Commonly, it is said that there are two types of people in the world: those that see the glass as half full, and those that insist on it being half empty.
Life is full of perspectives, military spouse life isn’t any different we chose our perspective. We chose to look at military life as an adventure or a series of trials.
The truth is though that those who live more optimistically generally live longer. Pessimism is linked to shorter longevity, cardiovascular disease, and dementia. However, pessimism doesn’t have to be permanent. If we think of optimism and pessimism on a line continuum rarely will you find someone on either end- always. Most of us fall somewhere in between.
The world wasn’t created in a day. Realize that attitudes are hard to change. Changing your perspective will take time, some studies have shown that it takes longer than two months for a habit to become automatic. However, with perseverance it is possible.
Don’t worry, don’t try to be happy. When we are trying to be happy, we are constantly gauging our level of happiness. Which thereby can increase our anxiety levels, and also keep our minds stuck on the obstacle that is challenging our happiness. Instead, keep yourself busy, with things that can easily occupy your time, leaving you little time to “obsess” with the naught. So instead of trying to force yourself to be happy about the deployment that separates you from your service member, pick up an activity that you enjoy and can easily occupy your time.
Chicken Little, the sky is falling. Another way that we often get caught in pessimistic thoughts is by catasrophizing situations. When we PCS, it becomes the end of the world- we may begin to think that we have to start all over again. Instead of catasrophizing, try writing down each way the situation could happen. Going back to our previous example of PCSing:
- I will have no friends at our new duty station.
- I will meet new friends at our new duty station.
- I will reconnect with “old” friends at our new duty station.
Another way to create optimism is by starting a gratitude journal, and hide positive inspiring quotes around the house to find (and don’t forget to like our Facebook page, where we post positive affirmations daily).