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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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