I’ve had a lot of experience in life dealing with situations that weren’t ideal, but working to make the best of it. In hind sight most people tolerate a lot for their own reasons. Whether it be a bad boss, a bully or just a family filled with nonsense, you have to stay positive.
Here’s a few methods I’ve personally employed to get through a bad day, a bad year or a bad hour.
Yes it’s a list. You’re welcome.
1. Make a goal list.
So you have to sit through another meeting, and you have no interest in what is going on in the room. You’ve probably heard the same pep talk over and over, that by now you could run the meeting… ask yourself is this getting you where you want to be? Take a moment to reflect on the reasons why you are in this meeting, because where ever you are (work/ school) there is a goal to be met.
Lists are the best motivation I’ve found in doing anything from housework to a major project. Compartmentalizing time and efforts for a goal is a great way to stay motivated and check in with yourself. So what’s your goal? Maybe it’s short term, maybe you just want to buy a new bag or a loftier goal, a new car. How are you going to get there? A goal is not just achieved it’s meticulous, which makes it a challenge, but always rewarding. None of us like to wait, but some of life’s greatest achievements come from small steps. Make your list of short term and long term goals, and make a plan to get there. Compete with yourself, you’ll be glad you did, because comparing yourself to others is defeating and ultimately pointless.
So when you are finding yourself in a situation you aren’t really enthralled with, think of how YOU are going forward.
2. Do not be a sponge!
If it’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s do not soak up the negativity of others. It’s so easy to do, especially if you are like me, and you just want to fix everyone’s life and make it perfect! Do not soak up negative energy, and if you find yourself going down this path, stop and reflect. You have to observe how you feel about situations, you have to figure out why you feel that way and then you need to change.
Once you start to find yourself surrounding yourself with negative people, with negative feelings, who have bad luck or have been through a lot of bad experiences, get away. Run. Run fast. Those same people will bring you into their web of drama, exhaustion, depression and suddenly you’ll find yourself having similar bad experiences. I’m not saying you should disregard a friend going through a hard time. I’m saying, don’t move into the hole they’ve dug for themselves and think that you’re helping, you are just making your life harder.
Being a sponge means you are suffering the feelings and experiences of those around you. You must be aware of how people around you effect you. Stay focused on having good feelings, and good thoughts and with that you will start to see things differently. If you are focused on the dark cloud, how can you appreciate the flowers that follow the rain?
Along these same lines …brings me to my next point.
3. Don’t take responsibility for the actions of other people.
Despite your best efforts people have faults, all their own. Don’t make their attitude your fault, it’s not. You don’t have control over the responses of those around you. Ironically you do have the power to create the mood, if you are positive it’s easy for people to follow suite. If you are negative and you blame yourself for everything from disgruntled customer, to a kids tantrum, you will surely be filled with remorse.
4. Take a deep breath.
How did that go? Did you feel worse… no. You should remind yourself regularly to breath deeply and focus your attention to your breath, especially in escalating situations. It gives you perspective and it allows you to take just a moment to regroup. You deserve a break. You have to give yourself room to breath and let go of that negativity as you exhale. Maybe you need to take a walk, but whatever you need to relax for a minute, do it. I don’t endorse smoking but I do endorse a 5 minute break away from whatever you are doing. Essential oils are great tools because when you smell the sweet scent of a spa or a lilac or lemon, whateverales you happy, your mood can change.
5. Don’t give in, and don’t say yes.
Nice people take on extra work, both at work and at home, to make others happy. Ask for help, don’t be lazy but don’t do it all yourself, you can’t. It’s not possible. So when someone gives you one more thing to do and you’ve reached your limit, stop. Think about it like building your personal boundaries so that people don’t take advantage of you. You have to build boundaries, it takes time to learn this, but you will one day find that you feel so much better doing more of what you want. Don’t sacrifice your well being for someone else, because you can’t help them, they can only help themselves. You should never be rude or condescending but be honest with yourself about what you can handle.
6. Do something for you, that doesn’t cost anything.
Simple things really refresh us. You’d be shocked by how much happier you find yourself when you give yourself a chance to do something you want to do. Go for a walk. Put on perfume/ cologne. Write. Sing. Play. Dance. Daydream. Draw. Color. Just be alone with your mind. You will find your outlet. It shouldn’t cost you a lot of money to do something that makes you happy.
7. Slow down and be grateful.
It’s easy to go at light speed trying to get all the daily-life things done. It’s easy to put yourself last. It’s even easy to forget to take a moment to enjoy the things in life we really take for granted. Next time you wash your hands, think about how amazing indoor plumbing is. Some places in the world still do not have this luxury. Take a minute to appreciate the water you drink, the phone you have, those little moments of gratitude make a big difference.
It’s easy to forget how lucky we are for such simple reasons. Make a gratitude list, it makes whatever you are facing a little less taxing. You might find this idea a little rediculous, but you probably realize also that you have a lot of blessings. The ability to be in a “bad mood” is a luxury, maybe someone hit your car, maybe you broke a nail, maybe you got stuck in traffic… is it really that serious? Calm down. You have enough to be happy, you must slow down and decide to be.
That’s the end. Be happier, don’t let the situation you are in define who you are, because you decide who you are, and your actions. Be grateful for whatever you can think of. Life will never be perfect, but it’s how we choose to live and what we want out of life that is so important.
…And here are some pretty flowers to remind you that life is beautiful!