The blunt truth is, as much as we try, sometimes in life shit will hit the fan so hard and it becomes almost impossible to remain optimistic. In whatever form it may present itself, be it a failure in ambition, the retreat of a relationship, the diminishing of a dream, or even simply one of those days where nothing is going quite right, there are moments when no amount of life quotes can make you feel any better.
Although feeling down and out is inevitable at times, there are certainly things that we could do to self-help ourselves in healthily moving past it or see things in a more constructive light. Instead of sending ourselves to the insane asylum or popping a Valium or worse, crying at a corner of the room naked while hugging our knees (I’ve never done this, I swear), here are some things that we can do instead to entice some positivity back into our lives.
List is established through my personal experiences, and from others around me.
It doesn’t matter where you go, really. It could be someplace far, a weekend at the beach or even just balik kampung. The point is to get out of your usual routines, because routines have a profound ability to remind us of the unfortunate event, which usually occurs while we are living our normal day-to-day lives. Being someplace new, witnessing the larger beautiful world or looking at other people living different lives than ours is a good distraction from a temporary hurdle (newsflash: all hurdles are temporary. All.)
2. Do Charity
We’re a bunch of whiners. We really are. When bad news occur we tend to hone in onto them and forget about all the other good things that we still have in our lives. Being physically involved in charity shifts our eyes to see others who are not as ‘privileged’ than us in many sense of the word. Going to the homeless shelter, for example, lets us see people who could only dream about having even a portion of the good fortunes we already own. I find that doing this will immediately shut me up from whining like an ungrateful twat, and helps me to look past my mostly mundane life problems.
3. Seek to Understand or be Understood
In a recent post, I mentioned how every single person has a reason for being who they are. There are things that happened to us that shape us. Understanding people and why they could’ve done the things they did can significantly reduce ill thoughts and expedite love and forgiveness. It is hard to hate or be angry at things we understand, and vice versa. At the same time, good things can come from letting yourself be understood by others. Talking to someone who might understand how you feel is an amazing remedy. It is wonderful to be loved, but it is profound to be understood.
4. Start the Day Off Positively
I once read in a self-help book that much of what happens during the day is significantly affected by how be begin it. There is truth to why the happiest people in the world begin the day doing something positive – some people find early enlightenment through meditating, reading, praying, Yoga, or even just having a quiet moment with their own thoughts before venturing into other things for the rest of the day. It’s worth discovering what your own happy wake up routine is and investing a little time in them in the morning.
5. Find Humour
Did you ever realise that most of your happiest relationships have a lot of humour in them? My family have a thing we like to do whenever we are going through a rough patch. We sit around together, whether it’s in a car, at the dinner table or just watching TV, and we joke around and have a good laugh. There is always humour in everything. Always. No matter the differences, the tension or strain life challenges can cause, having a bit of humour with it will a make a world of difference in our emotional state.
There is no such thing as smiling too much. In fact, we don’t smile enough. It’s the whole ‘fake it till you make it’ notion. Smiling attracts positivity. The best part is, smiling is actually the easiest way to positively contribute to society. Just a small act can make a stranger’s life better. One time, I was chatting to a waitress and she told me how sometimes, after long hours of hard work at a minimum wage, the only thing that makes her day were customers who smiled at her and acknowledged her as a person. I’ve never forgotten to smile and my serving waiter/waitress ever since.
7. Latch Onto Positive Things/People
For God’s sake, if you find something or someone who gives your soul positive happiness, hold on to them. Sometimes, they are the only few things that could help us cope with bad times. If there is someone in your life who’s positive and has the ability to elevate you, keep them. If there is a hobby, passion, or even a favourite TV sitcom that can make you smile, indulge in them. Encounters with people or a new discovery in life are never without reason, and best believe that some of them were meant to pop into our lives to make our days much, much better.