For most of my life, I have been a bit of a Negative Nancy.
I had a tendency to see the glass half empty and expect the worst possible outcome. Sometimes life throws the kind of curveball that makes you think that way, so it’s up to me to create a positive space in my brain, and this is how I maintain it.
I know I say this on my blog every week but getting outside makes the biggest difference to my mood. I never used to be an outdoorsy gal, and honestly I’m still not. I love exploring and getting lost in nature but I’m not about to make a dress out of leaves and start eating crickets. However, it’s the feeling of being somewhere real, natural and beautiful that always improves my mood. Local parks, Yorkshire landmarks or just a random spot on the moors is always my go-to. Just somewhere with a bit of green.
Whenever I get a bit down, might feel like a good cry, I don’t stay in my bedroom and feel sorry for myself. Don’t get me wrong, I still listen to sad songs but I do it on the top of the moors where there’s fresh air and a beautiful sky (obviously not today). Being outside puts everything into perspective and reminds me that I’m just a tiny dot on this enormous spinning sphere, and I’m very fortunate to be here, so I better make the most of it.
This step is so important and I do it on a regular basis. There’s no designated time slot for me to sit down and start judging all of my life decisions, but from time to time, I just like to take a moment to think about my recent actions, emotions or experiences and see how I can grow from them. Most the time, this happens when I’m trying to fall asleep – I try not to focus on that one stupid decision I made in 2009 when I was 13 and rather wonder how I can improve and mature for tomorrow.
When I take the time to evaluate myself, it’s easier to catch myself thinking negatively. Things like gossip, rumours and drama are everywhere and I like to stay away from it all. Catching up with friends is a lot different to toxic talk, and if I see the conversation going that way it’s time to change the topic. It’s really that simple – if something is going the way I don’t like, I just change it.
Focus on the future
The best way to keep my mind off negative things is to think about something else. I have a wonderful hope for the future (and I can be quite ambitious) so I like to dwell on those things, rather than the bad day I’m having. One bad day is only one out of the week. One bad week is only one out of the year. And it’s highly unlikely I’ll have a whole year of evil, but still it’s only one year out of the so many to come.
The future is coming at us fast, and I don’t want to look back with doubt or a dark cloud over my memories because I was too negative to enjoy my life. Sometimes it is easier said than done, so I have to actively think about a positive future, even if it means just making something up. I’m 90% sure I’m not going to live in a six-bedroom house as the EIC of Harper’s Bazaar but there’s no reason I can’t daydream about it.
Do things that make me happy
Hobbies are there for a reason. If life was meant to be miserable all the time, we wouldn’t have the ability to enjoy things. Work life isn’t always the most fun so it’s nice to be able to come home to some enjoyment, even if it’s just an hour in front of the TV. Fortunately for me, my part-time job is also my hobby so I can have fun while I blog. As I’m writing this post, I’m listening to a new playlist and just feeling very happy with life.
It’s so important to make that time for the things that make us happy because it adds an element of balance to an already busy life. Pretty much everyone is go, go, go – sometimes it’s nice to just slow down and paint something, or write something, or play something, or dance around, or… you get the point. Without the gift of having fun life would be boring, and boring is negative. Doing the things that make me happy keep my brain focused on the positive things!