Whether we want to acknowledge or not, we are in charge of our thoughts that become things and shape our own Universe. I particularly adore the quote from “Eat. Pray. Love” where Richard tells Liz how to select her thoughts. I embrace this whole philosophy and try to follow it with all my heart.
“You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That’s the only thing you should be trying to control.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert, “Eat. Pray. Love”
I believe our personal happiness is a result of everyday efforts we put into it, it’s a hard and challenging work and it’s so worth it, because if not for the reason of striving to be happy, why else are we here?
But sometimes – for days – I feel unable to choose good thoughts over bad ones and once I give in to the feeling of unfairness, unhappiness or any other kind of ‘un-‘ I feel the dark cloud over my head and feeling of despair in my heart. And I know you feel it too. Well, we are only human, and events surrounding us have a great strength over our thinking. But I feel absolutely positive that after giving yourself a little self-pity-party break (who doesn’t need one once in a while) you have to join your inner forces and fight the negativity.
Here are some simple things that help me and might help you in times of sadness, I hope.
Turn off TV with its irritating getting-in-my-head commercials and negative news. Reading a book is a better option. Choose an interesting detective or adventurous story, let your mind forget about troubles and follow the storyline. Preferably do so with some homemade cookies, muffins, assorted nuts, fruits or dark chocolate so your brain will not only be distracted but will also get a boost of vitamins and… endorphins.
Cook or bake. They say you can’t make a good cake if you’re in a bad mood. I strongly disagree! Sifting flour with spices, zesting citrus fruits, having that almost intoxicating mix of cinnamon and vanilla during the preparations always puts me in a better mood. And for the angry times try making cream cheese frosting or beating eggs white to stiff peak by hand! That will take some anger out of your system.
Do some exercises. 30 sit-ups, 30 jumping jacks, 30 push-ups and throw in whatever you like. If you feel down, make yourself a favor and do some exercises for just 5 minutes or so. If it doesn’t help then if will be only 5 waisted minute of your time. But somehow even little sport seems to have great effects on our body and mind.
Find it in you to say “Thank You” for the things in your life you’re really thankful for. I know when everything seems to be falling apart it might be unbearably difficult to see the light, but find at least 1 thing to be thankful for. Write it down if you need to. Repeat during the day and you will probably think about other good things in life. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. You’ve gotta fight that nasty negativity away!
Watch a favorite inspiring movie. If you don’t have one, google the best inspiring movies. I’ve recently added “The One-Hundred Foot Journey” to my list.
Sort your closet, it can be a hidden sort of positivity and pleasant surprises. Sometimes at the back of a closet you can find that once-favorite-cute-favorite dress of your that you forgot about. Or t-shirt. Or pajama pants with Mickey Mouse that were shoved away in a panic-attack ‘i’m 25 and I can’t wear clothes like this anymore’, but weren’t thrown out. Well, it’s their time of spotlight.
Whatever you do don’t stall and think ‘my life is miserable, unfair, lonely etc’. If you feel that the negative feeling absorbs you and you can’t help yourself, call your best friend, be brave, tell her/him what’s on your mind, ask not to judge but rather talk about good things and help you out of this ‘vacuum’.
Remember, you are worthy of happiness. Don’t ever doubt that.
What are your favourite coping methods in times of sadness? Share them with me!