The last thing you’re thinking about during tough times is being positive, right?
I mean how can you NOT stop being negative when everything around you is falling apart, crumbling, going downhill, and worsening by the minute?
Well, at least that’s how it feels when it’s happening in your mind. When all you can see is nothing but the negatives of the situation or circumstance.
Next thing you know your head is in your hands… The stress starts driving you nuts… And the negative thoughts start clouding your mind and blurring your judgment. 🙁
So how do you stay positive during these tough times? How do you avoid being negative to help you through it?
Let’s talk about it.
How To Stop Being Negative During Tough Times:
1. The Mainstream News Is Your Enemy
“Whoever controls the media, controls the mind.” – Jim Morrison
When you’re dealing with a negative situation, the last thing you need to see is negativity on the news.
You might think it doesn’t influence you, but it does.
An article on the effects of negative news by the Huffington Post seems to agree with me. Highlighted in yellow below….
Not only that but when you start off your day taking in negative messages, that by itself will infect the rest of your day.
Which of course, isn’t worth the headache in the slightest.
This is what Brian Tracy calls – the “golden” hour.
What happens within that hour will either ruin the rest of your day or make it that much more positive.
2. Being Unproductive Is The Devil
“The devil finds work for Idle hands.” – Proverb
I lost my job. The supervisor screamed and shouted as if he was in the right and I were in the wrong. I had debts to pay off. And yet, I refused to sit around, mope and do nothing about it.
You know why?
When you’re unproductive you find time to do things you shouldn’t be doing.
Like complaining, dwelling on the negative, overthinking the situation, stressing yourself out and making your life shitter than it needs to be.
Whenever I’ve been at my worst, unproductivity has been the culprit.
No matter what you do, do something. And make sure it involves an action that will make your situation better over time instead of overnight.
Nothing drastically improves overnight.
3. Write Out The Pros And Cons
As much as I hated it when I lost my first business so suddenly, I had to look at the positives of that situation.
I mean I could have focused on the negative… But what good would that have done at the end of the day?
Bad things happen, but that doesn’t mean you have to be pessimistic.
When faced with a difficult and negative situation, always write out the pros and cons. Because if you don’t, you won’t be able to see the positives of the situation.
After all, negative situations are emotional. And without practice, the majority of us won’t look at negative circumstances through logical lenses.
Write out every single negative detail you can come up with.
Then when you’re done, think hard and write out every positive that’s come out of your situation.
Here’s a good example:
I lost my job. I was made redundant. The negatives were clear as a hot sunny day by the Jamaican beach. Or maybe an alleyway full of dog shit, piss, and rats since that’s a more negative image.
The positives of being made redundant though were:
- I no longer had to deal with negative, pessimistic people.
- I didn’t have to put up with racism anymore.
- I learned something important from being made redundant.
- It set me out on a new path of self discovery.
- It gave me the opportunity to start pursuing what I REALLY wanted out of life.
Life is two sides of the same coin. So write out the pros as well as the cons because believe me, there are more pros than you realize.
4. Can You Do Something About It?
When shit hits the fan and life takes a wrong turn for the worst, can you do something about the situation?
It’s true you won’t be able to do everything. Some things aren’t doable depending on the circumstances.
But the important question is – what are you able to do? That’s all you need to focus on and pay attention to.
If you lose your job, you can apply for other jobs…
You can start working on your skills and natural talents…
You can get in touch with your network to see if they can help you out…
You can look at the mistakes you may have made, to be sure you don’t make the same mistakes again… In other words, you can do something about it.
Have a hard look at the situation you’re in. Or the circumstances you’re dealing with, no matter how shitty it is.
It may only be small, but there’s something you can do about it that’ll make a massive difference to the problem.
Not only that, but it’ll make a decent difference to how you feel and how you go about tackling the problem head on.
5. Do More Of What Makes You FEEL Good
Ironically when life turns upside down, the first thing we do is join in.
Meaning we add to the negativity by doing shit that makes you feel like you’ve just been kicked in the balls with a pair of steel boots!
That’s the wrong approach though.
What we need to do in these situations is do more of what makes us FEEL good. And not just in bad times, but ALL the time.
Here’s an example:
- Volunteering to help out disabled children.
- Helping the homeless get back on their feet.
- Listening to your favourite music.
- Writing out your thoughts.
- Singing your favourite song.
- Saying “I love you” to the person you care about. And seeing their reaction.
- Helping out a friend.
- Playing video games (in moderation).
- Eating junk food (in moderation).
- Going for a run around the block.
- Walking your dog.
We’re all different. What makes me feel amazing isn’t the same as what makes YOU feel on top of the world.
Whatever it is that makes YOU feel good, start doing more of that. It’s the best way to stop being negative and start feeling positive.
And having a positive attitude is the best way to overcome your challenges.
6. Find Something To Laugh At
I love people who can make me laugh when I don’t even want to smile. – Unknown
They say kids laugh between 200-400 times a day. And adults laugh less than 20 times a day.
Highlighted in green below…
Whether that’s true or not, it’s something to think about. Especially when you’re dealing with negative circumstances or people.
I make it a priority to find something to laugh at every single day. No matter how bad I feel, or how bad the situation is.
And in 2016 finding something that amuses you is as easy as taking a selfie.
All you’ve got to do is browse through YouTube and your bound to find something hilarious that’ll entertain you.
For me that “something hilarious” is the video below of a Pokemon Parody.
Watch and do whatever as long as it amuses you. The point is to laugh more often than you do.
You’ll see what a massive difference it makes to your attitude!
7. Look Towards The Future
What’s done can’t be undone. The past is the past. You know that. We all know that.
And the most practical thing you can do is look towards the future.
How do you want your future to look?
Where do you want to end up 5 years from now?
How do you plan on making that a reality?
Regardless of the pain, the difficulties and the problems you’re dealing with today, the only way to solve it is to paint a picture of how you’d like your life to look.
And then with that colourful painting, you start planning and mapping out what steps you’ve got to take to recovery.
As well as to make your goals come to fruition.
- Getting over a traumatic loss.
- Dealing with death in your family. Or even friends.
- Overcoming the circumstances of losing your job or business.
- Failing in University after studying hard for so many years.
- Feeling stuck and not knowing where to take your life from here.
And everything in between.
You’ve got to know what you’re aiming for so it’s easier to pull the trigger.
One bullet at a time, and one day at a time.
8. This Is The Reason You Can’t Stop Being Negative…
What If the people you surround yourself with who seem like friends, are actually your enemies?
The last thing we look at in dire situations is our friends. We assume they’re perfect and incapable of doing us any harm.
But is that true? Think about it for a minute. That’s all the time you need to figure it out.
Well, that’s a lie. Maybe a couple of minutes is more realistic.
Ask yourself this:
- When was the last time my friends helped me?
- When I genuinely need help, are they there to provide it?
- Are my friends really my friends? Or am I holding on to them because it’s convenient?
- Are my friends constantly negative, gossiping, bitching, complaining, or depressing?
This is a lot to swallow. They’re your friends after all. (And by the way, the same goes for your family, too).
But If being around your friends makes you feel worse, negative, depressed, etc, maybe they aren’t the friends you believed they were.
You are what you’re around, as the saying goes.
If you’re around negative people, your life will always seem negative. Even when times are good. And If you’re negative when times are good, those “good times” will have a short life span.
One thing drags down the other.
You can either stop hanging around your “friends” a lot less than you do, or if they’re dangerously negative, pull out the scissors and cut them off completely.
Easy? No. But it’s one of the best things you’ll ever do for your mental health and your attitude.
9. Get Everybody On The Same Page
What use is a good thought if no one agrees with it? – Paul Muni
What good is a relationship if both of you aren’t on the same page?
That’s how it should be with the people around you in general, too. Especially when you’re facing overwhelming challenges in your life.
When everybody’s not on the same page:
- Arguments happen.
- Conflict between each other.
- Life’s more difficult.
- Things are more headache than it’s worth.
And If you’re going through tough times, you don’t need any of that bullshit in your life right now.
What you need is to solve your problems and have people you care about on the same page as you, so you can all come out on top!
Never underestimate the power of communication. Especially when it comes to difficult tasks that need solving.
10. Change The Channel You’re Tuned Into
Everybody’s tuned into one channel or the other. The real question is – which channel are you tuned into?
Depending on the channel you’re tuned into, you’ll focus on certain things that are either helpful or detrimental to your life.
Detrimental because it doesn’t help or improve your situation by focusing on the channel you’re tuned into.
Or helpful because it does the opposite.
How can you know which channel you’re tuned into? By taking a look at your life, and looking at what it is you focus on day in, day out.
You get more of what you focus on. – Unknown
Ask yourself – does focusing on this improve my situation? And don’t try kidding yourself or denying the answers. Accept them, stay true to yourself and then decide what actions to take.
No good focusing on something detrimental and pretending it’s NOT detrimental.
Unless you’re a masochist and you want more of the difficulties and pains you’re experiencing…
- Avoid the news at all costs.
- Stay active and productive.
- Write out the pros and cons.
- Don’t rely on positive affirmations.
- Focus on what you can do about it.
- Activities that make you feel good are best.
- Find a way to laugh every day.
- Focus on the future and how you can change it.
- Audit your circle of friends/family.
- You need everybody around you on the same page.
- Change your focus.
The Guaranteed Way To Know If Someone Cares About You Or Not