How to Beat the Winter Blues
January and February can be difficult months for a lot of people. The holidays are over and the weather isn’t beautiful and I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for spring. I’m ready for longer days, sunshine and warmth. It seems much easier to be positive and optimistic when the weather is great and flowers are blooming. My routine has been so out of whack lately…I haven’t been working out often enough or eating well because of travel and there are too many days that I wake up feeling like the world isn’t fair and everything is hard. Too many days when I feel like there isn’t enough time to get it all done. Being a blogger doesn’t help either because I’m constantly on social media and it looks as if everyone has a perfect life. Even though I know that’s far from the truth, for some reason, I start to compare and feel inadequate. The worse part is that lately, I’ve actually been believing it. Negative thinking is the best way to slow down your personal and professional goals and it can make you miserable. Psychologists have estimated that we have over 60,000 thoughts a day and 95 to 99 percent of those thoughts are repeated. Because of this repetition, we end up becoming hooked into a fearful loop of thoughts that can keep us from living our best lives. Here are 5 strategies that help me when I start to fall into a pattern of negativity.
Give Yourself a Little Pep Talk
Catch yourself when negative thoughts come up. Don’t try to ignore them because chances are they won’t go away. Recognize that you’re telling yourself a story that just isn’t true and then purposely try to replace that thought with something else. No situation is permanent and most things that you worry about never happen anyway.
Put Yourself Around Positive People
We tend to associate with like minded people and when we’re feeling negative, that means we’re drawn to people we can commiserate with. Intentionally put yourself around positive people and if that’s not possible, listen to an uplifting podcast or TED Talk. I like to do this while I’m putting my makeup on in the morning because that seems to be a time when the negativity creeps in. An uplifting podcast always helps me to pull me out of a rut. I especially like this TED Talk by Emily Esfahani Smith.
Stop Expecting Everything To Be Perfect
Expecting everything to be perfect is exhausting and makes you miserable. I know this because I’ve tried most of my life to make everything perfect and it never will be. Make sure your vision of success is realistic. Strive for goals with a detachment to how they actually turn out. They could be better than you ever expected!
Create A Positive Morning Routine
Your mind can take you out if you let it. It’s so easy to fall into that pattern of negativity and your constant negative thinking creates a belief system that isn’t even true or real , but you believe every word of what your mind is telling you anyway. You start thinking as soon as you wake up. When you take the time to quiet your mind first thing in the morning, you can replace thoughts of fear with thoughts of hope and gratitude. Meditate, journal or read something positive to start your day!
Make A Conscious Choice to Be Positive
Choosing a positive attitude is an intentional action that starts as soon as you wake up in the morning. Become aware when you are focusing on the negative and make the decision to focus on the positive instead. Your attitude is a choice. You attract what you focus on, so let go of what doesn’t serve you. The more you practice positive mind-shifts, the easier they become.
You can't get rid of negative thought patterns unless you know how they are triggered. The awareness of what causes you to be negative can help you identify when it is happening and you can then make a choice to shift your perspective in the moment.
The world is filled with infinite possibilities. In order to change your situation, you have to change the voice that is telling you that things are hard and that you are stuck. You are only stuck if you believe you are. Take a moment everyday to remind yourself of this.. Anything is possible but only if you believe it!