Doomer to Bloomer

Introduction

A Doomer is typically characterised as an early 20’s male who suffers from depression and has a bleak outlook on the world. A Bloomer represents someone with a highly optimistic outlook on life and a go-getter attitude, usually in their later 20s’. This post also applies to females, and those who may be older or younger than the demographic typically associated with these terms. Life is full of hope and despair, joy and sadness, light and dark. We all have problems, we all face challenges, and the future often seems uncertain. The more we train our mind to focus on the positives, and the more action we take towards improving ourself and our life, the better we will become, and the better our future will be. Below are three tips that should help you to transition from Doomer to Bloomer.


Tip 1: Stoicism

Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy, involving personal ethics informed by its system of logic and its views on the natural world. Here are three principles of stoicism that should help to cultivate a stronger mind and a more positive outlook:

1) Live by virtue – Living a virtuous life is a key element in stoic philosophy. Stoics classified virtues under the four categories: Wisdom, Justice, Courage and Temperance. By practicing these virtues, we both strengthen our character, and help to inspire others to live a more virtuous life too.

  • Wisdom – the ability to discern the appropriate course of action to be taken in a given situation at the appropriate time. Also known as prudence.
  • Justice – the most extensive and most important virtue; the Greek word also having the meaning righteousness.
  • Courage – also termed fortitude, forbearance, strength, endurance, and the ability to confront fear, uncertainty, and intimidation.
  • Temperance – also known as restraint, the practice of self-control, abstention, discretion, and moderation tempering the appetition. Sōphrosynē can also be translated as sound-mindedness.

2) Focus on what you can control, accept what you can’t – There are two main parts to life: that which we have control over, and that which we do not. This key stoic concept is important to understand and master if you are to live a happy, fulfilling and productive life. Spend more time making the most of what you do have and taking positive action in areas of your life that you have control over, whilst simultaneously learning to accept and worry less about all the things that you do not have the ability to control or change. This idea is best summarised by the following quote by Marcus Aurelius:

“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” – Marcus Aurelius

3) Amor Fati – Love Everything that Happens –

“Seek not for events to happen as you wish but rather wish for events to happen as they do and your life will go smoothly.” – Epictetus

Learning to love all that happens, including the things that once previously annoyed or angered you is a challenging concept to most, but it is an extremely invaluable practice if you are able to master it. Every event can be viewed in multiple ways, and some perspectives and attitudes are clearly better than others. We can improve our life by making external changes, such as increasing possessions, fame, wealth, status etc., or we can try to improve how we view and relate to the things that we already have, and all the experiences that life has to offer us. The previous principle was about accepting what happens, whereas Amor Fati is about learning to love it as well.


Tip 2: CBT

CBT stands for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, which is a commonly prescribed treatment for a variety of mental health problems including depression. CBT is based on the concept that our thoughts, feelings and behaviours are all related and can affect each other.

By learning to become more aware of our thought patterns, and challenging any negative ones that arise, it may help to change an outlook of pessimism and doom.

1. All-or-Nothing Thinking: Evaluating the self, as well as events in life in extreme terms. It is either all good or all bad, either black or white, nothing in between.

2. Overgeneralization: Making hasty generalizations from insufficient evidence. Drawing a very broad conclusion from a single incident or a single piece of evidence.

3. Mental Filter: Focusing entirely on negative elements of a situation to the exclusion of the positive. Also, the brain’s tendency to filter information that does not conform to already-held beliefs.

4. Disqualifying the Positive: Discounting positive events.

5. Jumping to Conclusions: Reaching preliminary conclusions (usually negative) with little (if any) evidence.

6. Magnification and Minimization: Giving proportionally greater weight to a perceived failure, weakness or threat, or lesser weight to a perceived success, strength or opportunity, so that the weight differs from that assigned by others, such as “making a mountain out of a molehill”.

7. Emotional Reasoning: Presuming that negative feelings expose the true nature of things and experiencing reality as a reflection of emotionally linked thoughts. Thinking something is true, solely based on a feeling.

8. Should Statements: Expecting the world to be different than it is”. It can be seen as demanding particular achievements or behaviours regardless of the realistic circumstances of the situation.

9. Labeling and Mislabeling: A form of overgeneralization; attributing a person’s actions to his or her character instead of to an attribute. Rather than assuming the behaviour to be accidental or otherwise extrinsic, one assigns a label to someone or something that is based on the inferred character of that person or thing.

10. Personalization: Attributing personal responsibility, including the resulting praise or blame, to events over which the person has no control.


Tip 3: Goals

Set many goals and have many projects, then you will always have something to look forward to, and always something to keep you busy. It is difficult to stay motivated if we do not have inspiring and worthwhile goals, or perhaps none at all. Remember to turn your goals into SMART goals, which stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time bound.

Specific – This means to have well defined, clear, and easy to understand goals.

Measurable – Does this goal have specific criteria that is measurable as you progress towards it?

Attainable – Is it a realistic goal that is possible to achieve given your circumstances, skills, and resources?

Relevant – Goals should be relevant to your overall purpose, or life mission. Is it worth the time and energy? Is now the right time? It is related to other goals?

Timebound – Aim for a clearly defined timeline, including start date and target date.

Quotes

“Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.” ~ Victor Hugo

“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers, to turn on the light.” ~ J.K Rowling

“When you are going through hell, keep going.” ~ Winston Churchill

“Yet is it far better to light the candle than to curse the darkness.” ~ William L Watkinson

“Make the best use of what is in your power, and take the rest as it happens. Some things are up to us and some things are not up to us.” ~ Epictetus

“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realise this, and you will find strength.” ~ Marcus Aurelius

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