(Disclaimer… this doesn’t apply to you if you are suffering from a mental illness but even if you are I am 100% sure you can get some take away from this post)
Or to have a great freaking day! Either way it is your choice. And yes, even if you house burned down, even if you are suffering from a loss of a loved one and any other reason you might have for having a bad day/week/life.
Everyday we have up to 80 000 thoughts….most of which are autopilot thoughts like “I need to go to bathroom, it is raining again, why is that kid screaming” etc. For the brain it is better to have autopilot thoughts most of the time because imagine if you would actually pay attention to every single fleeing thought… yeah you would drive yourself nuts.
But you still kind of do. And you can choose not to. Now don’t get me wrong this is not to say you can’t have negative thoughts ever. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t feel sadness, anger or frustration ever. That wouldn’t be healthy and it’d mean you are suppressing your emotions. That isn’t good either. What I mean is this:
If there is traffic, instead of going on and on about how much it sucks, just accept it. “There is traffic today, the good side is I get to listen to my music/audio book etc for longer. I’ll just let my boss know.”
I know this will feel harder if the situation that has got you angry/sad is bigger, like losing a loved one. And while you should 100% mourn and feel sadness, (if you don’t either that loved one was a horrible person or you are)…. but what you can do is remember the happy memories you shared, think of the fact that they would want you to have new happy memories even if it is without them and so on. (Note, I am not saying it is easy… however, it does get easier)
When ever you have a negative thought you can turn it around, it doesn’t have to me anything big, nor does it have to be unrealistic. If your parent died you don’t have to the next day be like “I am the happiest person alive”… you shouldn’t be.
Evolutionary we have been built in a way that makes us see everything from a lens of “Is this a threat”. Thanks to that we have survived very well until now. Most things in our lives aren’t a threat. No tigers, bears and venomous snakes haunting us at every turn. So we can relax and try to turn our brains towards the light.
Here are some tips to improve your way of thinking:
- Journal 3 things that are well in your life, it can be list form, just words or actual paragraphs.
- Visualize your day going well. Don’t think of what could go wrong, but more on the lines of if everything went perfect; how does that look?
- Catch your thoughts, even if you have already thought “Damn the traffic” you can turn it around “The traffic sucks but I can listen to the audio book now!”
- Seek people who don’t always talk negatively. This is SO HARD. I mean there has been so many times that I have talked with friends like let’s stop the negative whining. “If you can change it, change it, if not change your attitude”. When its a habit it is hard sometimes. It is possible tho, and if those friends who you have aren’t really worth the effort and they don’t want to change, you might have to find new friends.
- Find help… if you are stuck and you see no light at the end of the tunnel…if you are depressed, please talk to a professional. Personal development helps, but you might need that push/that helping hand to help you out of the gorge.
The fact is, everyday there is something to look at and this wow this sucks… and also wow this is amazing. It is your choice which option you spend your energy on.
I hope this helps and good luck for the spring. I know the situation in the world doesn’t really make anything easier 😀