I recently celebrated yet another birthday and when thinking back on the year I have had, I am very proud of how I managed to get rid of a lot of negativity in my life. One more than one occasions, things weren’t going my way and I refused to let it put me down for too long. This being said, I still have a lot of progress to make as I let things affect me too deeply. One important thing I have learned through my psychology studies at Rennes Villejean University in Brittany is that healthy living is also all about mental health. Here are some ways I have managed to keep my moral up, which could be useful to you too!
- Talk it out
It’s important not to keep everything inside but it’s also important to talk it out with the “right” people. After all, discussing what isn’t going well with a very negative person would have the opposite effect. You’ll see that the person you’re talking to will put things back into perspective and find the right words to alleviate some of the weight. It’s not magic, it won’t make everything disappear but it will make you feel better.
- Think about what you DO have
It’s easy to lose sight of what you do have when you have a bad day. When nothing goes my way, I try to take a deep breath and consciously think about all the wonderful things I’m lucky enough to have in my life, the people I have in my corner. My focus then shifts to happy things and reduce the feeling of negativity.
- Think of past experiences
We’ve all had bad days and somehow, we made it through! Think back on these days and feel how insignificant or less daunting they all seem now. Focus on that and keep telling yourself that you can get through this bad day too. Bad times don’t define you and everything is temporary. After all, I used to get so stressed out before a mathematics exam in High School! Thinking back on it, I now realize how my reasons for getting stressed have changed, evolved and somehow, I always make it through!
- Review your expectations
I am the Queen of expecting too much of myself… When I start a new job for instance, I get frustrated with myself for not knowing everything right away, which results in quite a few bad days. I promised myself not to do this anymore. I have recently accepted a new job and you know what? Having realistic expectations actually work! I mean, it’s not magic but my integration is so much easier this time.
Every day is a chance to learn something. When you’re having a bad day, write down what went wrong and what you learned from it. Take a deep breath and see how what went wrong can help you deal with similar issues in the future.
- Time Management
I am a very organized person… Sometimes, I am even a bit over the top. Lists make me feel safe, relaxed. However, when facing a new challenge it’s not always possible to make well planned and detailed lists, which can result in unnecessary stress. I have a new system: I manage my time more loosely. What this means is that I write my lists allowing myself extra time between tasks, giving me a chance to breath or to deal with an unexpected issue. I can face the unknown much easier that way.
- Sleep on it
When the time comes to go to bed, read a book or do whatever relaxes you. Do all you can to switch your brain off and get a good night of sleep. Your bad day will seem a lot less bad when you wake up the next morning.
- Write about it
That’s one thing I need to work on more: writing personal feelings down. I was never one overly comfortable with keeping a diary, even as a child. I had one because it was expected (all my friends did) but I kept it strictly about facts: my favorite artist or the moment, my favorite actor/actress of the moment, etc. I guess I have always been a private person despite appearing as an extravert (I simply love to laugh, joke and mess about a lot). So writing down about my feelings is very new to me but as someone who has studied psychology, I know for a fact it works very well for some people. This is a goal for 2018!
What about you? What are your ways to cope with a bad day or with negativity in general? Let me know in the comments!