Even the happiest, healthiest people face times when staying positive can be challenging. Anyone who has experienced deep sadness, anger or negative thought patterns knows how difficult it can be to turn around sometimes. Perhaps we’ve just gotten into a fight with our significant other, on top of not sleeping last night, and then get to work to find out a co-worker called in sick, forcing us to take on extra work on top of our already full load. We become irritable, which in turns brews more negativity to come in our direction.
The good news is that feeling better is not just possible, but even probable if we can begin to shift our perspective. What good are any of the things we’ve worked hard for such as our career or academic achievements, relationships, family or finances if we aren’t in a place mentally where we can enjoy them?
Maintaining a positive, healthy perspective should be our priority every day. Being at our bests, both physically and mentally, allows us to contribute to others more effectively. However, we are all prone to those days where we just can’t snap out of our funk and we don’t know how to turn it around. Here are a couple places we can always start:
- Be grateful: We can all find things to be grateful for, no matter how bleak the situation. Whether it’s having a warm bed to sleep in at night, having the capability to walk or see, having a family member or friend who loves us or a loving pet; the list is endless if we truly dig deep enough. The more we can find to be grateful for, the more we will actually be given to be grateful for.
- Learn to distinguish between the things that we can change and the things we cannot: We can’t change other people’s thoughts, other people’s feelings or anyone’s behaviors. We can’t change the fact that it’s pouring rain outside when we want the sun to be shining or that the freeway has bumper-to-bumper traffic when we’re in a hurry. We are powerless over these things, and no amount of anger or frustration will ever cause the weather to change or traffic to immediately open up for us. Rather than focusing on the frustrating situations we can’t control, we focus instead on what we can control—which is our response.
- Do something nice for someone: Surprise a co-worker with their favorite cup of Starbucks in the morning, call your mom to tell her you love her or take the time out of your day to tell someone how much you appreciate them. Doing things for others, especially unexpected things, can really help change a sour mood. It creates a positive domino effect and helps to spread good energy all around.