Stay positive during a hard time – Get out of a rut quickly with these 15 simple steps
Being happy and having a positive mindset is really easy when everything is fine, good things happen in your life and everything goes the way you want it to. But that is not always the case. Life is not always easy, right?
So how do you remain optimistic during rough times? Check out the following 15 simple steps to get back on your feet as quickly as possible.
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Why positive thinking is important
Positive Thinking and always having a positive attitude is very important when it comes to achieving your goals, being happy, and staying healthy. But it requires work sometimes. Life is not always easy and goes the way you want it to be. That is normal and happens to all of us.
Studies on the power of positive thinking have shown that people who establish the habit of positive self-talk and maintain a positive attitude are less likely to develop anxiety, and depression and are experiencing overall better help.
The Johns Hopkins Medicine Organisation even found out, that people who have a positive outlook are less likely to get cardiovascular disease and have a better immune response to illnesses.
This means that thinking positively and looking for the good in any situation is not only beneficial for your mental health but can even be beneficial for your physical health.
So the study showed that positive thinking actually reduces inflammation in the body and that reduces not only mental stress but also physical stress. This reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer.
Positive thinking is very important for your overall health and happiness.
- 25 Pages e-book with the 2 posts on how to start to think positively and on how to stay positive when life gets tough
- Daily Affirmations Worksheet (editable)
- Daily Gratitude Worksheet (editable)
How to deal with negative emotion
Whether you have had an accident with your car, someone you know gets hurt, you lost your job, or you have a debt to pay off. Life is not always easy and goes as we really want it to be.
What you totally should not do, is suppress any negative emotions. In fact, negative emotions can be healthy, because they are an indicator that something needs your attention.
They can help you to heal. It simply means that something needs to be changed and on the other hand, negative emotions always offer chances for change.
Welcome negative emotions and take your time. Lick your wounds. Give yourself a little time, and then get over it.
So, what to do next, when you are going through a rough path? How to come out of the “negative-nancy” mode?
Step 1: Let your emotions out
Give yourself a break and let your negative emotions out. Whether you need to cry, need to be alone for some time, or just think about what happened to you, just do something.
Sometimes it helps to take a bath, talk to a good friend about it or just go out for a walk.
Remember, negative emotions are good and should be welcomed. They are an indicator that something is off and that something has to change. It is normal and totally ok to feel bad or stressed about some circumstances.
Just think about what you need in that situation and how you can avoid getting into this emotional stress next time.
Step 2: Restructure
Whether you want to get out of debt, you have had something come up at work or you have to make a very important decision that brings you down, sometimes you just need to sit back and restructure. That means it is time to take out a pen and paper and just make a plan.
When you want to get out of debt, it often helps to make a budget and stick to it. When you have an important decision to make, then make a list and write down all the pros and cons of it. This will help you decide.
If you want to achieve something then get a goal planner and write down your goals. This is a very effective way to have your goals and stick to a plan. Break them down into weekly goals and smaller day-to-day tasks so can easily achieve them.
Step 3: Journal
Journaling is also a great way to get rid of emotional stress and negative thoughts. Take a Journal or make notes on your phone and your computer and simply write down everything that comes to your mind.
This helps to get everything out and process what may happen to you or what is causing the negative emotion.
There are plenty of different journals out there. You can just take a little book for your writing or you can buy a bullet journal with some nice quotes in it to keep you motivated.
On paper, you can go all out and nobody is there to judge or to laugh at you. Just be sure that no one is not supposed to have access to your notes to read them.
Step 4: Pamper Yourself
The simple things oftentimes help a lot when it comes to getting back on your feet. By doing something for yourself you take care of yourself and most of the time you will start to feel instantly better.
Some ideas for this step are:
- take a bath
- do a hair or a face mask
- get a new haircut
- put some nice makeup on
- dress up
- go shopping
- watch a funny movie
The list is endless. Just do something for yourself and make sure that you take the time that you need.
Step 5: Visualize
Visualizing is a very easy and great way to be happier instantly. It is pretty simple. Just relax and think about a situation that makes you happy or makes you laugh. Maybe you can think of a memory of when you had a great time.
Your brain can not tell the difference if the situation happens actually right now to you or if it is just something you remember or made up. There are no limits other than your own imagination.
Try it! Be creative!
Step 6: Laugh
After dealing with your negative emotion, it is time to suck it up and get over it.
Even if you do not feel about laughing right now – I totally get it – but do it anyway.
Your brain can not tell the difference if you are laughing honestly or not. Just start with a simple smile. The happy hormones will immediately be produced and you will feel better.
You can also try to read some funny quotes or watch a funny movie. Just get your mood out of the negative thinking mode.
Step 7: Implement Routines
Routines and habits that you establish throughout your day will help you tremendously to get back on your feet.
You can think of having a great morning routine for example. A morning routine helps you to set the tone and the right intention for your day and helps you to achieve your goals faster.
Even 10 minutes in the morning that you take for yourself are very effective and make a huge difference.
There are plenty of ideas around the internet on how to implement a great morning routine. You can take a walk around the house, meditate, do some yoga or stretching, make your gratitude list, journal, or read a nice book.
Step 8: Work On Your Goals
Working on your goals is a very effective way to get your mind off of negative emotions. After dealing with them this can be a healthy approach to feeling better.
Make a plan with a goal planner and ask yourself what you want to do and what your goals are. Writing them down and working on them helps you to feel better.
The feeling of achieving something and doing something for yourself is very pleasing.
Make it a habit to take some time to work on your goals. Implement it into your daily routine.
Step 9: Do Affirmations
Affirmations are sentences that you can read to yourself or meditate about. They help you to become aware of what you think and how you react to different circumstances. Many beliefs that we have been building in our childhood come from reactions or sentences that our parents or other people told us.
They affect how you – as an adult – think about yourself and how you experience your environment and how you react to it.
Affirmations are a very effective and easy way to change the beliefs that you have in your subconscious mind.
You might don´t even know what hidden beliefs you have but you maybe sometimes wonder why you react so stressed out in some situations or why you even do the things you do.
Affirmations can be used to change certain behavior or to change the approach to a problem that you might have. For example, you can use affirmations to simply live happier, be more productive, or build up your self-esteem.
You can come up with your own affirmations or search the internet for them. There is plenty of information about it there.
Examples of affirmations to get out of a rut quickly are:
- I am happy and full of joy.
- I love my life.
- I am excited about this new day and what it might bring me.
- I am loved and worthy of love and friendships.
- I learned a lesson and I am grateful for it.
- I am growing and learning every day.
Here is how to use them:
- Read them out loud when you are alone or just read them very slowly and calmly. Whatever feels good to you.
- Really think about, understand and absorb every word of it.
- Ideally, rinse and repeat three times per day if possible.
Step 10: Volunteer
Volunteering is a great way to feel better and to distract yourself from feeling negative emotions or stressed out. By giving back to others and being there for others you can experience a great deal of joy.
You can contact your local church and ask for programs that you might want to anticipate or you can just be open-minded every day and lend a helping hand to people that might need some help.
There are plenty of ways to give back to others, encourage others or help other people out.
Just be creative.
Step 11: Focus On Solutions
Instead of being devastated and feeling down about the thing that has happened to you and why you are in a negative state of feeling, think about how you want to react in general to problems that might come up in your life.
And there is always something that can go wrong and come up, right?
By focusing on solutions you think more positively about a good outcome and stop focusing on the problem itself. Being angry about it and concentrating on it is not doing any good, nor does it help you right now.
Establish a habit of accepting it, think about a solution, and then move on as quickly as possible.
There are always bigger problems, right?
Step 12: Stop Whining
This is certainly the best tip and comes right after focusing on the solution. Stop whining about your problem or what has happened to you.
I encourage you to a challenge. Try to stop complaining for a week or so to practice positive thinking. You will see that this will affect your mood very quickly.
Complaining and whining are not doing anything good, it has no point whatsoever and only establish the habit of negative thinking even more.
Step 13: Read Books About Personal Development
Reading books for personal development is oftentimes a calming and relaxing method. You get to read a good book and you are doing something for yourself and educating yourself at the same time.
There are so many very good books and courses for personal development out there that can help you solve almost any problem. They can also help you improve yourself.
Just make it a habit to read at least one book about personal development a month.
Step 14: Be Grateful
Being grateful for everything that you have is hands down one of the most powerful strategies to get out of negative thinking or negative emotions. When you are grateful for what you already have – and this can be anything – you will feel instantly better, I promise. I recommend practicing being grateful daily.
It is sadly very true, that most people that are living in a so-called first world – that means in industrial countries like Europe or the US – are forgetting what it would be like to not have access to everything and anything you want.
The elderly who actually have experienced really rough times and have experienced fear or hunger through a war know exactly what it can mean to not have everything in life.
But the over-consuming is not making us happier. On the contrary. So a very easy method to help yourself during a hard time is to think of something that you are grateful for. This can be anything. That you are healthy for example, that you can breathe.
Think about it: When you have a home to live in. Something to eat every day, shoes on your feet. When you have the opportunity to go for a walk whenever you want to.
Then you are actually one of the very few percent of people in this world who are very blessed and fortunate.
I encourage you to think of at least five things every day that you are grateful for.
Step 15: Take Action
Moving and doing something is always a very important step to getting out of negative emotions and starting to be positive again. The hormones which are activated when you -for example- do sports are also called the happy hormones. Your body produces serotonin when you take action and move.
For this step you can:
- take a walk
- go jogging
- meet up with friends
- go to the fitness center
- listen to some music and dance
- do some yoga
It really does not matter what exactly you do to get those happy hormones produced, but make sure that you move for at least half an hour. You will feel instantly better after moving your body and the extra happy hormones will bring you back to the positive vibes that are your natural state to be in.
Positive thinking is very important when it comes to your mental and physical health. By having a positive attitude in life you will overcome almost anything by yourself and you can also learn a lesson from it.
Positive Thinking always needs some work and improvement because life is not always easy.
By doing affirmations, pampering yourself, or journaling you can take time for yourself once in a while and work on your positive thoughts.
Whatever works best for you it is totally worth all the effort. You will be gifted with an overall happy and healthy life and have so much more strength to overcome everything and have the ability to care for others as well.
Don’t forget to grab your Free List of +100 Things to Be Grateful for – no spam, cancel any time!