Wednesday, 17 July 2013

How to snap out of negative mindset quick

“You become what you think about all day long.”  Earn Nightingale


I just had one of those days. You know the ones when nothing seems to be working? When everything you touch breaks and all the problems in the world seem to drop in your lap in one giant heap? Yes, I had one of those days today.

At times like these, it would be so easy to succumb to pointless wallowing in self-pity, thinking that I have the worst situation in the whole world. It would be normal for me to engage in futile ruminations of the things I could have done, should have done and would have done, knowing fully well that I could not undo the past. 

But not today. Admittedly, I allowed myself to indulge, albeit briefly, in this negative mindset today. But as soon as I started seeing the warning signs: I'm unable to focus, I'm getting increasingly irritable and starting to breathe erratically, I knew I had to snap out of the funk. 

It’s all too easy to get carried away by the negativity when you’re facing a difficult situation such as losing your home due to financial difficulties. Or when the love of your life cheated on you and left you for someone else. You may feel depressed and helpless when you've lost your life-saving to someone who took advantage of your trust. At times like these, it may seem impossible to dig yourself out of the slump.

The good news is, we can snap ourselves out of this negative state quicker than you realise. Here’s how I get out of the funk quick and how you can do it too.

1. Find something that makes you laugh, real belly laugh. 

There are millions of websites dedicated to humour and funny posts dominate Facebook. Allow yourself a few moments to enjoy something funny. Laugh hard. Laughter immediately helps in diffusing the negative energy and floods your body with endorphin. 

Yes, I know it’s hard to laugh when you’re suffering, but keep trying. Before you know it, you’d be laughing uncontrollably, probably at the silliness of taking yourself and situation too seriously.

2. Notice the stories that you're telling yourself as you try to deal with your problems. 

Are you blaming yourself? Are you berating yourself for being ‘weak, stupid and lazy’ for allowing this problem to happen?

All too often, we judge ourselves harshly compared to others. We beat ourselves up and subject ourselves to endless torture because we think we're not good enough and therefore don't deserve to be happy.

Realise that these are just stories. You made them up and therefore, you have the ability to un-make them. You can stop and change the story line altogether. 

You are not weak or stupid. You may have made the wrong decision, but this is not a proof you are not smart enough. 

3. Look for things to be grateful about. 

When we’re facing a multitude of problems, it may be difficult to see the bright side. But they are there if you look hard enough.

You can be grateful for the fact that you’re in good health and living near the people you love. You can be thankful to live in a country where you can enjoy peace and freedom. Despite your current problems, you still enjoy the good fortune of earning more than enough to live on. You have a roof over your head and food on the table. 

You can even be grateful for the problems you are now experiencing. Without these challenges, we cannot grow as people. It makes us stronger and wiser. 

Here’s a beautiful poem I turn for inspiration when I’m facing a difficult situation.

Be thankful

Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire,
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don’t know something
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.

Be thankful for your limitation
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge
Because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes
They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you’re tired and weary
Because it means you’ve made a difference.

It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are
also thankful for the setbacks.

Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings.
~ Author Unknown ~

Remember that no one is hopelessly condemned to eternal misery, unless you allow yourself to be. There’s always a way out of the problems we face in this life. It may not be readily apparent today, but troubles will soon pass. And you smile again.