“Worrying is thinking negative thoughts about things that are outside of your control.”

-Mel Robbin

The title of today’s post may seem oxymoronic or counterintuitive. Worrying by definition is a negative trait so how can it be optimistic?

Let me elaborate.

There are hundreds of writers, self-help gurus and philosophers who advise us not to worry as it not only doesn’t help our dilemmas but also brings our mental health down.

Realistically, however, we can’t help it at times. We’re human. When our backs are against the wall, we’re bound to be concerned. If we weren’t, we’d just be robots.

I’ve always feel sometimes we all (including myself) want a magical cure when it comes to psychological issues. We’re frequently asking our therapists or googling terms like “how can I stop worrying so much?”

You can ask such questions in one sentence but the answer can’t be that quick and simple.

Mental health and human emotions are very complex. Eliminating entire emotions, especially in a quick-fix manner, is pretty much impossible.

In a way, it’s not unlike our physiological issues. Why are addicts, be it for drugs, cigarettes or alcohol, always advised against quitting cold turkey? Because doing so is likely to send their bodies in shock.

So what’s the solution? As I always recommend in my other articles, find a proper balance.

What we can do to alleviate some of the negative energy is combined the worrying with rational thinking.

If you’re in a tough spot, worry a little but also think about the solution. Admit to yourself that the situation really sucks. But then immediately ask yourself what’s a possible solution? Or how can you tackle the long-term effects of this?

Hence you end up with what I call optimistic worrying. You don’t suppress your negative emotions. You acknowledge them and allow them a release. But you also put a leash on them by pairing them with positive thoughts.

As mentioned above, it’s impossible never to worry about anything. But we can still nurture and/or manipulate those worries in order to minimize their consequences.

If you had a child who was on the wrong side of the tracks, you certainly wouldn’t kill that child. You’d do your best to bring them back on track.

What are some ways you amalgamate your worries for hope and optimism? Do you have any specific methods? If not, do you think the points made in this article are valid? Why or why not? Share your thoughts and experiences by commenting below in our secure servers.

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Hi, I'm Neel! I'm a writer (fiction and poetry), a journalist and currently working in the advertising business. I'm also a mental health advocate, having been diagnosed with clinical depression a few years ago.

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