When life gives you lemons, what do you do? Are you a glass half empty or a glass half full kind of person? Life can be hard, and if we don’t have the tools to help us with the stresses and strains that we face, then it can really bring us down. So, how do you mentally equip yourself for dealing with stress, anxiety, and depression? In this article, we’ll explore some of the ways that you can build emotional resilience and fight the negativity in your life.
Talk To Others
One of the first things that you should do when you are facing emotional difficulties in your life is to talk to someone. There are plenty of people out there that you could talk to. They say that a problem shared is a problem halved. And you could easily halve your problems. If you have a friend or a family member that you can turn to, then talk to them. If you don’t feel as though you can talk to them, then speak with a professional such as a doctor, therapist, or if things are really bad, speak with someone from the samaritans.
Spend Time Around Positive People
Negativity and positivity are both contagious. Think about who you are spending most of your time with and think about how positive they are. You may have noticed how someone that’s in a very bad mood can almost make everyone in the room feel the same as them? But when someone positive enters, you’ll find that they have completely the opposite effect and can lift people’s spirits. Spend as much time around positive people as possible. This will boost your self-esteem and help you to see the bright side of life.
The Power Of Positive Thinking
If you are a positive thinker it will have a knock-on effect on the rest of your life. Not only will becoming a positive person make you more energetic and enthusiastic naturally, but it will also have a knock-on effect to your health. You’ll find that you recover from illnesses much quicker and you’ll be less prone to picking up colds. Positive thinking has an effect on your mental health too. There is a lower prevalence of depression in positive thinkers. All in all, your life expectancy will increase and you’ll enjoy a more relaxed quality of life overall. But how can you change your outlook into one that is more positive? Reading motivational life quotes and aspirational affirmations can help you to change your outlook and get you thinking positive once more. Spend time each day focusing the good things in life. Practice finding the silver lining in everything. Even when something seems bad, try and find a positive in it.
Practicing gratitude reduces stress, improves your self-esteem, and makes you more resilient to the stresses and strains of life. Think about all of the things that you have to be grateful for; your friends and family, moments in your life, your work or studies, the home that you live in, or something that brings you a sense of comfort or peace. Try to express gratitude for these things throughout your daily life. At first, you may want to start off small by doing one thing each day, soon this will become natural and you’ll find that you naturally do it without thinking. These simple acts of gratitude could be thanking a co-worker for helping you out, thanking a loved one for their support, or thanking the dog for their unconditional love.
Keep A Gratitude Journal
If you write down the things that you are most grateful for, then you’ll be able to improve your optimism and your sense of well-being. Write down a few things that you are grateful for each and every day and refer back to the lists that you have made whenever you are having a bad day.
Create A Safe Place
We all need shelter from the storm and finding your safe place is essential when you are battling mental health worries. This might be the bed or the sofa with a blanket and Netflix on the TV. There is nothing wrong with taking a breather from life to give yourself time to relax and unwind. Work out where your safe space is. This should be somewhere private, comfortable, and that has access to something that you enjoy whether that’s music, a great boxset, or a good book. It should be somewhere that you look forward to spending time in and somewhere that you feel joy and peace in.
Laughter Is The Best Medicine
Laughter has been found to lower stress levels, as well as reducing anxiety and depression. It also helps with your mood, self-esteem, and your ability to cope. You should learn to be open to humor in every situation, especially those that seem the furthest removed from humor. Laughing lightens the mood and makes life a little easier to deal with. Even if you don’t feel like laughing or there is nothing amusing you right now, just laughing for the sake of it can help you to improve your mood and reduce your stress levels.
Practice Talking Positively
Often, our worst critic is ourselves. Being self-critical over a long period of time can lead you to have a permanent negative opinion of yourself which can be very hard to get rid of. To get over this, you’ll need to spot that negative voice in your head and respond to it with positivity. Talk to yourself in a positive way and you’ll start to see a shift in your perception of yourself. Even a small shift in the way that you talk to yourself can make a huge difference. So, go on and be kind to yourself today.
Identify Areas Of Negativity
Take a good look at the different areas of your life and try and pick out the ones that you tend to feel the most negativity towards. If you are not sure which areas of your life you are most negative about, ask someone that you are close to as they may have picked up on the things that you are most down about. Your partner may have noticed that you get stressed or angry when you are driving, or a work colleague may have noticed that you negative about something in the workplace. Focus on these things and address them with positivity.
Start The Day On A Positive Note
If you start each day with something positive, then it is more likely that the rest of the day will follow in the same way. Here are a few ways that you can improve your day with positivity:
- Give someone a compliment
- Listen to happy music to kick start your day
- Tell yourself that everything is going to be great
- Use a positive affirmation
What To Do When It is All Going Wrong
There will be times when everything goes wrong in life. Sometimes, when we’re in the most distress possible, it can be hard to find the rainbows for the storm clouds. During these stressful times, it can be hard to find a silver lining and you should stop pressuring yourself to look for this. Instead, use your energy to seek out care and support from loved ones. Sometimes you need to feel the negative emotion and not try and bury it. For instance, when you are grieving. Positive thinking should not be about trying to cover over every negative thought or emotion. These low points in our lives should be the ones that motivate us to get up and make positive changes. When you are going through stressful times, try to imagine that you were a good friend in need of comfort and advice. What would you say to them? You’d remind them that it is okay to feel the way that they do right now while telling them that things will get better.
The Health Effects of Negative Thinking
Negative thinking and the feelings that go along with it such as stress, anger, and pessimism can actually cause a number of physical problems, increase the risk of disease, and shorten your lifespan. Stress can, in turn, cause several processes in our bodies including stress hormones to get released, and it can cause inflammation which is linked to many different serious illnesses. The symptoms of stress may include headache, nausea, fatigue, and problems sleeping. If you are cynical and angry, then you may have a higher risk of heart disease, heart attack, stroke, or dementia. Staying positive is important to your physical health as well as your mental wellbeing.
When Should You Seek Medical Advice?
If you find that you are consumed by the negative thoughts that you are experiencing and you are having problems regulating your emotions, then you should see your doctor. You may benefit from some medical treatments such as taking medication or talking therapy such as cognitive behavior therapy.