Sometimes, it feels like the world just isn’t on your side. You get passed up for that promotion, your tire goes flat – on the freeway – in the rain – while you’re wearing heels. Instead of your half-caf mocha you somehow walk out of the coffee shop with a disgusting peppermint latte that is probably decaf, leaving you sluggish all day.
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All too often, these little annoyances seem to occur one after another, making it difficult to maintain a sunny outlook on life. If you’re in a rut and finding it difficult to be your bubbly self, try out some of these simple techniques to bolster your positivity.
1. Get Enough Sleep
While you may not throw a toddler-style temper tantrum when you don’t get enough sleep, failure to catch the number of zz’s you really need does necessarily impact your mood.
If you’re perpetually irritable, make adding some minutes and hours to the time you spend snuggled up under the covers your first step in solving the problem. Push your self-imposed bedtime up an hour and you’ll probably see that you start each day more positively than you did previously.
2. Slow Down
Often, being overwhelmed leads to feelings of negativity. If you’re always on the go and harried, this may be contributing to your increasingly negative view of the world.
Take stock of your responsibilities and eliminate anything that isn’t a necessity. Slow down and spend some time appreciating the simpler things in life. When you do, you will likely see that there is much about which to be positive.
3. Avoid Escalating Issues
Particularly if you are already in a bad mood, it can be easy to let a small inconvenience escalate to a major source of upset. Instead of blowing your fuse because someone finished the office coffee without making more, use de-escalation techniques to reduce the severity of the issue.
The next time you feel yourself getting heated, force yourself to stop. Say, silently “NO,” and try to think of something calming, like the beach or a waterfall. Take deep breaths as you think of your selected soothing space. Keep doing so until you feel yourself becoming calmer.
4. Practice Forgiveness
Many people harbor resentments towards people who have, at one point or another, done them wrong. Maybe it’s your college roommate who took the mini-fridge you paid for or your ex-boyfriend who really was responsible for the end of your relationship.
Although it’s natural to continue to feel some animosity towards individuals with whom you share a complicated past, doing so doesn’t improve your outlook on the world as a whole. If you’re guilty of hanging on to grudges, let them go.
To make letting go easier, try writing a letter that you don’t intend to send to the individual to whom you are mad. In the letter, explain the reason for your anger. As you close the letter, state that you have forgiven the individual. Tuck this letter away, or for an even more symbolic end to the feud, burn it (outside, of course, as fires of any kind inside can turn your day horrible REAL fast).
5. Be Positive To Others
Be the good you want to see in the world and you will suddenly find your world full of positivity. Even if you’re having a horrible day, make it a point to say something nice to a co-worker – or even a stranger.
Tell that girl in line in front of you at the supermarket that her shoes are fierce. She’ll most likely be exceptionally appreciative of the positive attention, and you’ll get a happiness boost as a result of making someone’s day in such a small and simple way.
6. Improve Your Criticism Acceptance Skills
Unless you’re superhuman, criticism hurts. It can easily feel like someone is attacking you as a person when they suggest you change the way you’re doing a task at work or change something that you felt was always well done.
If these suggestions from others put you in a foul mood, work on your ability to take criticism and use it as a tool for improvement. Start by not responding immediately when someone gives you a suggestion.
Giving yourself some time to mull it over before you reply can allow you to cool down if you were immediately upset. Once you’ve calmed a bit, review the criticism again and really pay attention to what it says. To truly benefit from the criticism, look specifically for things you can do to improve and ignore anything that seems personally offensive.