We like to stick to good vibes around here as much as possible, but we’re not naive. Life gets complicated! Drama happens, mistakes happen, things break. It’s impossible to smile all the time!
That may be the case, but it is possible to turn a frown upside down, to find a grin in any situation. Good vibes are always within reach, especially if you’re willing to experiment with the ten strategies below.
1. Put an end to negative chatter around you. Negativity feeds on negativity, so the last thing you need if you’re trying to turn a bad situation into a good one is to be around a lot of people who are fueling your frustration. If you’re trying to get over a rough patch at work, don’t spend too much time at the water cooler where everyone is complaining. If you and your partner are in a fight, politely ask your friends to stop airing dirty laundry about their own relationships. Removing yourself from these kinds of discussions will give you the extra space you need to reset your feelings.
2. Identify ways that you can take action to make things even better. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and we’re not going to pretend that changing your mindset about a difficult situation happens quickly, either. Something that may make you feel better in the short-term, though, is sitting down and thinking about the tiniest ways that you can make a positive difference in the scenario at hand. Is there a conversation to be had? A project to be done? There’s gotta be something!
3. Journal about the details. You’ve heard of gratitude journaling. We’re big fans of it! When you’re trying to turn your frown upside down, it might be helpful to get realllllly macro with your gratitude journaling. Take the situation you’re trying to reconsider — yes, the single situation! — and write down everything that’s related to it that can actually be positive. Honing in on the more positive details may help you see that it’s really not so bad.
4. Laugh about it. Don’t make us tell you that laughter is the best medicine, because we all know that’s so cliché. But laughing really is the best! Try to find something to laugh about in the mess you’re managing… even if you’re only laughing about how messy it is. Giggling through the pain can be a good reminder that life goes on (another cliché!) in spite of the challenges.
5. Make a list of five (or more) positive situations that are happening. If gratitude journaling about the bad situation isn’t making you feel any better, why not start writing about a bunch of good ones that are happening simultaneously? Putting pen to paper on the positive things that are going on in your life should inspire you to feel better about the negative ones.
6. Find a productive distraction. Who says that distractions are always a bad thing? Sometimes, all you need in order to see the good is to focus on something else. Get your body moving with a bulldog online workout, catch up with a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while, or go pick up that book you’ve been planning to read for the last few months.
7. Ask for help. If you’re struggling to get a fresh perspective on your own, maybe you just need a new set of eyes. Bring a friend, colleague, or loved one into the situation. They might be able to see solutions and potential upsides where you only see frustration. At the very least, you’ll feel less lonely in getting through it!
8. Spread positivity to others. Making other people smile may inspire you to find your own grin, no matter how bad things get. Practice a random act of kindness by treating a stranger to coffee or leaving an upbeat message on a sticky note at the gas station. Tell your loved ones how great they are. Spread enough good vibes and they just might circle right back to you.
9. Step away from the problem. Take a break! Stop obsessing over what’s driving you crazy. Instead, go for a walk. Treat yourself to a Netflix binge watch. Put your phone down and get a good night’s sleep. It’s amazing how much better a situation can look after you’ve given your brain a bit of a breather.
10. Throw yourself a dance party. When in doubt, turn up the music and dance. It’s hard to wallow in the negative when you’re jumping around to your favorite jams!
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Good vibes only image: Victor Garcia/Unsplash