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Occasional negative mindsets are a part of life. But how do we make sure they don’t become the norm?
I seek to live a pretty positive life. I try to live with joy and love, and try not to hold on to negativity. But sometimes times are rough and positivity goes out the window. Once I fall into one of these negative mindsets, it can be super difficult to get out of it. Negativity breeds more negativity and before I know it, I’m blowing up over the littlest inconveniences and hating on things I usually love.
Negative mindsets are inevitable, but becoming stuck in one doesn’t have to happen. These are the seven things I do when I feel myself slipping down a rabbit hole of despair. The results may not be instantly apparent, but I promise that doing these things on a regular basis will help your improve your mindset and live more peacefully, happily and productively. Isn’t that all we want in life?
create affirmations that resonate with you
Affirmations are everywhere. They are so prevalent that it’s tough to sift through them all and find ones that actually resonate with your situation and your heart. But if the words aren’t relevant to you, then they might as well not have any meaning at all. I’ve read blog posts with upwards of 50 affirmations listed one after another, all written in generic terms that felt like they were speaking to the masses, yet somehow they missed me. If you read an affirmation and then forget in two seconds later, it’s not the affirmation for you.
I created my own custom affirmation statements that help me focus on what I want to improve about myself. I read The Power of Affirmations, which was really helpful because it gave me ideas and inspiration. It also includes an entire section on how to write your own affirmations. I enjoy writing new ones from time to time, but I keep the list short with no more than five or six at a time. This way, I can really focus on each one and give it the energy it deserves.
stop doing things (or not doing things) out of fear
When you really think about it, I think you’ll be surprised at how much of your life is ruled by fears. Think about all the things you do frequently. Now imagine what would happen if you suddenly stopped doing them. Are you afraid of what you see? Alternatively, are there things you constantly think about doing, but haven’t yet?
I’m not saying you need to go for broke and throw caution to the wind, because heaven knows I am still petrified of many, many things. However, everyday I make an effort to be brave and try to do at least one thing that makes me uncomfortable. If you are into bullet journaling, then that is a great place to start. If bullet journaling isn’t your thing, then I recommend using an undated planner as a sort of planning journal. The Fringe Non-Dated Daily Planner has one full page spread for each day, so you’ll have plenty of space to write your to-do’s and a few extra things that you hope to do. Even if you don’t get to everything today (or tomorrow,) just putting it down in writing sets your intention in motion.
know it’s okay to not feel cheerful all day, every day
The beginning of my “positivity” journey went something like this: I’d be joyful and happy for a time, but then something would inevitably come along upset me, and then I’d beat myself up for days because I “lost” my positivity. As if a positive mindset it some sort of game streak that one needs to upkeep in order to be “successful” at being a positive person.
We are human; we deal with a multitude of emotions and we encounter situations and people that affect us negatively. That’s normal. Over time it has finally sunken in that perfection kills positivity, and the more I strive for perfection, the more negatives I see in the world. Learn how to gently pull yourself back from times of negativity.
Gratitude journaling is something I started doing recently, and I already see a difference in my overall mood and optimism. Every day, I create a simple entry that includes three things I am grateful for. Most of the time, it’s as simple as appreciating the fact that I have running water to wash my face in the morning. That I open the fridge everyday and see food that I like. It may seem insignificant, but I think it is important that we acknowledge the little things. I use this Fringe Studio Lemons Journal because, well, lemons seemed like an appropriate metaphor.
roll with the punches
Controlling everything that happens in your life is impossible. I don’t care what these spirit guides say. Nobody is that good at manifesting that they can manifest all the bad out of their life. If I’ve learned anything about being a joyful person, it’s that you have to learn to roll with the punches, so to speak. And how am I supposed to do that?
Meditation has been a game changer for me. Like gratitude journaling, meditating helps me turn my focus inward. It helps me to turn off the voice that is my persona and tune into the voice that is me. When I’m feeling negative, I detach from my persona, who uses negativity as a defense mechanism against a sometimes unfriendly society. And rather, intentionally connect with my inner voice, who above everything, desires to be happy. If you are a meditation-newbie and need some guidance on the how and the why, Dear Universe by Sarah Prout is a great place to start. And if you are a skeptic who wants to dip their toes into meditation, consider reading 10% Happier by Dan Harris.
let go of grudges
We’ve all heard the expression, Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Well, I ignored that idiom for a very long time. I used to hold serious grudges. So what became of that ex-friend who I hated with a passion for years after the last time we spoke? Pretty sure she moved to a big city and has a thriving career and great relationship. And as for me? I wasted a whole lot of time being angry and cursing the universe for not handing me what she had, when I could have been working toward a future for myself, without all the negativity that could have been left in my past.
I’ve always enjoyed journaling, but sometimes writing that first word is challenging. Either you have so many thoughts swirling around that you don’t know where to start, or you just can’t pinpoint what you want to say. I’ve found that a prompted journal is amazingly helpful. Sometimes you may look at prompts and think, “This is irrelevant,” or “I’m totally not in the mood for this.” Yet somehow, if you encourage yourself to just write anyway, what you need to get out always finds its way onto the paper. It’s an incredible creative process, how our minds are able to relate things that on the surface seem so disconnected.
I’ve been working through this journal recently: Getting to Good: A Guided Journal. Although, I don’t think you need any specific journal for this to work. The prompts don’t even matter; what matters is giving your thoughts the space to organize themselves.
see the bigger picture
Everything that happens in life is part of a bigger picture. Even the negative things serve a purpose. Instead of getting caught up in the frustration or pain of the low moments, try to think about how they may contribute to you achieving your end-game goal.
If you haven’t read Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis, I highly recommend it. Rachel tells stories about things going wrong, things going right, and things falling into place at the most unexpected moments. It isn’t self-congratulatory, but it’s not too self-depreciating either. It’s humble and real and a very enjoyable read.
think about the present
This one is the hardest for me to swallow. I’m still working at it myself. Consider where your thoughts spend most of their time. Are they experiencing and appreciating the present? Or are they lingering in the past or bungeeing into the future?
I recently started reading The Secret by Rhonda Byrne after hearing about it and ignoring it for years. Just in the first few pages that I’ve read so far, I gathered one important paradigm: thoughts have power. More specifically, thoughts have power because we give them power with our energy. So, where would you rather spend your energy? You can’t always control the future, and you definitely can’t change the past, so why waste energy thinking about them? Spend your energy focusing on the present, because it’s the only place where you have the power to shape it any way you like.
Using the tools mentioned throughout this post, work toward keeping your thoughts in the present as much as possible. Do everything with gratitude, joy and love. I think you’ll find your life coming together in ways you never imagined possible.
SHOP PRODUCTS MENTIONED
The Power of Affirmations by Louise Stapely
Fringe Non-Dated Daily Planner
Fringe Studio Lemons Journal
10% Happier by Dan Harris
Dear Universe by Sarah Prout
Getting to Good: A Guided Journal
Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
That’s all for today!
Like this post? You’ll definitely enjoy this one too >> Bullet Journal Planning | My Simple Bullet Journal Setup to Stay Organized & Motivated
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Till next time ♥︎
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