Do you ever have those bad days where your thoughts are just so negative all day long, everything feels like it’s too much for one person to handle. You obsessively question every decision you’ve ever made in your life, every small thing that has happened to you and basically just indulge in negative thinking to the point where you cry yourself asleep at night?
Don’t worry, I have just the trick to help you overcome all your negative thinking – stop it dead in its tracks – and spend the rest of the day feeling positive and happy.
I still have bad days, but that’s ok, I used to have bad years.
I recently came across this quote on notsalmon.com and I thought it was just an absolutely brilliant way of looking at the world.
See I have been having a particularly bad week recently. Like a WHOLE WEEK of it. I was feeling ill, light-headed, lacked energy, couldn’t focus, and everything was soooooo much effort. Getting up for work felt like the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life. Just having a conversation with someone was a problem. I was tired all the time and completely demotivated.
When I’m like that, I find that I am more likely to think negative thoughts, everything that happens seems overwhelming (like my new neighbours making too much noise when moving in), and it seems overwhelmingly bad.
I obsess over things in a very negative way, replaying events over and over while lying in bed trying to fall asleep, until even the most innocent event takes on a sinister motivation. This will eventually get out of hand when I come to the conclusion that my whole life seems awful and depressing, and that I really don’t have anything going for me.
Over the past few years I’ve come to realize that this type of negative thinking will spiral out of control if I don’t put an end to it.
I’m old enough now to realize, even in the midst of it all, that just a few days before I was feeling very positive and happy, so perhaps this is just a temporary delusion, something I can snap out of.
Luckily, over the last year or so, I’ve learned a nifty trick to do just that, to SNAP OUT OF MY NEGATIVITY.
The Secret Trick To Overcome Negative Thinking Immediately
Yes, yes, I realize by now you may be tired of me constantly talking about gratitude, but bear with me. I promise to make it worth your while.
On Thursday I forced myself to go to the gym, even if to just do 15min of light exercise, which I just managed to complete. And when I was done I decided to just take a moment, sit still to cool down, and simply remind myself of everything good in my life, because it certainly seemed that only bad things were happening to me.
In case you are wondering, I’m fine now. I either had some sort of bug or my blood sugar levels were off somehow, as I felt a bit better every time I ate. Either way I’m feeling much better now, thank you.
Earlier in the day I had come across this quote on notsalmon.com, “I still have bad days, but that’s ok, I used to have bad years” and it just struck a chord with me.
As it turns out, the Sunday before, my mother had texted me to say she was having a really bad day. She was feeling a bit depressed about her life, very negative about her future, and couldn’t help but wonder what was wrong with HER. It’s something I’ve done myself on all too many an occasion.
Let’s face it, when things go wrong, we often blame ourselves, it’s as if we feel we somehow deserve it but we can’t quite figure out why, as otherwise we have to accept that life is just awful and there’s absolutely nothing we can do about it.
Both viewpoints are spectacularly untrue of course.
Unless you are a paedophile, serial killer or rapist that’s just been told you have the worst most painful and incurable type of cancer or disease, you most certainly DO NOT DESERVE IT.
What To Do If You Had A Really Bad Day?
Second, we CAN change our own lives. We DO hold the power to our own success of misery, I have done this for myself, and so has my mother. But it can be easy to forget the long path you have already walked and see every bad day as a sure sign that your entire life is doomed.
See, my mother is a very strong woman but she has not had the easiest time these last few years. A terrible accident and a lingering court case had robbed her of all joy and self-confidence. It’s her story to tell, not mine, so I won’t go into more details, but she was feeling as depressed as you can be for a very long time. She didn’t just have a bad year, she went through many bad years.
But that is in the past and has been for some time.
“It’s just a bad day. Not a bad life.” -Unknown
So when she texted me clearly feeling very depressed and miserable, I had to remind her that there is nothing wrong with her, she is a beautiful strong woman that deserves the best that life can give her. But more importantly, she already KNOWS that she is strong, because she has walked one of the hardest roads you can walk these past few years, and here she is today, so much further than she was just a year ago. She has come so far in just one short year in terms of taking back her power over her own life, and building a life for herself, earning her own money, and learning to live with her own head (and the monsters she keeps in there).
No matter how bad her day was, just remember that her weeks are now good, positive and full of joy and happiness.
How Do You Stay Strong And Positive?
When you are feeling down and depressed and decide to lie down, what matters is that tomorrow you get back up and keep going. It’s ok to take a day here and there, feel sorry for yourself, have a pity party for your own troubles, as long as tomorrow you get back up and get on with living.
So when I was sitting here in the gym worrying that maybe I had contracted some mystery disease that will now rob me of all energy for the rest of time, I had to stop and remind MYSELF of all the advice I’ve given her.
It’s ONLY a bad day (or week), it doesn’t make my whole life bad.
So I sat with my back to the wall in the gym, closed my eyes, breathed deeply, relaxed, and reminded myself of all the good things in my life. It’s a bit like a prayer I suppose.
This was the little prayer I said to myself.
I relax my body and my mind and connect deep within myself to my subconscious mind. I become one with my higher self and the universe. I am infinite, divine and powerful. I have the power to change my mind and my life for the better.
I am grateful for my beautiful, strong, healthy body. I am grateful for my healthy, strong and clever mind.
I give my thanks for the house that I own, my cute little garden and patio, my job, my boss, and my team that works so hard.
I am grateful for all the love in my life, for my mother, sisters, father, cousins, uncles, aunts, my 2 adorable nieces and the new baby niece that is only 2 days old. I am grateful for the love I share with my boyfriend; it is an uplifting, positive love that makes us both stronger.
Finally, I am thankful for my new neighbours, I am sure they are really nice, kind and conscientious people who will be happy to oblige once I reach out to them to ask them to keep the music down late at night.
I am happy, relaxed, at peace with the world, at peace with myself.
I am amazing.
I have finally reached a point in my life, after many years of working on myself, where I now know what to do if I have a really bad day, simply take a quiet moment alone, and focus on all the good in my life, give my thanks to the universe and remind myself that I am amazing and that my life is amazing.
When I do that, it’s like a switch that flips in my head, from negative to positive.
It wasn’t always so easy, but when you do this over and over, regularly, and often, even just for 5 quick minutes, your brain gets trained to behave in a different way.
Think of it this way, Olympic athletes train their muscles to explode with power when the gun sounds at the start of a 100m race. They practice this over and over and over, so that on race-day, they don’t have to think, or make an effort, or force anything, because their muscles already know what to do.
Your BRAIN IS A MUSCLE too. You CAN TRAIN YOUR BRAIN just like you train your other muscles. And you do that by regular exercise of that particular muscle group.
So the more you do this, the more you practice gratitude or affirmations to remind yourself of the good in your life, the more it will work, and the FASTER it will work.
At the beginning, it would take me a few days of doing this, or I would have to do it more than once a day before I saw results.
And even before that, I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW I COULD CHANGE MY THINKING. I just thought I had to put up with it, it’s JUST ME, part of my personality, that there was nothing I could do.
But now I know better.
I CAN CHANGE MY THOUGHTS!
And SO CAN YOU!
As always, all of my love. I believe in you.
After learning how and changing my own mindset, it is my mission in life to help others become their best self, positive, confident, happy and successful! ?
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Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books–written by men–barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.