A negative mindset is often a build up of things. Maybe a bad situation you are in, things that bother you but that are not talked about, or things you are annoyed by.
How can you keep a positive attitude towards things when sometimes it feels as if there is nothing to be positive about? Well, I can honestly tell you it is not easy, but I always manage to find my way back to a positive mindset.
What do I do when I have a negative mindset?
Well, first I feel sad, sorry for myself, or angry. I can’t fall asleep easily, clench my teeth while sleeping, I have constant tears in my eyes, my heart is racing, and I feel sick all the time. But feeling like this, for some weird reason, is necessary for me. It forces me to change things, because otherwise I would fall apart. One of the first things I do after the initial panic is over is taking 3 deep breaths (big breaths in, big breaths out). It always helps me to calm down and clear my head. Then I try to find some solitude (shower, bathroom, bedroom, any place where I can be alone) and start thinking.
A few questions I ask myself:
- ‘What will happen when/if …?
- ‘Is it within my control?’
- ‘What can I do to improve the situation/make myself feel better?’
- ‘What is the worst thing that could happen?’.
The last one is my favorite one, because the answer is always more positive than I initially thought.
By asking these questions, I realize that even though I can’t always make a situation better or solve the problem, I can accept it, and try to find different ways to handle it. So I start thinking of solutions, not problems, because most of the time there are small changes that I can make, to improve a situation. And I know, it is so much easier to think of all of the things you can’t change, but as long as I can think of ONE (small one) that I CAN change, I will give it a go.
What is in my control to improve this situation? Well first of all, how I handle it. I know from experience that trying to look at the positive side of a bad situation is the first step to improve the situation.
A real life example
When I was 24 years old I really struggled with money. My ex and I bought a house together, but split up less than 2 years after buying the house. We tried to sell the house, but the market was really bad. To prevent things from dragging on, we decided to put the house in my name. But now I had to pay a mortgage on my own (we bought the house on 2 salaries), and only earned minimum wage. I was freaking out! How can I pay all of these bills myself? After paying my bills, I had to live off 40 euros a month to pay groceries and other things. You have to know that I am a very independent, proud person and do not like to ask people for money, not even my parents. So I had to become creative. Buy my groceries on offer, stock the freezer, prepare meals in advance, etc. It wasn’t an ideal situation, but it worked for a while. I also had to think about my future, about a backup in case something would break, so I had to earn more money.
Through a friend I found a part time job as a bartender. I LOVED this job! It was so nice being around people, making friends and just being able to forget about my problems for a while. It really helped me to get back on my feet. It was hard, I was working around 60 hours a week for a while (together with my other job), but worth it! Because of this, I was able to set some money on the side as well. I felt so proud! Eventually I managed to get a better job, earn more money and work less hours.
This was one of the moments in my life, where in the beginning I really couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, but because of a positive mindset and not giving up, I was able to get out of a very difficult situation. Yes, it took some time, but all good things take time!
What was a moment in your life when you were able to create a positive mindset? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.