No matter where you are, what mood you’re in or what resources you have, you can always do “something”. And sometimes, “something” is good enough.
It’s easy to get lost in your way to achieving a goal, or swamped with ideas and other stresses that stop you being the person you want to be or doing the things you want to do, and that’s OK. Everyone has crappy days.
I think the key is not to try and eliminate these moments from your life, but realise that you can recognise these moments and turn it around by doing, or thinking, something.
Often doing something will clear your head, stop the negativity and be enough to give you more focus about heading to where you want to go in life.
So here’s a few tips on how you can change things in a few moments, if you’re felling swamped, stressed, negative or if you’ve just lost your way.
- Pick a goal you’ve always wanted to do and do something right now that brings you closer to it. Have you always wanted to learn Judo? Go on the net and search for local classes; work out what days you could do and make some time for it. Want to lose weight? Plan your next meal to be one that’s super healthy and set about making it. It doesn’t matter what the goal is, or what you do, just make sure it brings you closer to it.
- Do nothing! We all have moments when there is so much going on that we feel lost and overwhelmed, which is not a fabulous feeling to have. If you’re ever feeling like this, STOP! Spend 5 or 10 minutes doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Meditate if you can (if you can’t, and want to, head over to Headspace, where they can teach you). Doing nothing acts as a lovely little rest for your mind, a “quick reset” allowing you to come back and approach tasks in a much more positive and productive way. Everyone needs a little Ctrl+Alt+Del once in a while.
- Flip your emotions. Negativity isn’t a great place to be; it’s also not a great place to make decisions from, as you’ll usually make poor choices that result in even more negative feelings, heading you into an awful cycle of doom. Whenever you feel like this, simply flip it in your mind by asking yourself, “what is the one thing I could do/say or think about RIGHT NOW that would make me feel more positive/happy/joyous”. The key is RIGHT NOW, not later. Think of just one thing that can put your on the right path. If it’s thinking about your kids playing, think about them. If it’s yelling “YAHOO” in a strange, squeaky voice as you’re walking the dog, then do that. It doesn’t matter; as long as it’s legal, do something that flips your mood right now into a positive one!
- Do something completely random and unrelated to absolutely anything in your life. Sometimes being weird can be helpful. My friend is a bodybuilder and he says that he often mixes up his training, just to give his body a shock. He says that the body can get used to your training regime and that, to make bigger gains, he has to mix it up. Apparently, the body is caught off guard and makes better progress! If it works for the body, why not the mind? Why not try it out by giving your mind something new to deal with? Instead of jogging as you usually do (slowly, in blinding agony and crying in my case!), imagine how a child would jog. What style would they use, how would they pace themselves, would they touch lampposts or cracks on the pavement? You can do this with some of your established habits too; just mix things up. If you normally argue with people after having a coffee, argue with them BEFORE coffee; see how it goes. You could get up an hour earlier, or go to bed an hour later. You could watch a different TV show, try a new food, have coffee with a stranger or you could pick a completely random and totally useless goal to complete for the day; make it really easy, just so you can complete it and acknowledge you’ve completed SOMETHING.
- Think of something that you’re grateful for. This may sound as a bit “wooly” to some, but there is a lot to be said for gratitude. Heck, even Forbes has published an article on the power of gratitude and how it should make up a part of our daily routine. Being grateful shifts your focus from negative to positive. It’s like a switch, and it doesn’t have to be only big things you can be grateful for. Sure you can be grateful that you have a wife and kids that are healthy, but how about being grateful for the fact that you have enough change in your pocket to buy your favourite latte-mocha-whatever from Starbucks? Or being grateful for that person that put their bins out, reminding you it was black bin day tomorrow? Often, it’s not about the size of the gratitude, just the fact that we feel and experience it enough to shift our state. There’s some great ideas on how to experience gratitude on Henrik Edberg’s Positivity Blog.
Some days are fabulous, others not so much. On those days, you have to take any kind of win you can. Football pundits are fond of talking about how teams have “ground out” a win or a point, even when they are playing badly. These are the teams that are always top or thereabouts at the end of the season, and it’s the same with us. No matter how negative or rubbish things are, there is always something you can do to turn things around, even if only slightly, and sometimes, “something” is enough.
[insert “every journey begins with a single step type quote here]
(Yes, I meant to type that).