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Ways to Stay Positive when Times are Tough

Ways to Stay Positive when Times are Tough

In life, they say that change is the most permanent thing. It is a series of ups and downs like a turning wheel. Sometimes we are right on top, but sometimes we are right at the bottom. When we are at the bottom it can feel like we are never, ever going to get back up again. The good thing is, as the wheel turns, we can get back up and start feeling happy again.

During tough times, it is easy to get our spirits and attitudes dragged all the way down, but it is important not to lose the shine in our souls because no adversity is permanent. That is why we should always keep a positive mindset. Follow these pointers to help lift yourself back up when you are feeling down:

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Appreciate the good things around you.

The tough part of life is just one part of life. You need to look at the bigger picture and look at where your life has its positive side. Have you ever heard of people telling others to look at the glass half-full and not half-empty? That is exactly what you should do.

Take a walk and let it slow you down.

Go out and stop and smell the flowers. Physical movement or exercise can definitely lift you up when you are feeling down. If you go out, whether it is for walking, running, or shopping, you put your mind in a temporary state of rest from stress by diverting your attention to other things that you actually see and not just think about. Give your eyes new things to see.

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Be excited about the good things that could happen to you.

Dreams do come true, and today’s adversities won’t last forever. Tomorrow is another day. Keep looking ahead and envisioning how it will be when you are past the rocky phase. Look at the future so that your mind will cooperate and help you find ways to get there. Even during adversity, keep working hard to get where you want to be. Do not let tough times stop you from accomplishing your goals and reaching for that star. Be excited about getting there, getting unstuck from a tough situation and finally getting to where your dreams are.

Look back at where you were and where you are now.

Chances are, even if right now you feel that you are in the deepest, darkest sink hole ever, you have probably been in worse situations before. Be grateful that you have survived the first ones. If you made it past those, you will for sure make it this time around. Nothing is impossible.

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Know that being positive is a state of mind.

Most of the time it is all mental. We become happy depending on the thoughts that we have, and we become positive if we have positive thoughts. Keep that positive state of mind since negativity will not help solve any problems. If you are positive, at least you will be positive enough to try out new solutions to solve problems, and be calm enough to brainstorm and find these solutions.

Remember that in situations beyond your control, the only thing that you can control is your reactions. While being helpless or playing victim may be your initial reaction to a stressful phase in life, you should do your best to fight to stay positive. Being positive may not immediately take you out of a stressful situation, but it will definitely help you find ways to overcome a tough situation. A bright and happy soul is a great ally in getting back on top of the wheel again.

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Sarah Bonander

Writer, Human Resources Professional

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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