One of my biggest (if not the biggest) flaws is definitely the tendency to get caught up in the negative. Everyone does it, it’s a natural reaction to everything going on around us – but it’s something I’ve been hyper-aware of in myself the last few years and recently I’ve really been trying to re-dedicate myself to working around that.
The amount of times a day that I’ve been catching myself thinking something negative now and forcing myself to flip it around is honestly crazy. It’s not like I’m a complete downer to be around, but I definitely have my days where I realize “oh my gosh, I just complained about seven different things!” I certainly wouldn’t want to be around that person.
That being said, sometimes you really are just having one of those days, and that’s perfectly okay. The tricky part for me is knowing when I should vent, and when I should just change my attitude. Here are some of my favorite ways to turn one of those really frustrating, need-to-complain days into something more positive!
*Full disclosure: sometimes I may even feel fake or a little ridiculous when I try these things…but they always work. I feel better (even if I don’t fully believe what I’m saying), my energy has increased, productivity goes up, and my conversations with friends leave me feeling better instead of worse.
Find the Silver Lining
This might seem obvious at first, but it has truly been the most effective strategy for me when I catch myself stuck in a negativity spiral. Even the most horrible situations have a silver lining…it might be meager, and it might be as simple as “it still could have been worse”, but I promise you it is there. Identifying the silver lining and focusing on that is the best way to start re-wiring your thinking.
Find a Solution
Spend the same amount of energy that you would to complain on actually finding a solution to the problem. While I realize that not every single situation is “solvable”, at the very least you can use your energy and time to set a plan for moving forward. Sometimes our most common complaints are things that are incredibly easy to fix, and we are just saying them out loud for the sake of speaking…i.e. “I’m hungry” (but then making zero effort to remedy the situation).
Everything in life has an infinite number of perspectives, and you are the one choosing which one you want to look through. Yes, you might be suffering through something small or something very big, but the perspective you need to take is that it always passes. In time, whatever you’re facing won’t feel nearly as bad as what you’re experiencing right now. Cling to that perspective and focus on the future.
Sometimes all you need in order to change your attitude is a little break. When I get caught in a rut of repeating complaints or voicing negative thoughts just to make conversation, I find a funny or uplifting Youtube video (this one and this one are great places to start), spend five minutes reading my book, take a walk, or listen to some upbeat music. Clear your head, shake the thoughts out and start fresh. You got this!
Enjoy the weekend and keep up the good vibes!