How many times have you found yourself in a bad situation and you just lose your cool?
I mean, how easy is it to remain calm and positive when your emotions are trying to rule the moment, and not in a good way?
Man! It’s as hard as trying to find the water in a stone!
Well, how do you get to the point where you can be positive and calm??
It’s no easy feat, believe you me. And let me tell you, just when you think you’ve mastered it, there will always be a circumstance which tests it to the hilt.
The answer, I hate to say, is PRACTICE.
Yep, practice. It won’t make you perfect but it will definitely get you damn good at it.
This practicing starts with each new day. That’s right. You have to do it daily. To do it any differently, will cause the change to take longer and make it harder to conquer.
Now finding the negatives in our lives is a cinch. We can rattle them off until the cows come home. But what about the positives in our lives? If we were to list both sides, the negatives would come out on top for the majority of the time.
I think this is sad. No wonder so many people struggle to find purpose in life. If you believe you have nothing to live for because you see nothing good around you or in you, why live? And I totally get that way of thinking. Once upon a time, I was sitting in that very same boat. The water surrounding me was as clear as mud and the boat was missing its sail. I didn’t know how to get myself moving in any sort of direction.
Somewhere along the line, through counselling, I was encouraged to see the positives around me. The first step was to every day, find five things which I was grateful for and/or something positive/good which happened that day. When I woke up, I told myself it was going to be a great day and I can handle anything which comes my way.
Easier said than done.
Of course, it was a process. A long one to be exact. However, the more I practiced it, the easier it got. Nowadays, I barely have to think about doing it. Something happens, but I automatically find a positive in it which I can focus on.
To help me achieve this, I kept a grateful/positive diary. Every day I would write what good things happened, and/or what I was grateful for. When I was feeling like my life was nothing but crap, I would read that diary to remind myself of the reality. This helped immensely and I can’t recommend it enough to others to use as a tool in busting those false thoughts.
Actual examples of what I wrote in my grateful/thankful diary:
- Starting an online course
- Seeing all my children at the same time
- Finding a cupboard for the bathroom
- Getting out of bed before 10am
- I actually went to bed at 9pm! *gasp*
- God providing a parking spot right out the front of Café Essay
- For my mum always being there to help me
- That my parents live down the road
- For the beautiful weather
- Café Essay staff
- My family
- My support systems
And I could go on, but I think you get the idea.
What the diary helped me to do was to think about my life more positively. I wasn’t ignoring my problems, just not making them my main focus. With my mind calmer with this knowledge, I was better able to handle any situation which presented itself.
The most incredible thing the diary also helped me with was how I deal with conflict. Now, I hate conflict at the best of times, and if I don’t have to be involved, I won’t. But if I have to face it because it does involve me, then I’m able to keep my mind calmer, focus on the issue not the person, and find a resolution easier. To find positive points to acknowledge helps in keeping it from escalating. It’s also simpler to acknowledge any part I’ve played in things being a problem.
I just want to point out, that in no means does this mean I NEVER lose it and go off the recto scale. Sometimes I need someone to remind me to leave to calm down, but a lot of times, I recognise it before anyone has to do that.
Understand, thinking positive is hard work. It takes time, commitment and consistency. Determination will see it become as natural as breathing.
Don’t give up. Keep being positive. Find the good things to focus on. Write them down so you can remind yourself as many times as you need to. Carry it around with you in your bag if you have to. Because life is worth living and it’s worth living happy and with love, despite the cyclone around you.
If you are having suicidal thoughts, need urgent help and/or someone to talk to, following are numbers you can contact for assistance:
- Emergency Services 000
- Lifeline 13 11 14
- Beyond Blue 1300 224 636
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