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5 Steps to Fixing It When Life Throws You a Curveball

5 Steps to Fixing It When Life Throws You a Curveball


    You’re cruising along at work, or home hanging out. You’re having a perfectly fine day, when — whammo — something comes out of nowhere and seriously messes it up.

    I’m not talking devastating, earth-shattering events, I mean those zingers that ruin your mood and your groove.

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    The hot water heater breaks, or your puppy makes the new rug its personal commode. Your blog goes down just as your latest post goes viral on Twitter. Your boss tells you she needs that report before you go home, as you were packing up for the weekend.

    Any of this sound familiar?

    You work hard and live right, but sometimes life throws you an annoying or time-consuming curveball, despite your best efforts. It happens to everyone.

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    But it makes you mad, or anxious, and it doesn’t feel fair.

    And you’re right – it’s not. But it’s life. So before you throw up your hands and call the day a loss, here’s how to take care of it and move on with grace:

    1. Acknowledge that whatever happened is no fun. Say it out loud, with feeling: “This SUCKS.” Better yet: “This sucks.”  Feel free to flail your arms or jump up and down for emphasis. (If you’re at work, make sure you do this in private!) Here are other ways you can let out your frustration.
    2. Take a few deep breaths. Feel your blood pressure dropping. Take a few more. (Or try these de-stressors.)
    3. Ask yourself: Will this thing kill you or anyone you love? Will it bankrupt you? No? Then you’re fine. Annoyed maybe, but fine.
    4. Think about the big picture. Will this glitch matter in the long run? Probably not. It might slow you down a bit, but it’s probably not causing irreparable damage.
    5. What can you do right now to fix the problem? Do it now. (Call the plumber, run to the store for rug cleaner, contact your blog host, make a cup of coffee and finish the report.)

    Now you’ve taken care of the immediate problem, but you’re still stewing. Here are a few more tips to set yourself straight:

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    • Sit down with a notebook and write out the good things that happened in the last week or so. You’ll see that this curveball is just a blip.
    • Take care of something else that needs doing. It can be small, but something so you feel like the day wasn’t a total waste.
    • Get your mind off it. Work out, call a friend, read a magazine. Obsessing doesn’t do any good, and every time you catch yourself, redirect your mind. Think how you’ll laugh about it later. It’s a cliché, but it’s true.
    • When it comes down to it, you just have to let it go. Take a walk or a bath, have a cup of tea or a glass of wine, get a good night’s sleep, and start fresh tomorrow. That’s the beauty of life: you get a do-over, every single day.

    The truth is, the more you deal with these kinds of issues the better off you are. Not that I want anything less than unicorns and rainbows for you, but there’s power in experience.

    After you handle a few of these with efficiency and aplomb, they won’t upset you so much when they come up next time. You’ll zip right through and move on to the rest of your day. Congratulations! You’ve become a person who gets stuff done, no matter what.

    How do you deal when life throws you a curveball? Let us know in the comments!

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    Hit the share button if you found something useful!

    (Photo credit: Baseball in the Infield via Shutterstock)

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      Last Updated on January 3, 2020

      The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

      The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

      Are you waiting for life events to turn out the way you want so that you can feel more positive about your life? Do you find yourself having pre-conditions to your sense of well-being, thinking that certain things must happen for you to be happier? Do you think there is no way that your life stresses can make you anything other than “stressed out” and that other people just don’t understand?  If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, you might find yourself lingering in the land of negativity for too long!

      The following are some tips to keep positive no matter what comes your way. This post will help you stop looking for what psychologists call “positivity” in all the wrong places!  Here are the ten essential habits of positive people.

      1. Positive people don’t confuse quitting with letting go.

      Instead of hanging on to ideas, beliefs, and even people that are no longer healthy for them, they trust their judgement to let go of negative forces in their lives.  Especially in terms of relationships, they subscribe to The Relationship Prayer which goes:

       I will grant myself the ability to trust the healthy people in my life … 

      To set limits with, or let go of, the negative ones … 

      And to have the wisdom to know the DIFFERENCE!

       2.  Positive people don’t just have a good day – they make a good day.

      Waiting, hoping and wishing seldom have a place in the vocabulary of positive individuals. Rather, they use strong words that are pro-active and not reactive. Passivity leads to a lack of involvement, while positive people get very involved in constructing their lives. They work to make changes to feel better in tough times rather than wish their feelings away.

      3. For the positive person, the past stays in the past.

      Good and bad memories alike stay where they belong – in the past where they happened. They don’t spend much time pining for the good ol’ days because they are too busy making new memories now. The negative pulls from the past are used not for self-flagellation or unproductive regret, but rather productive regret where they use lessons learned as stepping stones towards a better future.

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      4. Show me a positive person and I can show you a grateful person.

      The most positive people are the most grateful people.  They do not focus on the potholes of their lives.  They focus on the pot of gold that awaits them every day, with new smells, sights, feelings and experiences.  They see life as a treasure chest full of wonder.

      5. Rather than being stuck in their limitations, positive people are energized by their possibilities.

      Optimistic people focus on what they can do, not what they can’t do.  They are not fooled to think that there is a perfect solution to every problem, and are confident that there are many solutions and possibilities.  They are not afraid to attempt new solutions to old problems, rather than spin their wheels expecting things to be different this time.  They refuse to be like Charlie Brown expecting that this time Lucy will not pull the football from him!

      6. Positive people do not let their fears interfere with their lives!

      Positive people have observed that those who are defined and pulled back by their fears never really truly live a full life. While proceeding with appropriate caution, they do not let fear keep them from trying new things. They realize that even failures are necessary steps for a successful life. They have confidence that they can get back up when they are knocked down by life events or their own mistakes, due to a strong belief in their personal resilience.

      7. Positive people smile a lot!

      When you feel positive on the inside it is like you are smiling from within, and these smiles are contagious. Furthermore, the more others are with positive people, the more they tend to smile too! They see the lightness in life, and have a sense of humor even when it is about themselves. Positive people have a high degree of self-respect, but refuse to take themselves too seriously!

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      8. People who are positive are great communicators.

      They realize that assertive, confident communication is the only way to connect with others in everyday life.  They avoid judgmental, angry interchanges, and do not let someone else’s blow up give them a reason to react in kind. Rather, they express themselves with tact and finesse.  They also refuse to be non-assertive and let people push them around. They refuse to own problems that belong to someone else.

      9. Positive people realize that if you live long enough, there are times for great pain and sadness.

      One of the most common misperceptions about positive people is that to be positive, you must always be happy. This can not be further from the truth. Anyone who has any depth at all is certainly not happy all the time.  Being sad, angry, disappointed are all essential emotions in life. How else would you ever develop empathy for others if you lived a life of denial and shallow emotions? Positive people do not run from the gamut of emotions, and accept that part of the healing process is to allow themselves to experience all types of feelings, not only the happy ones. A positive person always holds the hope that there is light at the end of the darkness.  

      10. Positive person are empowered people – they refuse to blame others and are not victims in life.

      Positive people seek the help and support of others who are supportive and safe.They limit interactions with those who are toxic in any manner, even if it comes to legal action and physical estrangement such as in the case of abuse. They have identified their own basic human rights, and they respect themselves too much to play the part of a victim. There is no place for holding grudges with a positive mindset. Forgiveness helps positive people become better, not bitter.

      How about you?  How many habits of positive people do you personally find in yourself?  If you lack even a few of these 10 essential habits, you might find that the expected treasure at the end of the rainbow was not all that it was cracked up to be. How could it — if you keep on bringing a negative attitude around?

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      I wish you well in keeping positive, because as we all know, there is certainly nothing positive about being negative!

      Featured photo credit: Janaína Castelo Branco via flickr.com

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