This is a tough one for me because I have an awful habit of being negative. A lot. In fact, I seem to get into these negative states for days at a time and I don’t know how to break them. Sometimes I actually enjoy being negative, like it’s an indulgence and I just want to stay in my crap-ass mood. And when I’m being negative, a lot of times it’s because I am jealous of other people and sometimes it makes me dislike them. My fiance said the other day that I was a hater. Wow, when he said that, my first thought was “No way!” but then I thought about it and I think he’s right. Sometimes I really AM a hater. I just hate because other people have what I want and life just sucks because it’s not giving me those same things.
I am the type of person that wants to make a difference in the world (really, it’s true!), but when my negativity flows, it’s hard to be that change I wish to see. Last week I was in one of my negative moods for a few days and while I was in it, I was thinking I really wanted to get out, but I honestly didn’t know how to. I was feeling so down and everything seemed like it sucked and life was so hard, blah blah. So I confided in one of my best friends, Flo, over dinner last weekend that I really wanted to kick the negativity and that I didn’t want to just pretend to be happy, but I really wanted to be happy. She had just gotten back from a 3 week yoga retreat so I figured she’d have some good advice for me. Here’s what she had to say and it really struck a chord with me:
- Many of life’s lessons are learned in the downs of life. There is a lot to be learned from the things that go wrong in your life. (In other words, make lemonade out of lemons).
- Stop and look at the beauty that surrounds you. When I feel myself getting aggravated or negative I try to remember to look up at the sky. Flo’s other suggestions were to notice the colors around you, take a deep breath and smell the air. Feel the ground under your feet. (In other words, actually stop and smell the roses.)
- And here’s the one that really got me: Gratitude. Truly being grateful for what you actually DO have is the best way to stop being a hater. And honestly, I do have quite a lot of good things in my life.
It’s funny, but the moment she said the Gratitude thing, I instantly felt better. And I mean instantly. I have a lot of things to be grateful for and I need to spend more time thinking about those things thank thinking about the things I do not have. Because when you think about it, there will always be something you don’t have, so what am I going to do? Spend the rest of my life being pissed off that I don’t have something I want? I believe they call those people spoiled brats!
The more I thought about it, the more I realized there were additional steps I could take to counter the negativity:
- When I feel like complaining about something, I try to say to myself “It could be worse, it could be (fill in the blank).” I find this makes me laugh about what I thought was so bad a minute ago.
- I’m kind of a road-rager. Not that I drive dangerously or throw things at people or any of that stuff. I just yell in my car a lot. No one can hear me, but I get so worked up all by myself in my car, that my blood starts to boil and my heart beats fast and I probably look like an idiot yelling in my car, lol! So in addition to taking a quick look at the sky (where nothing is happening that can actually bother me) I have made a new “no talking to myself out loud” rule while in the car. If I can’t say it out loud, it’s a lot harder to express the anger. If you have this issue too, try this sometime, it actually works!
That’s all I have, but it’s plenty to remember. If I think of anything new, I’ll add them to this post. I’ve also decided to start posting as often as I can remember to a list of things I am grateful for. Like I said, I’m hoping this blog will keep me accountable.