about without trying to concentrate) thinking about the distant future. We feel happy to think of our future as full of possibilities for improvement, and that we have some control realizing those possibilities.

In contrast, pessimism and low personal control over our circumstances are a good mix for misery. The pandemic has infected our general outlook. People feel pessimistic about their personal future right now and feel a sense of powerlessness and negativity.

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Improving our ability to cope

While there's little we can do to change the realities of a global crisis we can change the mindset we use to face them.

  • Channel your inner lawyer. Verbalize the negative assumptions you make about the future, then dispute them with realistic facts, not mindless optimism.
  • Turn constraints into decisions. Examine every problem by listing the apparent limitations on your freedom and then considering how you can change them. For example, if you feel a dip in your productivity because of the lockdowns, change the definition of productivity.

The healthiest way to look at a difficult period in our lives is as an opportunity for improvement and personal growth.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Elements of well-being

Elements of well-being

Well-being can be broken into five elements:

  • Positive emotion
  • Engagement
  • Relationships
  • Meaning
  • Accomplishment

If you improve ...

Wired for pessimism

Pessimism comes naturally to people because thinking about the bad stuff that could happen helps us to prepare for survival.

The problem is that pessimists think bad events are permanent and unchangeable. "I think my interview is going to be a disaster." We need to learn to recognize what we're saying to ourselves and then argue against it. "I've done many interviews in my life, and they generally turn out well."

The need for hope

Meditation - mindfulness, focusing on the moment - is an excellent anti-anxiety, anti-anger tool..But accepting suffering and finding contentment in that means you can't move into doing something good in the future.

One important idea is hope. Positive human future doesn't come about by accident - it needs hopeful people who plan for it and make it happen.

Learned Optimism in Psychology

Learned Optimism in Psychology

This is a concept that suggests that we can always change our attitude and behaviour, be aware of our thoughts and stop our negative self-talk.

Learned Optimism is a positi...

Pessimism Vs Optimism

Pessimism is defined as the anticipation of good or bad things to happen in the future, while optimism is generally considered the opposite. Optimism can be defined as the individual difference variable reflecting the extent of which we hold positive expectancies for the upcoming event.

The ways in which we think affects our health, well-being and success, even though the situations are the same.

Benefits of Optimism

  • A positive impact on many aspects of physical and mental health.
  • Provides motivation to work harder.
  • Greater career success in life.

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Burnout is not the same as tired

Burnout is job-induced depression.

When you suffer from burnout, 

  • you become chronically exhausted
  • you become cynical and detached from...

3 Secrets to avoid burnout

  • Be Optimistic. Confronted by a bad situation, optimists perceive it as a challenge and try harder.
  • Find Meaning In What You Do. When you find true meaning in your work — when it’s not a job, it’s a calling — you don’t burn out.
  • Double Down On Relationships. Those who increase their social activity when things get hard handles stress the best.