Feb 14, 2018
Remember Gandhi’s words? “A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes” he had said. When life looks like a perpetual dark tunnel, we easily get into a negative mindset, which invariably pushes us into unhappiness and depression.
All of us go through some low phases in life- where we feel that venting is healthy, complaining about someone who has wronged us is normal, and that being sarcastic is humorous. We subconsciously cherish our negative thoughts. Fortunately, some positive ideas and attitudes can make a huge difference in improving our outlook towards life.
All sorts of it! It can be the most difficult thing to do but isn’t impossible. Change your perspective towards the things you urge to complain about; Instead of sulking about “wow, there is so much crowd in the metro,” think “wow, I have lots of beautiful people to look at, which will make the journey time go by quickly.” Just make a conscious decision to ignore the negative flow of thoughts and sentiments and be persistent in these attempts.
Even when someone has wronged you, speak nicely of them. Seems impossible? Try putting yourself in their shoes and understand why they did or didn’t do something to you. It is important to realise that you cannot always change others so change yourself by learning to see other person’s point of view. If this technique fails you, simply surround yourself with positive people. Engaging in useful fun activities with happy people is often the most powerful way to overcome a depressed state of mind. Remind yourself what Oprah Winfrey said- “Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.”
Start to pen down 10 things daily for which you are grateful to God. In the beginning, the list might just be limited to “my loving family,” “my supportive partner,” or “my spacious apartment.” But gradually, new things will add to this list, like “the sunshine after four cloudy days,” “my thick volume of hair at 40 years of age”, or “my amazing cooking skills.” Soon, you might find yourself writing 30 things on the list.
There is nothing cheesy about it, smiling all the time is one of the easiest ways to change your mind set. When you will smile for no reason, you might find the universe to be responding by putting things in front of you that make you smile. Even if someone makes fun of you, laugh with them. Maybe they didn’t realise it would hurt you- give them this benefit of doubt. When you will learn to laugh at yourself, you can laugh at anything.
Don’t let others’ success overpower your feelings. Look at their success with a positive view point- if they can do it, why can’t I? If you can learn to control your thoughts, you can control the experience and emotions of life. In order to control your thoughts, be it envy, jealousy, or anxiousness- meditate and relax; it is a change in consciousness. Accept others’ success and let the feeling go.
Follow Samuel Goldwyn’s mantra- “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” Sitting idle and doing nothing is the worst thing for a negative frame of mind. Stop moping around feeling sorry about yourself. Reflecting upon your bad luck or worries will not diminish them in any way. Nor will endlessly checking emails and surfing web. Get up and do something worthwhile. Exercise, help needy, go out on a vacation, and give your life a positive spin. Use your knowledge.
Being self-critical only pushes you deeper into the darkness of misery and negativity. Don’t lose your sense of balance- for various bad things you have done, you have also done some good things. Remember them and feel the happiness in your mind. Keep repeating Ralph Marston’s word to yourself- “You’ve done it before and you can do it now. See the positive possibilities. Redirect the substantial energy of your frustration and turn it into positive, effective, unstoppable determination.”
Remember, negativity causes stress and stress cause weight gain, imbalanced hormones, insomnia, depression, anxiety and other chronic health issues. You want to avoid it at any cost. Don’t let negativity ruin your relationships or your spirit. Fight it and fight it hard!
Read more articles on Stress Management.