Have you ever wanted something in life, but it kept eluding you despite your best efforts? Maybe it was your dream business that never took off; or perhaps the person you thought would be yours forever left you for someone else.
You felt devastated, unhappy, and cheated. Don’t worry, you are not alone! Everyone goes through terrible times in their life at some point.
Do you practice positive thinking during bleak times?
Unfortunately, you can’t control what happens to you. However, you can certainly control how to respond when something unexpected happens. Sometimes, your inspiration is rooted in the most troubled times in your life.
5 Ways to develop positive thinking when things look bleak
1. Don’t compare yourself with others.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt
One of the easiest ways to throw yourself into the abyss is to compare yourself with others. More often than not, people tend to contrast their worst qualities with the best they see in others.
The moment you start comparing yourself, a variety of emotions (such as inferiority complex, anger, and jealousy) take over your mind. Unfortunately, this negative process is a never-ending cycle. This is why you should avoid doing it.
Should you feel the need to compare, do so with yourself (i.e. measure up to see if you are better than your past self). Start appreciating the small things, like your friends, family members, and your previous accomplishments.
2. Surround yourself with uplifting thoughts.
“A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone if it is to keep its edge.” George R.R. Martin
Reading something inspirational is perhaps the best way to stay optimistic in an adverse environment. In fact, books are your best friends because they neither complain nor have expectations. Instead, they always stand by your side regardless of how bad the situation is.
If you want to rid your mind of negative thoughts, fill it up with uplifting and inspiring information. Read at least a couple of books (e.g. self-help or fiction) that will inspire you to be a better person. If you don’t like reading, try subscribing to a website that offers inspirational quotes or blog posts every day.
3. Learn to let go.
“Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go.” – Hermann Hesse
If you never learn to let go of your past, how can you open your mind to the new things that may be coming your way? Don’t attach your motions with your past, present, or even the future. When you take the emotions out and learn to accept facts, you will see problems as blessings in disguise.
However, negative feelings won’t disappear on their own. You will need to train and commit your mind to positive thinking. You can use a variety of methods, including meditation and yoga, to learn to let go of things that might be stalling your progress.
4. Keep yourself busy.
“An idle mind is the devil’s playground.” – Unknown
Find ways to keep yourself busy and productive, because it will help with your positive thinking. If I am idle for too long for instance, my mind starts wandering. I immediately feel guilty for not doing all the things I could be doing.
Sometimes, it gets so bad that I think about nothing but my past failures and mistakes, self-sabotaging my overall mental health. So I started keeping myself busy.
There are countless activities to occupy yourself with, including volunteering, taking a class, doing community service, going on a long drive, catching up with old friends, or reading your favorite book. Who knows, you may find something that will change your life forever!
5. Celebrate small achievements.
“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” – Oprah Winfrey
Regardless of how small your achievement is, celebrate it. Don’t be one of those people who are so addicted to negative feelings that they don’t recognize their own triumphs. Remember: whatever your goal is, you aren’t going to achieve it overnight. In fact, it may take longer than expected. But these little celebrations will help keep you going.
For example: if you just opened a new bakery, celebrate the first time someone bought your product. Rejoice on the day your business first went online. Cheer for your first comment, Facebook Like, Tweet, or Instagram post.
There are countless ways to build up positive thinking through small victories. Just treat every single day as another milestone in your journey towards the bigger goal.
Practicing positive thinking when nothing is going your way is easier said than done. However, there is no better time to discipline your mind and to stay focused than when things seem to be going out of control.
So gear up and get ready to pull yourself out of the rut. These five tips should help recharge your mind during the most difficult circumstances. Don’t forget to share your experiences with us on the comments section below!