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6 Evergreen Tips To Help You Stay Positive In Tough Times

6 Evergreen Tips To Help You Stay Positive In Tough Times

If you’ve read the book “Defiant”, about POWs held captive during the Vietnam War, you can’t help but think of how persistent the human spirit can be when put under not only immense physical pressure but also emotional stress. And what about spending 27 years in prison like Nelson Mendela did? Given the worst of circumstances, a majority of us will surely have moments of giving up and only a few will constantly put up a fight.

It can be said that we are our worst enemies and that the mind is the only barrier stopping us from getting what we want out of a bad experience. If only we are able to fluidly position our minds and be able to extract the positives, no matter how minute, out of a bad situation, then we will be successful in overcoming tough times no matter what.

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Here are our 6 tips to help you stay positive in tough times and we hope that it will help you overcome any obstacles you might have in life now.

1. Don’t Beat Yourself Up

Most of the time we become angry at ourselves for being in a tight situation. The moment we get into an unfavourable place, we blame ourselves for not being good enough to avoid it. Sometimes, our ego eats away at our motivation as well because we are unable to accept our weaknesses.

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The solution? Laugh in the face of adversity! And we mean literally. You will be surprised that it will work wonders. By not taking ourselves too seriously, we will eventually be more accepting of our weakness. Can’t get a laugh? Be around a funny friend or watch a comedy.

2. Think About The Good Things You Have Done

Out of all the bad things that have happened, there are the good things that we have done and achieved. Think about the last time you did something great which is also relative to the sticky situation you are in. For example, if you’re a salesperson and business have not been good, think about those times when you really soared and possibly the greater things in life such as being top in sales before.

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3. Exercise

When the going gets tough, the tough exercise. Exercise has been proven time and time again to be able to shove stress under the rug and keep it there until you are in the right mindset to tackle it. And even if you are not facing hardship, try to keep active for about 20 minutes a day which experts say will benefit mind, soul and body.

4. Do Not Care About What People Say

Do remember that judging is a basic survival instinct that we humans have developed to assess our surroundings for danger. Everyone judges and you shouldn’t care about what people might say because more often than not, the one judging with a lack of any concrete information is not any better themselves as they can be judged as having a closed and ignorant mind.

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5. Do Not Fret Over What You Cannot Control

And most often, it is the things that we cannot control that we fret most about. But how about looking at the bigger picture and focus on the things that you can control instead. For example, a friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer and instead of fretting over the illness, her husband has been trying hard to improve her current way of life by bringing her on holidays and changing her diet for the better.

6. Slow Down For A Bit

Psychologist, Tony Bernhard, mentioned that slowing down when your stress level is high can help reduce that stress. Give it a try when you’re thinking, surfing the internet or cleaning the house and slow it down to the point of slow motion and you will experience the stress sliding out form you.

Featured photo credit: Positive Mindset via businessmindsunited.com

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Lim Kairen

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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