Tuesday, July 18th, 6:15 a.m. – Get in car to go to work. Put the key in the ignition, turned and…nothing. No clicks, no whirrs, just nothing. Think “Okay, this is what we’re doing today.”
6:16 a.m. – Remembering the battery was just replaced, pick up phone to Google what it could possibly be. Article says ignition switch and suggests to turn on all the lights and try to start again.
6:18 a.m. – Turn on all the lights, even though they aren’t coming on because there is no power, put key in and turn….nothing. Think “Hmm.”
6:19 a.m. – Pick up phone to Google some more, when all of a sudden the cd player starts going berserk making all kinds of noise. Wait a few minutes and stick the key back in and turn and it starts right up. Laugh and think “Holy shit, I can’t believe that worked.”
This scenario is a far cry from what I would have done three months ago.
I probably would have thrown the keys after the first turn, screamed about how fucking hard and unfair life is and then started crying. The thought of remaining calm and finding some information as to why the car wouldn’t start would have never had a chance to cross my mind before I went into full on meltdown mode. The whole ugly mess would have lasted half a day before I even began to think about how to address the car.
I’ve been on a quest to change my thinking from pessimistic and negative to being more positive, open and optimistic. In my post, Controlling Negative Thinking, I shared some methods on how to have a more positive mindset. For past three months I’ve been implementing them daily.
I have to say that I’m in a vastly different place mentally.
Here is another example – I just got back from a wonderful weekend getaway to New Orleans. When I walked in the door of the office Monday morning, we were having network issues. Since I am the IT point of contact at our office, this becomes my problem and I have to work with our technician in Florida to get the issues resolved.
I really don’t like IT work. In the past this would have caused me to be a grumpy bitch all day and then milk it well into the evening, dwelling on how unfair life is.
But this time, again, the thought of “Okay, this is what we’re doing today”, went through my head and I just handled it. I was even laughing and making jokes with the technician in Florida to try and lift his spirits as he handled the company-wide network issue.
It seems downright simple to stop having the outlook that life is unfair and nothing good is ever going to happen and switch to looking at the world with more optimism.
When I changed my thinking to being more positive and looking for the good when something bad happened or at the very least just remaining calm, the world just looks and feels so different. If you assume that good things are coming to you, that mindset has a weird way of making things actually manifest that way.
There’s lots written on this, has to do with vibrations or the energy that you are putting out in the world and what you attract back, but don’t take my word for it. Try it out for yourself.
Honestly, you have absolutely nothing to lose by trying out the suggestions in my previous post. If it doesn’t work for you, then you are no worse for trying, but if it does, it’s downright magical.
Here are a couple more methods I’ve been using lately.
You can definitely do this by just finding a quiet spot and focusing on your breathing for 5 to 20 minutes, but I really enjoy having a voice guide me. Here are a couple of great apps for your phone:
HeadSpace – gives you 10 sessions for free then you have to pay for additional ones. The free sessions are lead by a male with an Australian accent. I really love listening to his accent.
Let’s Meditate – completely free and has a variety of different styles of sessions that are lead by both males and females.
I find now that if I don’t get at least a five minute session in the morning, I’m kinda cranky throughout the day.
If you find yourself being consumed by thoughts that aren’t really serving you, this is a good exercise to get yourself out of your head and back into the present moment.
Find five things that you can see. Doesn’t matter what they are, just look around the room and focus on five different things.
Focus on finding four things that you can feel. (Example: clothes, wind from a fan, chair)
Now identify three things you can hear. (Example: someone talking, dog barking, music)
Next focus on two different smells. (Example: perfume, lotion, foods)
Finally, what is one thing you can taste. Even if you don’t have any food in your mouth at this point, there is probably an aftertaste of something you did eat or just run your tongue over your teeth.
If my mind starts racing about everything I have to do at work that day, I’ll use this method to get out of my head and enjoy my walk to the office.
Deep breathing and stretching
If something or someone causes a knee-jerk reaction in me, now I’ll pause, take a few deep breaths or do some slow neck and upper body stretches before responding. Slow breaths and stretches cause your body to feel more comfortable and stop it from going into the fight or flight mode overwhelming negative emotions can bring.
So try some of these suggestions and let me know if you notice any difference in the way you feel. After a couple of months, come back and leave me a comment on whether you are feeling a little more optimistic or less stressed. I would love to hear from you. And if you have any other suggestions, definitely leave those below!
Breathe in, breathe out,