Tag: attitude

How to Talk Yourself Out of a “Bad Mood”

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We’ve all experienced a “bad day.” Even people who always seem to be in a good mood have days where they have low energy and aren’t seeing the world in their usual positive light. There are a million reasons why we might have low spirits, but the common denominator is the kind of thoughts we are having prior to and during a period of negativity. What are your thoughts (aka self-talk) when you are in a “bad mood”? Perhaps this line of inner conversation sounds familiar:

Wow, what a crappy day. I feel terrible; I can’t seem to concentrate on anything. I’m never going to get anything done today. What a waste. Why can’t I snap out of this funk? There must be something wrong with me. Great, another thing I have to worry about. I don’t need this. Why can’t things go my way? Ouch, my neck really hurts. Why does this have to happen now? I should probably do some yoga or stretching. Ugh, I’m so tired. I should start eating better and working out more. Who am I kidding, it’ll never happen. It’s just too hard. I don’t have any discipline. Whoa, where has the time gone? I never have enough time! I just want to crawl back into bed. I wish this day would end.

Yikes! This self-talk would put anybody in a bad mood!

Often, the shift from a not-so-good mood to a good one is triggered by something great happening to us. And suddenly, we’re in high spirits! How did that happen? We interpreted the stimulus we experienced as positive and began having a different conversation in our heads. Our thoughts changed from being down on ourselves to telling us how awesome we are and that things are going our way. We feel more confident and happy, body pain fades or goes away completely, and we have so much more energy. We literally talked ourselves into a good mood!

As I tell my clients, sometimes the shift from negative thinking to positive thinking is as simple as changing the words you use:

Eliminate these words: Replace with these words:
should it would be better
have to I choose to
ought to I could
must what I prefer is
can’t I can
don’t I will
weak empowered
supposed to  

It works best if you write the positive words on post-it notes and place them everywhere…on the dash of the car, bathroom mirror, refrigerator, and so forth. Seeing the positive words will remind you to be aware of your self-talk, and adjust it if it’s not supporting you.

We have the power to change our state of mind in an instant by using positive self-talk to flip our perspective. How empowering to know we don’t have to wait for our external world to show us something positive…we can talk ourselves into a positive outlook!

For added support, here are some other posts that relate to positive thinking and lifting your spirits:

How to Shift Your Unconscious Beliefs and Create the Life You Want

Support Yourself Through Transitions by Changing Your Thoughts

Shifting Your Perspective to Relieve Stress, Anxiety, and Anger

Living in Abundance


When People are Negative, Shine a Positive Light

rays-of-light-1502867-1279x1705We all have to deal with many people in our day-to-day lives. Some people are a joy to interact with and some are….not as enjoyable.

Have you ever had the experience of getting a phone call from someone and cringing because you know you’re going to be trapped listening to an account of all the negativity in their life? Or you see a familiar person and think: Oh, brother. Here comes so-and-so. They’re always so negative, complaining about everything from the weather to politics. Now their negativity is going to put me in a bad mood. Then you play your usual role, listening to his or her complaints, nodding your head in silence or adding a complaint of your own just to say something. Afterwards, your energy is low and you’re blaming the person for bringing you down with negativity that you believe they forced on you.

What if…the person is not really the problem, but rather the problem is the story we are telling ourselves (and others) about the person? Our feelings toward negative people stem from our expectation of them doing something or acting in some way we don’t want them to. Perhaps the complaining is an attempt to connect. Think of a time when you’ve joined in on the Complain Game, or gossiped about or teased someone. What was your motivation for doing that? Did you want to connect with the other person or gain attention? Were you unable to think of anything else to say and this is what “people like them” talk about? Maybe s/he isn’t used to employing positivity for connection and is just doing what s/he knows how to do…complain.

What if you changed your story about negative people in your life? Find something positive about the person and develop that thought. Or just focus on how great you feel and all the things you are grateful for. If you know they have a topic that sets them off on a tirade or pity party, don’t bring it up. There are other ways to show politeness, care, or interest than by asking a person, who loves to complain about their bad back, how it’s feeling! Rather, start a conversation about something that makes them smile or gets them excited to talk about, like how well their child is doing in school or their upcoming vacation. It will be harder for them to be negative if you are inviting them to talk about happy subjects.

Everyone has the ability to be many things, just like you. So allow people that are often negative the chance to show their other (positive) sides. And remember, you don’t have to engage your emotions when a person acts in a way you see as negative. When we get frustrated, annoyed, or irritated by someone, that means we have placed an interpretation or judgment on them. Try being a scientist, detachedly observing the results of a test subject. You can just say to yourself, hmmm, that’s interesting.

You can choose whether to allow someone to “bring you down.” It may take some practice, but the more you reframe your perspective around “negative” people, the more you will realize you have the power to choose your experience of them. How wonderful is that?


Shifting Your Perspective to Relieve Stress, Anxiety, and Anger

Photo by Kristin Rath

In this…world

Nothing is the truth or a lie.

Everything depends on the color

Of the crystal through which one sees it.

― Pedro Calderón de la Barca

When the unexpected crosses our path or things don’t go our way, it is natural to react with feelings such as irritation, fear, anxiety, and anger. However, if we allow these emotions to go unexplored, we will be allowing our perspective to be restricted and possibly negative. When we continue to view the world from this state, it can color our perspective for hours, even days, later.

The great news is we can change how we view a situation by recognizing when we think, feel, and/or act in a way that is not beneficial. By asking ourselves some questions that will shift our thinking we will change our current viewpoint.

For example, perhaps you have a long to-do list, and have been worrying about getting everything accomplished. The worry grows throughout the day into guilt as you know you can’t possibly get X, Y, and Z done. Now you’re in full stress mode, feeling irritable/emotional/anxious/etc. You’re on autopilot, reacting to what comes at you. Nothing seems to be going your way, you can’t seem to do anything right, and the day is generally not enjoyable. What if you had known how to stop the worry in its tracks when it first crept into your thoughts by asking yourself a few questions to gain clarity on the issue? Perhaps the worry would have only lasted a few seconds instead of ruining your day!

Here’s how you can put a perspective shift into practice: Be aware of when you feel anger, anxiety, fear, or any kind of stress. Mentally say, “Stop!” and then visualize a stop sign. This will halt the body and mind from continuing to circulate non-constructive thoughts and feelings. Take a few deep breaths while you ask your body to release any tension. Then ask your mind a few of the questions below that are relevant to your situation. Check in with yourself and note any changes in mind and body. With practice, these steps will become effortless.

  • Is there really a problem? Or do I perceive a problem? In relation to the example of the to-do list, ask yourself what items are priorities and what are not? If a task is a priority than you can choose to complete it; if it is not you can allow yourself to choose to put it off for a day until it is a priority. Keep in mind that plans are fluid and can change. When we shift our perception, the thoughts and emotions that don’t serve us have the freedom to slip away. You might surprise yourself with how much you can get done with the energy you used spending on worry and guilt.
  • Are the outcomes I’m imagining necessarily going to happen or am I expecting a worst-case scenario? Being prepared when you are clear what outcome is ‘supposed’ to occur is useful, however it is unproductive and needlessly stressful to focus your energy on scenarios or outcomes that may never happen.
  • How significant is this problem in the grand scheme of my life? How significant is this in relation to the timeline of the universe? Shrinking the perceived enormity of your situation can allow you to collect your thoughts and emotions. Once you are grounded you can ask yourself: Is this something I need to act upon? If yes, you can now do so from a centered, open viewpoint.

Life is 10 percent what you make it and 90 percent how you take it.

― Irving Berlin

 


Change Your Mind – Change Your Life

Life does not NEED to be hard.

It is all about shifting ones attitude by changing thoughts, which shifts feelings, which shifts ones belief systems. Positive thinking really works and yes it does take intention and determination to create a positive life. Now some people might call this work; but I call this process and flow and attitude shifting.

When we catch our negative thoughts and dispute these irrational beliefs i.e. that the cup is half empty (I mean after all if you want to be irrational why not hold the belief that the cup is half full), then you will move forward in life and you will feel great. It is worth disputing negative irrational beliefs so that you can think and feel better. No reason to dispute the positive ones, usually.

If you shift into dreams than you can learn how to achieve your dreams by creating bite size goals and then tasks that will allow you to complete your goals and then eventually create your dream. If your intention is set and you are willing to put the time in, anything is possible. Of course accepting that yes there are limitations and knowing what your limitations are; will allow you to dream dreams that you can reach.

If you are grandiose and your ego is bigger than your brain well, most likely you will make yourself unhappy. So, if you have one leg, dream dreams that a person with one leg can achieve…no you are not going to grow another leg; but you can perhaps get a bionic leg and win the race.

If you find that you are angry a lot at the unfairness of the world consider what you can do to shift your world so that you are treating yourself fairly rather than wishing the world or other people would be different. No one is going to change for you and certainly not the world. It is unfair and so what, if the cup is half full it will not matter…