Life is a process of highs, lows and everything in between. Wherever you are and whoever you are, negative situations can prove to be a challenge—even to the strongest optimist. Here are five tips you can use to stay positive in negative situations and find the silver lining in each experience.
1. Shift your mindset
Although it might not feel like it at the time, most negative situations contain a learning experience. If we’re going through the discomfort and pain of dealing with a negative situation, we might as well take the opportunity to learn something from it too.
Shifting your mindset and looking for the lesson in the situation isn’t about blaming yourself or anyone else for what’s happened. Instead, the purpose of doing this is to get something positive out of the situation and, hopefully, to prevent it from occurring again in the future.
2. Get support
You don’t have to deal with a negative situation on your own.
Getting support from friends or family you can trust can not only help you get through this tough time, but it can also strengthen your relationships with the people around you.
3. Focus on what you can control (and let go of what you can’t)
We can’t always control the situation that we find ourselves in, and we can’t please everyone. What we can do when we find ourselves in a negative situation is to take ownership of our actions and make amends for our mistakes.
If you find yourself in a negative situation, trying to take responsibility for things you have no control over will only make you feel worse. It’s also self-defeating as, if you don’t have control over something then there’s usually not much you can do to change it.
For example, if you’re catching a flight to an important event and the flight is delayed, there’s not much point in worrying about whether it’s going to be delayed further or cancelled, as you don’t have any control over that outcome. What you can do is let any contacts you have at your destination know about the situation or even try to book a different flight to make sure you get there as soon as possible.
4. Practice self-compassion
Every negative situation is a chance to practice a valuable skill: self-compassion. The amount of self-compassion we show ourselves is directly proportionate to our quality of life. If we’re able to practice self-compassion, we’re more likely to be resilient in the face of challenging situations and we’re more likely to take risks that further our personal and professional development. We’re also more likely to take steps to amend any role that we played in creating the negative situation in the first place.
Self-compassion is not the same as giving yourself a free ride or not taking responsibility for your actions. Instead, it’s about accepting that you are a human being with human experiences.
5. Remember it will pass
As I mention above, life is a process of highs, lows, and everything in between. Just as this means that negative situations are an inevitability, it also means that they will inevitably pass and make way for more positive times.
Our job is to take what we can from the negative situations, whether it’s a lesson well learned, or a renewed trust in our strength and resilience, and to enjoy the good times while they last.
Finally, remember that negative situations are uncomfortable, even painful at times. But how we approach these situations has a huge influence over how we experience them. By implementing these five tips: looking for the lessons, getting support, focusing on what we can control, practicing self-compassion, and remembering that the situation will pass, we’ll be in a much better place to handle negative situations as they occur and carry on along the roller coaster.
What are your tips for dealing with negative situations? Leave a comment and let us know.