Challenges come in various forms to find us regardless of where we're at in life. You might be able to overcome the challenge, or perhaps the challenge is difficult to overcome and therefore has a negative impact, thus creating a negative perspective. You likely understand by now that it isn't easy to change a negative mindset into a positive outlook. Such examples include becoming upset because things don't go as planned, someone is upset at you, or you got a flat tire on the way to work.
However, the problem is not always what happens in a given situation, but rather your attitude when approaching the problem. Let's look at four strategies that you can apply to situations that challenge your focus and perspective.
1. STEP BACK FROM NEGATIVITY
When challenges arise, you might find it easier to focus on the negative than find the positive. When you are in a state of high emotion, your thoughts can become illogical. Such views can lead you toward negative behaviors. Further, if the people you spend most of your time with also live in the negative, it might be near impossible to avoid being pulled into a pool of negativity.
However, you cannot pass all the blame on those around you; managing your emotions comes from within. Think about the decisions you make and how you view things on a personal basis. You might be under a subconscious spell because of how you behave and react in situations.
To change your perspective and focus, you need to change your mental inputs. Relying on sources that solely focus on negative things happening in the world will soon deteriorate any budding optimism – steer clear of this kind of news when you can. Instead, look for sources of positive influences. Some examples of positive resources include books, music, and friends. You can even influence what you see on social media and other platforms by choosing not to follow people and news feeds that live in the negative.
Additionally, try keeping a gratitude journal to mark down all you have to be grateful for in life for personal growth. You can also spend time meditating or using mindfulness to challenge your negative thoughts and build resiliency the next time you get caught up in a high drama situation.
2. MANAGE EXPECTATIONS
You can become upset when you do not meet your expectations. Indeed, it is disappointing when you think an outcome will happen in a certain way but does not. It is also frustrating when a friend, family, or peer does not deliver on their end. However, you cannot control unforeseen circumstances, just as you cannot control how others act.
However, you can manage your expectations. When it comes to others, perhaps you have not set that person up for the best outcome. Being clear about your needs and avoiding assumptions can reduce the amount of disappointment when something is unmet.
It takes time to achieve what you want, so be mindful of your timeline when you set goals. Controlling what you can take being realistic, and when you can accomplish this, you are less likely to be disappointed but rather more understanding if a goal becomes unmet. Remember not to judge yourself; think of yourself as an explorer going through life rather than following a path dictated by expectations. It is ultimately about learning as you go, and knowing this can help you maintain a positive outlook.
3. NOTHING IS PERMANENT
There is a lot in life that you will be unable to change. However, most of the daily challenges you face are temporary, such as bad traffic, a leaky pipe, or a lousy night's rest. Indeed, the only permanent thing is change; being able to change means being able to see the optimism in everything "wrong" that happens to you. For example, you are blindsided and fired from a job. At first, you are shocked, then maybe sad, then perhaps angry. However, looking at the positive helps you move forward. Perhaps you disliked this job, or there was no room for growth, and therefore this might be the exact change you need to get a job you enjoy much more.
When you accept that nothing is forever, you allow yourself great freedom to move past things that challenge you or detour your progress. However, living in these seeming "failures" is a trap that is much harder to climb out of if you keep resisting change.
4. LOOK FOR THE BENEFIT
Looking to the positive might not always be obvious. You will need to put in the work to seek it out. It takes persistence in self-assessment, including how you think, act and respond in given situations. Draw from your mistakes to better understand and learn how to avoid making them the next time. Ask yourself, “How would a change in my perspective create a new opportunity for me?" If you can stop yourself before you default to the negative and instead first ask where the positive is, you will eventually create a habitual thinking pattern to default to the positive.
Remember, if you are still struggling to change your perspective, it can take as many as six positive thoughts to counteract one negative thought. Though this might sound overwhelming, the work will pay off in the long run!
Positive thinking will enhance your recovery experience. It also increases your chances of maintaining recovery. If you are experiencing negative thoughts and cannot overcome them, then the time to get help is now. At START UP RECOVERY, we work with individuals to help them learn how to stay positive, love themselves again, and realize their greatest potential. We also don't believe that a person only has a certain number of chances; you give yourself another chance every time you choose to get help. No matter what age, no matter how many times you have reached out for help, we will support you and ensure that your needs are taken seriously and met at START UP RECOVERY. You will meet exceptional individuals with us that will provide the encouragement, optimism, and inspiration you may have lacked up until now. Your best success is waiting on you, so never limit your capabilities. To learn more, call START UP RECOVERY today at 310-773-3809.