Nowadays, it's difficult to maintain a sunny disposition with various stressors such as maintaining a healthy work and family life balance, keeping up with financial well-being, or not achieving goals we had set our sights on earlier in life. However, stepping back and realizing that not matter how much we want to reach ideals or where we want to be in this moment, life is unpredictable and we need to learn how to be in it without fixating on parameters. It's much easier to think about the negatives in life than to stay focused on positives, partly due to our evolution. It all originates in that our way of survival dating way back to caveman days our bodies needed to remember the 'bad' things to keep us safe and ensure survival in the natural elements. However, it is possible to begin reprogramming your brain to cross over to the light side!
1. TAKE A STEP BACK AND REFLECT
Take a close look at how you and others see you currently in all aspects of life. How would you describe your current functioning? This is a great way to take back some control of your life and really take the time to ask yourself at this moment what do you find most important, what do you value? After you have identified where you are in different areas of life, describe where you would like to see yourself. Once you are able to truly think about what you want this to look like you can map out how you will get to this goal. Life events and growth is ever-changing so it's important to take an assessment frequently to see what has changed and are you still focusing on your current needs and wants or are you still living for a younger you or the idealized you?
2. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
Pay close attention to your energy level and when you feel exhausted or drained. These are key in discovering what makes you happy or confident. It is important to fill your day with some abilities you take pride in or have a particular strength in as it helps to balance out daily life. This can come into play when you are in work mode or around others as well.
3. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVITY
Spend time with company you genuinely enjoy. If you are around others you cannot avoid or minimize time with such as a negative coworker, superior, or family member try to ease the situation with humor. You can make this time a fun challenge by seeing if you can get them to smile or laugh. Limit your time with people who speak poorly of others, what they do, what they don't have as it may be validating at times if you are down and out, but in the long run it will start to wear on you.
4. RESERVE PLAY TIME
Take time out regularly to do activities of interest or you feel passionately about when you are not tending to business or other responsibilities. This can be as small as taking 15 minutes out of your day to read, walk, listen to music, dance in private, or check out a new hobby.
5. WHAT DO YOU HAVE GOING FOR YOU
Look at what you do have and not what you do not have at this point in time. What are you accomplishing now and not what are you not doing effectively yet? List out successes or accomplishments as of recent no matter how small or insignificant you believe they are. Remember, the big changes come after small ones are completed. Maybe you do not have the career you want, or the money, or the family BUT who do you have for social support now? Spend time with those who are in your life now and find time to connect with quality time.