Nobody is happy or optimistic all the time unless, there are ‘substances’ involved.
There are happy people and there are people who handle stress well and then, there are those who are able to maintain a calm, eternally optimistic frame of mind, but we all have bad days.
If you ever meet a truly accomplished yogi, ask him/her if they ever get angry or experience complete mental disruption. You’ll be surprised by their answer for even yogis go through the same jolts of emotion as the rest of us ordinary mortals, but how they handle these jolts is very different from the rest of humanity.
They have a system in place. They know how to go from disturbed to calm within seconds. Through intense practice, they’ve programmed their mind to handle stress, anxiety, anger in a constructive manner. During meditation sessions, we are taught not to struggle with focus or FORCE our mind into a calm state. We are instructed to surrender control and allow the mind to find its own rhythm and a point of focus.
Negativity, pessimism, sadness, jealousy – it’s all part of human experience. Honestly, I wouldn’t give up any of it but unlike three years ago, anxiety can no longer make me self-destruct. I get anxious and I dip into my bag of tricks, and every time, I win – that’s the only important part, that you win!
The negative thoughts will come and they’ll surround you in a shroud of darkness. You’ll have this uncontrollable urge to give up and go home, and I don’t care who you are, I know for a fact that we all have those dark, awful days.
So, let’s discuss what we can do to fight our way out of the darkness and back to a more positive, happy state of mind.
1. Don’t repress, Process!
When we de-clutter our home, if we put every unwanted object in a hidden closet, we haven’t really cleared the clutter. We have simply hidden it away. It’s still going to be there the next day and the day after that and the day after that.
The same goes for unresolved thoughts and feelings and if they are negative in nature, they fester into unhealthy behavior and choices. Bottled up, they can only grow in intensity. So, the next time a negative thought pops up in your head, don’t shy away from it.
Here’s what you should do instead-
Step #1. Drag that sucker out into the open. Examine it thoroughly. Try to understand where it came from and if it even makes sense.
Fearing you’ll fail an important exam is understandable. It happens because the exam is important to your career.
Fearing that if you fail the exam, your entire career is finished is an over-reaction.
A lot of negative thinking happens because of fear or unhappy experiences in our past.
Sometimes, what you experience maybe paranoia, panic, and anxiety. It pays to monitor such reactions. If unchecked they may lead to a full-blown panic and anxiety attack. They may even indicate something more serious.
For instance, when you get into a new relationship or a new project and you constantly feel negatively about the whole experience. Even on good days, you find it difficult to be happy. This may indicate that you’re not happy with what you have committed to or your mind is grappling with something that goes a lot deeper.
Also, that gnawing feeling we have in our stomach for no apparent reason, one that won’t go away is your intuition trying to warn you that something isn’t quite right.
Whatever the nature of the thought or feeling may be, you would do well to process it in its entirety. Bottled-up, it will only cause trouble.
Step #2. Allow yourself to feel the accompanying emotion
Instead of running away from it, let your mind drown in the emotion. Feel it in all its intensity and you will find that after a while it goes away or loses its impact. If you don’t, a part of your mind will be focused on not letting in that unpleasant emotion.
Eventually, you’ll find that trying to keep it at bay keeps you distracted and worried for far longer than the alternative.
2. Don’t add guilt to the mix
When these negative thoughts are violent, jealous or resentful in nature, we feel guilty for them which makes the situation worse.
Try to remember that having a negative thought about a person, relationship, or event doesn’t make you a bad person. It’s only when you allow those ideas and emotions to impact your actions and choices that you find yourself on the wrong path.
And that’s exactly what would happen if you don’t process things in a healthy way.
3. Put a healthy system in place
One way of dealing with negativity is to beat it down as we discussed in the points above.
Another way to do it is by making your mind so forcefully positive that negativity fails to find a foothold.
This can be done by making certain changes to your lifestyle.
1. Actively practice gratitude
When we actively focus on all the happy things in our life, it leaves little room for negativity.
A conscious practice of gratitude exercises will lead to a shift in your mental state making it more optimistic and open to new ideas. Everyday, write down 5 -10 things you are grateful for. It will help you focus on the good in your life and weaken the negative.