Over the past few months I got asked a bunch of times how I stay positive and how I always seem to be in a good mood. Obviously I am not always in a good mood and have good and bad days just like everyone else, but I observed myself and found that I always react to bad emotions and negative thoughts in the same manner and apply the same patterns in order to turn my mindset around as quickly as I can, which means I rarely stay in a bad mood for more than an hour or so, which is extremely helpful when you are trying to take on this crazy thing called life. So I thought I share my personal tricks with you, hoping to inspire some of you to try them out. Here are some fool proof methods that you might have never heard before (they don’t include getting a good night sleep or meditating, that might work for some but who has time for that):
The Movie Star Trick
I believe I have shared this trick with some of my friends before and I always thought I am such a weirdo for doing this, but hey, admitting to be weird might be the first step in feeling better about yourself, right? How it works: Whenever I get up in the morning and every little thing seems to go wrong, and all odds seem to be stacked against me, I pretend I am the lead role in a dramatic movie. Romantic Comedy doesn’t cut it by the way, I want to be taken seriously, so I think of myself as the star of an extremely sad tragedy. I think of all the things that are happening to this poor girl, whatever those might be that particular day, and how bad I feel for her and how proud I am of her that she still keeps going and pushing and that she doesn’t give up. I guess it’s a different take on treating yourself like you would your best friend. What it does for me is create a distance between me and my problems, seeing me for what I actually am: a strong woman who tries really hard and yet often stumbles, but the fact that I, aka the lead role in my tragic movie, get back up immediately turns my mood around and makes me proud of myself. Sounds funky, but please try it out, I promise it works!
Rely on the world to cheer you up
Whenever you feel horrible about your life and how things are going, your first impulse is probably to hide under the covers and cancel every plan you had that day. And while that might be healthy on rare occasions when you feel really burned out, hiding and keeping to yourself is not a good way of getting out of a funk in my experience. Instead try this: Trust that the world will cheer you up! This might sound like wishful thinking but this method has proven to be successful whenever I needed it. It’s pretty magical actually. So whenever I feel like talking to nobody, I pretty much do the exact opposite and basically let the world and the people around me help me through my funk without them knowing that they are helping me. The good thing about being in a bad mood is that you usually expect the worst, you expect everyone to be negative and mean to you. Finding out that they are not and that the world is still turning and that the same people who have been there yesterday are still here for you today is a very comforting thing that will surprise you and instantly cheer you up! Chances are you are a rock and a shoulder to cry on for many people in your life, so whenever you feel like you are all alone, let the world prove you wrong.
Plan, Plan, Plan
Making new plans is one of my favorite things to do. It cheers me up instantly, gets me excited for the next day or the coming week, and it motivates me like nothing else in life. Whenever I feel uninspired or not good enough or just down about how things are going, I start planning. Those plan don’t have to be major changes at all, even the smallest things make me happy, like planning my outfit, planning a special outing with my son, planning a goal that I can work towards. Having a plan makes me feel alive and it doesn’t allow me to stay in a rut since there is so much to get accomplished to turn my plans into reality.
Hit the pause button (for very difficult times)
This might seem to be the exact opposite of the making plans method, and it probably is. There will be situations and life phases that are extremely difficult and you will need to treat yourself very sensibly in order to get through them. For me, this would be my pregnancy. I was very sick for many, many months, so sick that breathing made me throw up and I could not walk to the toilet without help. I was bed ridden which was very hard for a busy body like me, and I feared I would never be the same again. What helped me through this was to hit a mental pause button. I basically allowed myself to just go day by day, and trust that this is a stage in my life that I just have to let happen, and that one day will be over. I am aware that there are heartbreaking situations in life that will not pass. For those, however, that are bad but temporary, allowing myself to take a break from fighting and simply acknowledging them, makes it easier for me to keep my head up.
Just do it
I wanted to call this method “Having a routine” but I just couldn’t bring myself to do so. I personally hate routine, or I used to hate it. Before having my son, I fought any routine like it’s the devil, if one day was just similar to the next one I had to basically quit my job or buy a one way ticket to Neverland in order to calm down. Things have changed, and for the better. Children force you into a routine no matter how much you fight it, and turns out knowing what you do the next day keeps negative feelings at bay. If you get up every morning around the same time, eat the same (or similar) breakfast and work out around the same time, it will give you a great sense of stability and purpose, some more boring words that would have made my younger self yawn, but when I am feeling blue, I highly appreciate a good routine to get me through my day without me having to question what I am here for, I am simply doing it, living my life.
This list is not complete but maybe there will be a Part 2 one day! Please let me know in the comments if these tips seem helpful to you and what helps you stay positive!