Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Keeping positive when everything is going a bit to sh*t

I, for the most part, am an incredibly positive person. I'm that person that will happily trot along, taking the (relative) good with the bad and finding the positive in everything. I also happen to be that person why is the bystander of an argument that will revert back to the foolproof "would anyone like to see a photo of my dog?" to defuse the situation (this actually has a really high success rate, FYI). 
Positivity is a mindset, but sometimes even the toughest mindsets can be met by a mountain of, well, shit. 
Getting dumped unexpectedly? Been there, got the t-shirt, the mug and the novelty key ring. Didn't get the promotion at work, even though you were so certain it would happen that you had a Facebook post ready and waiting to go? Had it happen, and felt sheer disbelief after I had thought I smashed it. 
These are definitely situations where even Olaf from Frozen couldn't muster up a smile or a catchy song to shove the plot along.  The fact of the matter is, these things hurt. And they blindside us. And it's hard to pick yourself back up as quickly as you do if the only issue you have all day is missing your bus to work and having to wait 10 minutes for the next one. 
So, now that I have bored you half to death with analogies, here's my top tips on keeping positive when things are going down the toilet. 

1. Context 
"Will this matter in five years?" 
The answer to this one can be quite ambiguous depending on how bad your life is seemingly collapsing. Having to wait in a very long line in the bank which means you're going to be late to a mate date? Well, whilst it is hideously annoying having a baby in the stroller in front of you screaming to volumes opera singers would be proud of, and you may be sweating profusely because lord knows banks like to keep their temperature on 'sweltering' all year round - will any of this matter in five days, let alone five years?
For minor issues, I always adopt the above approach, as I find the stress of being in a bad mood tends to last a lot longer than the irritation of being stuck in the bank for 10 minutes longer than you had factored in to your micro-managed life. 

2. Take a break from the situation 
"Chuck it in the f*ck it bucket and close the lid."
  This can most fondly be known as "sticking your head in the sand" but it works well from time to time when it's all a bit much. After dealing with a pretty hideous breakup, I decided to take a break from the 'but why' and the 'why did I not see that coming?', and throw myself in to something else entirely. 
Usually this is something pretty simple like switching my phone off, taking a long bath and reading a relaxing book (my current favourite read is This Is Going To Hurt and it's gloriously funny). 
I like to reserve this for pretty serious situations (not minor issues like my hair being rained on or stepping in a puddle with suede boots on) where I know it is all becoming a bit much. I often find with this approach, after I have stepped away for a while I am able to refocus and tackle the problem head on. 

3. Exercise 
I know this is going to be absolutely no surprise to most of you, mostly due to the fact this is in fact a fitness blog (go figure). 
It's been scientifically proven that exercising releases the 'feel good' endorphin in your brain that makes you feel like life is coming up roses. I can't say cycling on a bike does this for me, mostly because I feel like my legs are falling off and that's not enjoyable for anyone. For me, swimming or horse riding is the perfect exercise for when I'm feeling down, and for an hour or two I'm so busy on not 1. drowning or 2. falling off that all my worries quickly run away. This is really only a temp fix, but if you're in a bad mood for something minor, then this usually can counteract your woes. 

4. Talk to someone 
Now i'm not suggesting you need to all start seeing counsellors or doing a Luis Lit and having someone on speed dial for a hideous sum of money an hour, but talking to someone can definitely help. 
My nan is my all time favourite person, and whereas she doesn't always understand what I'm talking about (i.e about economics for my degree, or about running a busy nightclub bar), she's there to listen and provide reassuring 'I see dear' and 'it will all be okay once you've had a nice cup of tea and some dinner'. 
If you really are feeling incredibly down, then for UK residents, the Samaritans have a free to call number which is availble 24/7, 365 days a year : 116 123

And there we have it, my top few tips on how to keep positive when everything is going a bit to shit.  

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