How to Be Positive During Difficult Times
Life is full of moments.
You know, many of which are absolutely amazing but some of which, let’s face it, just completely suck.
Look, the point isn’t to make your life positive all of the time because that’s just not how it works. The point is noticing when things are getting a little bit difficult and training yourself to remain as hopeful, positive, and optimistic as you can when things are getting tough.
These are a few tips for ways that you can stay positive when life is getting difficult:
1) DO NOT FEEL GUILTY THAT YOU ARE HAVING A HARD TIME
Like I said, life isn’t supposed to be all sunshine and rainbows all the time, sometimes you are going to feel sad and frustrated and overwhelmed, and THAT’S OK.
The worse thing you can do in this situation is to begin to feel guilty about feeling this way.
You know, what matters most isn’t actually the way that you feel or the emotions that you have. It’s the meaning and perspective you give to those feelings.
So, while it’s important to accept how you’re feeling and not feel guilty about it, it’s also important that you don’t just accept that as your new normal. That is where you will begin to spiral.
When you start to notice that things are getting a little tough and, as a result, your emotional state is becoming more and more negative, you need to make it your mission to feel what you need to feel to heal but then do what you need to do to get your emotional gage back to a positive one.
2) GET THOSE NEGATIVE THOUGHTS OUT OF YOUR BRAIN
TALK IT OUT
It’s also important that when you are in an emotional state and things do start to feel difficult, that you talk them out.
You know, humans have a negativity bias and we tend to keep negativity at the forefront of our minds because our brain wants to hold on to information. You will find it difficult to think about anything else unless you find a way to take out the negative thoughts and put them somewhere else.
That’s why we spiral, that’s why it’s so easy to be perpetually negative.
So replace your negative thoughts by talking them out.
Even though I’m about to turn 30, my natural inclination is still to call my mum when things are feeling a little tough. And I’m not afraid to admit it, it always makes me feel better.
So, who can you call to get your negative thoughts out of your brain?
Another way to replace these negative thoughts is through journaling.
Getting everything out of that big old brain of yours onto paper helps your brain to think this “important” information is now safe in this journal, so it doesn’t need to spend so much time focusing on it.
So, find a way of journaling that suits you and use it to release your negative thoughts from your mind.
3) PLAN FOR THE FUTURE
Hope is such a strong emotion. So, when you are going through a difficult period of your life something that is also really important is to optimistically plan for the future.
It’s almost like saying, ok, I know right now is not an ideal time in my life, but if I just keep moving forward, I’ll get to this more positive place.
Whether it is just making small lists of things you’re going to do or going all out and making a vision board, you essentially just want to make sure you are giving yourself something to look forward to.
4) FIND SOMEONE NEW TO INTERNET STALK (HERE ME OUT)
Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed and negative, finding someone that I don’t feel any comparisonitis towards and that I find inspiring helps me so much.
I think I end up soaking up this persons’ energy, while also kind of distracting myself from my own emotions.
It’s like when you see something funny and it takes your mind off of feeling sad or negative. The same thing happens when you find something or someone that is inspiring.
Just make sure this person gives you good vibes and isn’t triggering any other negative emotions that may actually make the situation worse.
5) TAKE UP A NEW HOBBY
One of the most potent things you can do, when you are in need of a distraction, is take up a new hobby.
I’ve done a lot of research on the flow state and how it has the power to increase happiness and fulfilment and what I’ve learned is that the flow state is often triggered by incompetence.
So if you’re just constantly doing things that you’re already good at, you may not actually ever get into this flow state and you might just find yourself getting really repetitive and propelling your negative feelings.
But, if you want to get into this flow state, doing something new that is challenging, that requires a lot of concentration can actually, yes, distract you from your negative emotions but also give you this sense of achievement afterwards.
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