Life often throws us curveballs. Some we are equipped to deal with promptly and efficiently, others, not so much. These things can often cause us to form a negative outlook on the situation, and often on our lives in general – without us realising this is happening. This article will help some of you in getting out of this negative place – no matter what the cause or situation – and aid you in changing your mindset, as well as seeing and feeling positivity in a negative or less-than-ideal situation.
1. Gratitude. Remember this when you find yourself in a negative mindset. Write down the good things that happened during the day and the things you are grateful for – no matter how small they may seem, even when it seems nigh on impossible to find something good in some days. It could be something simple like a friendly smile from a stranger or getting out of a lecture fifteen minutes early or the sun shining in your window when you wake up. Appreciate the smallest of things. Absorb them. You will notice that there are more things to be grateful for in a day than you originally thought.
2. Write it down. No matter what has happened during the day; how horrible your boss was or the looming assignment deadline, if you keep it bottled up it will only be at the peril of your own sanity. Whenever the mood strikes, simply scribble down whatever is in your head, – good, bad and indifferent. Don’t be worried that others will see it – write exactly what you feel. Afterwards, put the notebook in a safe place or get rid of the pages. The bulk of the negativity associated with these thoughts will be down on the page, making it easier for you to get through the day with a calm mind.
3. Get some air. Go for a walk, it really does clear your mind. Light exercise will also aid an anxious or negative mind. Allow yourself to breathe in the fresh air and breathe out the negativity, anxious thoughts, or whatever may be bothering you. Breeze into a lighter mindset.
4. Plan things to look forward to. This doesn’t have to be something extravagant like a holiday, but rather small things, like meeting friends for food, baking, planning a trip to the cinema or deciding to call an old friend and meet for coffee. Having things to look forward to will really help in getting past any negativity you may be facing. Plan things that you know will make you feel better.
5. Talk. If something is bothering you, talk about it. No good ever came from allowing something to build up inside and not expressing it to anyone. Talk to a friend, partner, family member or even a stranger if that is easier. There are over seven billion people in the world – you are never alone in how you feel and there is always somebody willing to lend an understanding ear.
6. Eat and drink well. What we put into our bodies genuinely affects how we feel – both physically and mentally. We all comfort eat junk food (if someone tells you they have never done so, they are lying), but for the most part try your best to eat well. Filling your body with fruit, vegetables, water and the nutrients it needs will not only make you feel better physically, but will also improve your mental health, as well as keeping your immune system strong – instantly perking up your body and mind.
7. Smile and laugh. Even if you don’t feel like it, laugh at the small things, smile at people you pass in the street. The muscles in your face that are used when you smile and laugh have been proven to trigger a happy feeling in your brain, even when the smile is forced! Crack a smile and notice how you instantly feel a little bit better.
8. Meditate. Meditation can have amazing positive effects on an anxious or negative mind. Try calm.com, they have a website as well as an app, which I have found to be incredibly helpful and easy to incorporate into my everyday life, either during the day or before going to sleep. Don’t knock it ’til you try it!
9. Surround yourself with positive people. Ensure you are around people who are largely positive and encouraging and bring positivity into your life. Granted, everybody has their off days and not everyone can be 100% positive at all times, but choose people who make you feel good and who try their best to look at life optimistically and positively for the most part. Eliminate negative people who bring you down. These people will not help you grow. Do what is best for YOU.
10. Celebrate every tiny victory. Some days this victory may simply be getting out of bed and dragging yourself to work or University or finishing an assignment before the deadline. Whatever it is, celebrate it. Congratulate yourself. Even the small things are victories. Sometimes it’s okay if all you do that day is get out of bed and breathe. When things feel like too much, just put your feet on the floor. That is an accomplishment in itself. Allow it to be.
11. Don’t worry about the future too much. For some this may seem harder than turning lead to gold, however it can be done. Live in the moment. Focus on right now and take each day as it comes. Nobody benefits from worrying about something that hasn’t happened yet – and may never happen – it just stops you enjoying the now, the present moment. The future is unwritten. Let it surprise you.
“The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things. Look inward, learn to enjoy whatever life has. Transform greed to gratitude.”
“Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day.”