We all go through different modes in life that put us through things unimaginable. Be it the good phases or the bad ones, we must always keep going and moving forward. Undeniably, while the good parts of life give us all the sunshine we need, the bad parts of life bring us down significantly. And, unfortunately, our brains are wired in a way that we give more attention to the negative experiences rather than the positive ones. However, such thoughts lead to nothing but more negativity in life.
This negative pattern might make us more protective towards ourselves, and rather insecure about our happiness. We try to develop a natural coping mechanism to avoid getting hurt again, and one of these coping mechanisms is developing cynicism.
I’m not here to tell you to avoid cynicism – constructive cynicism is actually healthy. Cynicism is like a medicine: you need to take it in the amount prescribed otherwise there can be an overdosage, causing much deterioration to health. While it is actually good to have cynicism in small doses, going overboard can always be harmful to your mental health.
While cynicism sets us back in life, it also does some good for us. It makes us value honesty and integrity, and puts us into ground reality. We dream of more realistic things and do not live in the idealistic, perfect world.
What harm does cynicism do?
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Slipping into the extreme side of cynicism is like getting addicted to your smartphone. You feel like nothing is happening but then you also can’t take a day off without your phone.
Being constantly cynical can lead to pervasive pessimism that is very harmful to our well-being. When we do everything with the idea that doing it is pointless, there is no use of doing it right? Cynicism distances us from people and puts us in a state where nothing even matters anymore. We think of all the things going wrong and all negative experiences, adding to our already existing existential crisis.
This process is called pervasive pessimism, and it occurs commonly in people who are cynical by nature. This phenomenon can lead to depression and is often considered as a risk factor in cardiovascular diseases. Despising everything from the bottom of your heart just makes things worse. If your heart is broken, then detesting everything will not glue all your pieces back.
If all of these ideas sound familiar, then maybe there is a reason for you to introspect on your interactions.
What to do to keep extreme cynicism at bay?
Cynicism can be kept at bay and controlled as long as it doesn’t overpower you. Here are the simplest methods to keep your cynicism in check.
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Take Baby Steps
There is a 90% chance that you are not born cynical. Recognise this fact and retrospect on your previous experiences. Sometimes bad experiences pave the way to a cynicism that makes you doubt about everything good in life. It is not abnormal, and you can always get out of the loop.
Like every healing process, this process also takes its own time. Accept the change, and work towards it. Be aware of the level of cynicism you currently are in and check how much it is affecting your life.
Start Making Little Changes
After noticing the extent of its effect and identifying where it is affecting you, work towards it. Make small changes in your life that wouldn’t make you feel too uncomfortable. Try and easily dive into positivity, so that it feels like less of an effort.
One of the ways to do so is to check your social media. Whenever you find things that affect you negatively, rather than getting bothered by them, just keep scrolling. Make sure you voice out your constructive opinions and filter the negative ones. Thinking less about such things will make them fade away sooner.
Dreaming is the free-est of things that you have the privilege of experiencing. Dream whatever you want to, and look towards the positive things in life. Think of all the nice things you can do to make it a reality. Dream and attract creativity into your life.
If not that, think about good things that can bring an instant smile on your face. A happy person leads a happy life, always remember that. So the next time you think you are stupid for day-dreaming, you know what to do right?
Say no to things you cannot tolerate
Saying NO is one of the most crucial things that all of us need to learn in life. Always seek to do things that you absolutely love. That being said, learn to refrain from those you don’t like. Say no loudly and clearly, so that the people at the back can hear it. It will make you more powerful and helps you stay in control of your choices. It’s really simple: when you do things you like, you stay happy and motivated. Work towards it.
Surround yourself with positive people
Last step, but the most important one in the list. Surround yourself with positive people as much as you can. Period.
The cynic inside you urges you to surround yourself with other cynics and make fun of all the optimists. Don’t be that person. Be selective about who you want to spend your time with, and attract the right kind of people.
Surround yourself with positive people and discuss what helps them be positive and cheerful. Learn to appreciate kindness, and develop the spirit to keep up with the downsides of life. Always compliment and encourage your friends naturally to attract positivity. Attend “lame” parties sometimes, you never know they can turn out to be good for you.
No matter what situation is thrown at you, learn to appreciate the good thing in it! The goodness always overpowers the criticism. Pay attention to it.
Your AC can stop working on an extremely hot day, but at least you’re not deprived of the fan, right?
It’s okay to be cynical at times – but make sure you are rational at it!
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