Today I want to talk about positivity. It's no secret that I aim for positive, happy thoughts on this blog, but also in life in general. For those of us who suffer with mental issues (the big D and A diagnoses spring to mind), it's especially important to try and stay on top of things, and having both of those labels myself, I'm getting fairly well practised in trying to maintain a cheerful mind frame. In a world full of cynicism, it's easy to get stuck into negative thinking which often leads into a downward spiral, which isn't any good for anyone. After years of practice, I feel as though I'm finally beginning to get the hang of keeping my thoughts going in the right direction, so I thought I'd share some advice on what works for me.
I make a point in removing anything negative, hurtful or damaging from my life. Obviously life has it's ups and downs, and sad things do happen, but I'm talking about unnecessary unpleasantries that just don't need to be there. If there's someone on twitter being rude, mean, or just being too much of a negative nelly, chances are I'll unfollow. There's no need to be sucked into their pessimism, but it can be tricky to avoid when it's presented to you on your computer screen. I choose not to watch horror films or plots that follow sad or scary story lines, as there's enough of that to deal with in the real world without getting absorbed into a fictional world of it too. If I find something in my life is causing me undue stress, providing it's not something I need to do, (unfortunately we just need to get on and deal with exams, money and tax, letting agents etc) I will try and remove it. Some might call this avoidance, but in reality it's just removing unnecessary extras that have the ability to bring you down. When you spend the majority of your time focusing on the good things, encountering the occasional setback becomes considerably easier to deal with.
If I'm worried about something, I try my best to resolve the issue. When my brain is feeling a little too full of things that are bothering me, I take an hour out to sit down with a cup of tea and a notebook and empty my brain. Somehow, everything always seems far easier to manage when it's down on paper, and 9 times out of 10 I'll realise I didn't have half as much to worry about as I thought I did. Even if there is still something huge and stressful looming, writing it down makes it easier to face it practically and work out a plan of action for solving the problem.
I do realise that sometimes though, no matter how hard you try, you just feel like you're in a slump, and in the wise words of Dr Seuss, unslumping yourself is not easily done. When things are really hard, sometimes you just need to have a bed day, and chances are you'll feel better in the morning. Even when you feel like you're having the worst day ever, the likelihood is that it wasn't a total write off, even if it's hard to see it like that. I try and think of one good thing that has happened each day. I find that just that one tiny happy though can lift the lid on the dark cloud that has been grumbling all day, and suddenly things start to seem a little brighter. Starting from now I'm going to be adding those on here too, once a week, as I thought it might be lovely to have a weekly collection of happy thoughts. If you'd like to join in too then that would be absolutely wonderful, I'd love to hear your One Good Thing too!
Today, my One Good Thing is the roses you see in the picture. I found them in a reduced bucket in Waitrose for a fairly magical 45p, and a week later, they are still going strong. My makeshift vase makes me happy too, a gold spray painted bolognese sauce jar, and I think it looks rather nice!
Next week I will post a whole week of good things and happy thoughts, and as I say, I'd love it if you joined in too!
Just one more important thing -
If you are struggling, finding yourself feeling down all the time and full of unhappy thoughts, please speak to someone. Talk to a friend, family member, even me if you want to chat. There are people out there that can help, including your GP, doctor, or the lovely people at Mind. Don't suffer in silence!
Labels: happiness, help, life, positivity, thoughts