Control Your Attitude

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Like a lot of people out there, I tend to dwell on the negative things that happen in my life.  And the more I think on things, the worse they make me feel and build upon the already negative feelings I’m having.

This, of course, isn’t a healthy or great way to deal with negativity in my life.  But sometimes it’s not as easy as just flipping a switch to stop thinking so negative.  It takes a lot of work to turn my attitude around, and sometimes if it’s been built up too much, then it’s near impossible to see the forest through the trees.

When I’m feeling negatively about something, I tend to get angry about it as well and wanting to lash out at something (or someone)… Which usually does more harm than good in the long run, so best to not allow myself to get to that point.  Not an easy feat at times.

So what is one to do if they’re starting to feel negative?  Well, why not try a few of these tips.

Shake that booty

As much as I hate hearing people say exercise is the best way to release tension and refocus your energy, you can’t help but agree the amazing rush you get when you get yourself out there and move around.  It doesn’t have to be a full-on work out, but could be as simple as going for a walk, try a bit of yoga, go for a bike ride.  Or even as simple as putting on your favourite dance tracks and dancing around your bedroom. It gets the endorphins surging for a bit and allows your body to pull away from your mind.

dancingSpell it out

For some people, myself included, writing out your feelings can be very therapeutic.  You may think that it’ll just bring you closer to the negativity you’re feeling, but that’s only while you’re writing them down.  Just the exercise of getting the words out can do you a wonder of good, as it allows you to look at the situation from a different perspective.  And perhaps allow you to actually work through that negativity in a more creative way.

Give someone a hand

There’s no better feeling you can get than when you’ve helped out a fellow human being with someone.  It be helping a mate move house or paint their new place, or even as simple as cat-sitting for a friend while they’re away.

Or if you want to take it further, there are numerous volunteer opportunities in your community, which allows you to make a more tangible positive difference in someone’s life.

In the end, helping someone else out can be very fulfilling and help you fill your head with new positivity.  It’ll also get you out of your cave and give you a chance to interact with others who need you.

No news is good news

Let’s be honest – there isn’t a lot of positivity shown on the nightly news, so if you’re already feeling a bit down, then turn it off.  Don’t even watch it, regardless of how intrigued you are about certain events occurring around the world.  The last thing you need is to feed your negative feelings with stories of war, murder, closed-minded politics or any other horrible thing they show each night.

Instead turn your brain onto something different, something beautiful and positive.  Read your favourite novel.  Watch your favourite movie.  Listen to your most uplifting diva.  Basically seek out the good stuff in life, and let the positivity take over your being.

Show those pearly whites

smile not crySometimes a smile, or even a good laugh, can do wonders for your negative feelings and help turn your energy back into positivity.

We’ve all heard that tired cliched saying ‘Turn that frown upside down’, usually from someone who doesn’t know what to say about what you’re going through.  And as lame as you may think that advise it, it’s actually quite valid.  Making yourself smile and laugh can be contagious, and before you know it, you’re feeling right as rain.

Turning your negative attitudes and feelings back into something more positive takes energy and effort on your part.  So go ahead and put the effort in.  Because in the end, you’ll only have yourself to thank for your own happiness.

This post was inspired by: You can control your attitude by Brian Tracy with article by Scott Stabile

9 Things to Stop Doing During Hard Times

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tumblr_lndax4RZJl1qczqexo1_500Life can be damn hard sometimes.  And sometimes it can be so hard that it makes getting on with your life practically impossible, and could potentially make things worse or make the rough patch last longer than you’d want it to.

I’ve written several times about the hard times I’ve had over the past couple years, especially since my redundancy back in April 2012.  And despite my best intentions or actions, things have continued to be something of a roller-coaster in my life and it’s been difficult to get past the problems to move forward to something more positive.

Although I’ve recently lost the job I’d finally found after being unemployed for a year (previous post) and I find myself back in the same situation I was in last year, I’ve been fairly calm and focused about moving forward and putting this behind me.

I haven’t been wallowing in self-pity or allowing myself to get depressed about the whole thing (surprisingly).  Instead I’ve been determined to find a job quickly to ensure other parts of my life don’t go downhill as well (long story that I can’t write about here..).

Awhile back I’d found an article over on Marc and Angel Hack Life, an amazing website/blog that shares inspirational advice and practical tips for life, about things NOT to do when you’re going through a rough patch (click the link at the bottom for the original article).

In the end, it’s all about finding a way to cope with the difficult stuff that come along in your life, and move yourself towards where you want your life to go.  Here are a few tips, and my interpretation of them.

1.  Be honest with yourself.

You know what they say, denial is not just a river in Eqypt (get it? ‘De-Nile’? OK, bad pun..).  Trying to ignore the situation or not facing the facts of what has happened and what brought you to that point will only make things worse.  You cannot hide from the truth as by lying to yourself, you’re only going to make things worse in the long run.

Be truthful with yourself.  Get your head out of the sand.  Be honest about how you got to where you are, what the cause of the situation is, and where you can go from it.  Learning from bad experiences or mistakes is what makes us stronger as we move forward in life.

life-can-get-hard

2.  Wishing the pain away.

To be fair, nobody truly wants to constantly feel like they’re in pain.  Well, unless you’re a masochist, but that’s an entirely different thing.

We all have painful moments in our lives, in a variety of different ways, but pain can be a good thing.  It at least reminds you that you’re still alive, that you’re still getting through the days and moving towards the future.  It reminds you that you care and have feelings, that you have a desire for something more in your life, or even the pain of knowing that instance of happiness you’re feeling at the moment cannot last forever.  There are endless possibilities ahead of you, you just need to reach for them.

3.  Holding onto the past.

be strongWe all do it without realising it – recounting some dramatic story from our past over and over again, sometimes even hypothesising that one specific incident is why our life has turned out the way it has.  We focus all our energies on recounting and re-examining something that happened possibly years prior, instead of focusing on the present and looking towards the future.

We all need to start letting go of our pasts as a way to move forward in life, because if we don’t, we may start missing out on opportunities that could be exactly what we’re waiting for.  It’s not an easy thing to do, but if you continue to re-enact behaviours from the past, then you’ll continue to have those incidents that bring you down.  Live in the NOW.

4.  Holding on to who you were before the storm.

Part of going through hard times is that it can change you, hopefully for the better.  Unfortunately, too many people are so focused on who they used to be or how a certain part of their life (like a job) formed a large portion of their own vision of themselves.

This isn’t healthy, and can ultimately lead to you feeling resentful that those parts of your life are over, or could make it even harder to move forward towards something equally terrific.  Or hopefully even better.

We need to be willing to see ourselves for who we are, broken pieces and all, and recall the good parts of ourselves to utilise them in the future.  Let go of who you used to be, good or bad, so you can become who you are right now.  Struggles are part of our lives, and fighting past them is what makes us grow as people.

5.  Over-thinking can make things worse.

just_a_bad_day_not_a_bad_lifeAs discussed in the post ‘7 Things Over-thinkers Do‘, when you over-think a problem, it can lead to needless worries or negative thinking that can easily spiral out of control.  Which could lead you further down, possibly into an unnecessary and preventable depression.

Instead it’s always better to approach change and hard situations with a positive attitude, while working towards a change for the better. We’ve all heard and said it a million times – if you don’t like something in your life, then change it.  And if you can’t change it, then change how you perceive or think about it.  Only you can choose to be happy or miserable in your life.

6.  Just SMILE dammit!

smile-123Too often when life is getting us down, we go stomping around with a grim look on our faces, even when trying to have some fun.  There’s no rule that if life is kicking your ass right now that you can’t smile or have a laugh once in awhile.

In fact, it can sometimes be much healthier to deal with life’s burdens with a sense of humour, and smile your way through all the bad times.  Once you’re through, you’ll feel better about it all, and perhaps it’ll give you a better perspective on the challenges thrown your way.

7.  Be your own drummer.

You know the cliché – what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger.  And it’s actually true.  You must endure through the hard times to get to the good times, and by enduring those periods it’ll make the good times all the so much sweeter.  Try not to focus too much on where you are now, but instead look towards what may be in the future.

Basically don’t give up or give in to the troubles you’re going through at the moment, or thinking there’s no hope to change what already is.  Be willing to do things your way, try something completely different or unexpected, and be bold enough to live your life without any apologies or regrets.

And who gives a damn what anyone else may think – it’s your life, just go out and live it.

8.  Stop holding onto the present.

2723073_UKI145p8_cSometimes the feeling of not knowing where you’re going next can be constricting.  At some point, especially when you’re going through some bad times, you need to just let go of any preconceived ideas of where you think your life is going and let it take you where you need to go.

Letting go and allowing yourself to enjoy the feeling of freedom from where you were before can be difficult.  But it can be freeing and exhilarating to realise you don’t know what’s going to happen next, and that you can’t control some situations.  You just need to let them happen.

9.  Don’t get disheartened.

Just like over-thinking above, it’s quite easy to focus on the negative things occurring in your life, especially during a bad patch, and missing out on the positives around you.  When something negative comes into your life, don’t allow yourself to get disheartened, but instead choose to learn from it and use the experience as a way to work towards something better.

Choose to be positive about your life, about where your life is going, and look towards the new adventures that are awaiting you.  When you obsess over the negative stuff, it can seep into other parts of your life.  And when you focus on how shit your life is and how hard it’s going to be to improve in the future, it can turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Smile, laugh, have fun with your friends or family, and just enjoy life for what it is – an adventure.

TRA297_BLOG_Article_Img_HabitB_v11-2This post was inspired by 9 Things to Stop Doing During Hard Times at Marc and Angel Hack Life.