Do you ever feel like some days bad news just keeps on coming? That you are absorbing hit after hit after hit and nothing is going your way? Wouldn’t it be great if we could just flick a switch and stop those days in their tracks? Or better still turn the negatives into positives?
But the truth is – we need the bad days.
The bad days set the tone for the good. They remind us of our resilience. They give us a chance to strengthen our relationships by coming through them together.
No-one can be happy ALL of the time – the key is to see the good – even in the bad.
So … whilst we can’t stop all negative things happening in life, we can control our reactions to them. Remember there IS good in every day. It’s just some days we have to look a little bit harder, deeper and longer to see it.
Today has been one of those days. But I am ending the day feeling even more positive than when I woke up. Possibly because I am actually proud of how R & I have responded to the challenges that were presented to us. Possibly because I can really feel the effects of the mindset shift I put in place earlier this year.
A quick overview of why today could have been [let’s be honest] totally pants! …
- News that R’s company are restructuring and everyone is on consultation of redundancy. In 4 weeks he may be unemployed. With a 2 week old newborn and me on maternity leave, his job is currently our only income stream.
- An unannounced visit from the council (we have some ongoing land issues – long story). To whom I opened the door in my dishevelled; haven’t slept; I have a newborn and 2 small kids; unshowered; frantic morning state.
- Baby C has been cluster feeding since 2am. I am functioning on 2 brief hours sleep and have been nursing pretty solidly for 19 hours straight.
So why and how have I ended the day feeling more upbeat than when I woke up? I could choose to sit and feel sorry for myself (and us) I could focus on worrying about paying the bills. Or daydreaming about actually telling them exactly how I feel about them and their bullying. Instead I am managing my reactions; clearing my mind to make the best decisions for us longterm and ensuring I don’t give my power to someone else.
Here’s how I turned the negatives into positives:
1) Don’t worry until you need to!
So much of our stress comes from our own minds rather than the actual situation!
Have you ever done that thing where you run a conversation through in your head with someone who rubs you up the wrong way? Then the next time you see them you react as if it was a real conversation?! – yeah that – don’t do that with your worries!
Don’t think ahead and assume the worst. Learn how to manage your reactions. Acknowledge the emotions you are feeling – but don’t overthink or catastrophise – you’re just creating unnecessary stress.
So … in our situation …
Today R has gone to his meeting to find out more about the process, the situation and the timescales. Until we know where we stand there is no point is assuming worst case scenario.
Sure we have had conversations about what might happen and are realistic that things may be tough for a while. But we also focussed & reminded ourselves that we have each other, 3 beautiful healthy children and we can get through anything as long as we keep that at the heart of all we do.
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2) Take positive action steps immediately:
I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. Sometimes it’s just bloomin hard to see it for a while.
Trust that this twist in the road is actually setting you back on the right path. In the meantime don’t wallow in the negatives. And the best way to not be negative is to DO something positive. By taking action you become focussed on positive action and the opportunity rather than the risk and worry.
Our positive action so far = R’s updated CV has already been mailed to recruitment consultants. An interview is in for next week. And he is in touch with former colleagues to seek out opportunities that actually may pan out closer to home!
3) See the positive and focus on that:
With regards to our land situation … it would be easy to get down and depressed that the other party feel the need to harass and bully. We could feel like they are taking away from our dream home (and being honest I do still feel that a little). But I refuse to let that thinking cloud my day. We have a patch of land they want to buy. We don’t want to sell. It’s as simple as that. I am choosing to focus on the fact that the council are incredibly supportive of our plight and plan to work with us to resolve the situation.
4) Take action and lose the elephant:
I’ve mentioned taking immediate action above. But you must also take action to resolve something that has been eating away at you. The thing occupying valuable head space and niggling away in the background.
We have been guilty of letting the neighbour situation rumble on in the background and not really addressing it – just hoping it would go away – then today I read the perfect analogy in Marc & Angel Chernoff’s inspirational book – I’m paraphrasing but the lesson is clear:
A college psychology professor walked to the front of her class on the last day of the year to deliver her final lesson which she had entitled “The Power of Perspective and Mindset”
She held a glass of water above her head and asked the class to guess how much the glass weighed. Students began calling out pounds and ounces trying to guess. The professor smiled – fielded a few guesses and then explained – “From my perspective, the absolute weight of this glass is irrelevant. What matters is how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute or 2 it’s fairly light and no discomfort. if I have to hold it for an hour or two it feels heavier and my arm will ache. If I have to hold it all day my arm will likely cramp and end up numb and paralysed and I will eventually drop the glass. In each case the weight of the glass is the same, but the duration I have to hold it for is what makes it heavier.
She continued – think of this glass of water as your worries, frustrations, stresses and disappointments. Think about them a little and nothing really happens, dwell on the for a bit longer and you feel pain, hold onto them all day long and you will feel numb, paralysed and incapable of doing anything else until you drop them.
If you have been struggling to cope with the weight of what’s on your mind, it’s a strong sign that it is time to put the damn glass down!
Taking this perspective it was a clear sign to me that the Universe, fate, higher power, whatever you choose to call it is directing us to put the glass down and take action to resolve the situation once and for all.So today we have taken action and taken back our power.
For too long I let their actions dominate my thoughts. Now I know we are supported and have a plan in place to move forward positively.
5) Be grateful and count your blessings:
Practice mindfulness, gratitude and actively manage your thoughts to focus on the positives and what is going well. After all …
“Our Thoughts Determine Our Reality”
After very little sleep and 19 hours of pretty consistent non stop nursing I could be feeling very sorry for myself! Instead I have gathered a good book, snacks, drinks and camped out on the sofa counting my blessings.
I am grateful that:
- Baby C is doing it on a day when my older 2 are in school & preschool and therefore don’t need entertaining.
- I can nap when she does!
- I’m also keeping very front of mind that there are plenty of Mum’s who would love to have the breastfeeding experience I have been blessed with. I am grateful that my body is able to sustain and nourish my daughter and respond to her needs.
I am also very grateful that I got to spend the day snuggled up with my tiny newborn!
6) Open your mind to the positives:
Take time when something good happens in the day to pause and be mindful of it.
I have worked a lot on my mindset these last few months and on a whim the other night I ordered two new books. Not only did these arrive today but so did our freeprints orders. Now if this isn’t the Universe sending me messages to stay positive and count my blessings [freeprints orders were the photos of Baby C’s first few days] I don’t know what is. Then I opened up the inside cover of the first book and read this quote:
How appropriate! I can’t wait to read the rest … maybe little lady will nap and let me indulge for an hour this afternoon?! We’ll see!
The power of a situation lies not in the situation but in your attitude and reaction to it.
True we can’t cut all negative situations from our lives but we can manage our actions and reactions. But we can find the positives by actively looking for them.
Remember “the biggest difference between peace and stress is attitude”
*Marc & Angel Chernoff.
When you find yourself in the midst of an emotional reaction, calm your mind so you can think clearly and focus on the solution. By practising positivity longterm our reality will change.
Your mind just needs to be exercised and trained to have that inner strength.
Have you had days when it feels like the negatives are piling up yet you have received positives to counter them?
Which of these resonated with you most today? I’d love to hear your thoughts, please leave a comment below!
Love Ali x
PS If you want to find more positivity in your life practising gratitude is a great place to start. I was so impressed by my mindset change I created a free printable gratitude tracker. I’d love to share it with you … to download yours fill in the box below [or click here]