Do you remember I wrote an article on how I used to have Generalized Anxiety Disorder? Yeah, that was quite the adventure. It taught me a lot about my own brain and how it’s wired. How your brain can sometimes take over without you even realizing it. That’s not always a bad thing. It is when it means your thoughts turn dark and you have trouble seeing the good things in live. That’s what a lot of people experience and sometimes it goes on too long. Which makes it hard to stay positive about your own life. Therefor I want to share a few practical tricks I use to stay positive about life, because that can be very helpful when you’re in a dark place. Let’s get into it!
It’s dark and it’s okay
The last thing I want to hear when I’m in a dark place is: ‘You should be more positive!’ Like I don’t know that, sjeez! To be honest, that just makes me retract more into my own head where the party is dead. I want to let you know that it’s okay to feel bad. You should not feel bad about feeling bad. It’s only human and you should be able to let it out! Sometimes getting into arguments with yourself and beating yourself up about not feeling happy, works against you. So go ahead, feel bad for just an hour or a few days.
However, while you’re feeling bad it is a good idea to examine why you feel that way. What happened? Did something go wrong, are you just having a bad day, did someone say something hurtful? It can be anything, just make sure you find out why you’re feeling this way. Like I said, this article is on how to stay positive about your own life with practical tricks. So when you’ve figured it out, write it down, say it out loud or tell someone. Just make sure you acknowledge that bad feeling, don’t push it away. Let me tell yah, that’s the mistake I’ve been making for years and it only makes it worse. Oops!
Is it really that bad?
I’ve learned that our brains can make us feel worse than necessary and we often don’t realize it. That’s why I’ve adopted a cognitive therapy trick to help me gain insight into my feelings and situations. It’s super simple and when I really feel like the world is about to explode, it gives me good perspective. Grab a pen and paper and write down what is going on. Write down how it makes you feel, what you can do about it and what the results can be. Seeing a situation, a thought or a feeling in front of you on paper, can help you process the experience. People are visual beings, seeing things in front of us is always helpful when it comes to stay positive about your own life. It helps you see the facts, not just the temporary feelings.
I’ve also learned to write down two to three solutions. Because there’s always a solution, even if that solution means you can’t do anything about it. Yeah, I know! That sounds weird right!? When my psychologist told me that there are cases where there’s nothing to be done, I was stunned! I thought there was a solution to everything and there is… In some cases it might be just leaving things the way they are and feel whatever you feel about it. Sometimes it’s okay to be mad, sad, angry or frustrated by a situation. You don’t always have to ‘fix’ that, because in a few days you’ll probably feel better without doing anything.
What went well today?
I’ve been writing down what went well every day. It started quite random last year, but since January I’ve been doing it almost every day. At night I write down what went well that day. I’ve even made a special section for it in my bullet journal. It can be something small, something others find mediocre or something really big and exciting. Sometimes I write down I had a really tasty meal and I truly enjoyed it. Or that I saw my family, signed a new client for my agency or that I bought a really nice outfit.
Staying positive about your own life means you have to actively find the good parts. It’s basically brain training for positivity. When you push yourself to find one thing that went well today, you can create a positive outlook on your life. And yes, that can be very hard. Especially when you feel extra dark, lonely, sad or angry. But a positive thing in your life doesn’t have to be a super big thing. Just being able to get up and breath in the morning means you’re already winning. When you’re able to write this down, you’re well on your way. Bigger things will come, you don’t have to push positivity.
How to stay positive about your own life?
You already got this far, why stop now? You know it’s okay to let the darkness come out and play. You’ve learned that there’s a solution for every situation, even if that means you don’t have to do anything. You’ll be writing down one thing that went well every day starting now. And by the end of the month you’ll have written down at least 30 positive points about your life. Yeah, how about that!? You’ve written down 30 positive notes about your life. If that doesn’t show you that you’re capable of being positive about your own life… I don’t know what to tell yah, haha!
My last tip is about putting things in perspective. We often tend to look down on our lives because it’s not like other people’s. But if you are really honest to yourself: Do you even want someone else’s life? With all of their problems, struggles, sadness and shit they go through every day? If you are really truthful: Aren’t you doing pretty well for yourself? Could it be you’ve been focusing so much on what others seem to have, you’ve forgotten about your own wins? Yeah man, think about that! I’m guilty, honestly. I’ve done the same and I thought my life sucked balls.
I was so focused on what other people have, I went home after hanging with my friends hating my life. I took whatever they were complaining about and put that on my own life. Their complaints aren’t mine but I took them on, and I let it take away my positivity. Until I figured out that I’m right where I’m supposed to be, I don’t even want their lives. I just have to keep my eye on the prize and check in with myself on a regular basis. So I wrote down my goals and pat myself on the back every time I get a little closer.
I keep track of my wins and that’s another way you can stay positive about your own life.