Just months back, I was in such a low state that you could feel my negative vibes just miles away. It got so bad that there were occasions where I would just break down whenever I spoke to a close friend about the issues I was facing. This has never happened to me before! I guess there is a first time for everything. Fortunately, I am in a better state of mind now.
However, looking back, things were pretty ugly then and a concerned friend warned me, that if I did not snap out of it, I would hit rock bottom. And should I hit rock bottom, it was going to be much more tougher to get out of that sinking hole. She advised that I should stop all the negativity and get out of the pit while I can. One of the first steps I had to take was to change my perspective.
Stop Focusing On The Problems
Usually when shit happens, we often tend to see the worst side of it. Then we start to dwell on the problems itself instead of the solution. We think about how unfair life and why we are the only ones suffering when in fact, there are many people out there who are not having it any better. If you just stop for a moment to think, do you not realise how blessed we are as compared to those afflicted by war or terminal illness. But if you are a moping around in sadness, you would not even notice or much less count your blessings.
Throw Out The Pity Party
It becomes a vicious cycle whenever something unpleasant happens, you start the self-blaming and ranting all over again. In your mind, nothing good is going to happen because you are such a miserable, sad slob. The pity party never ends and you wonder why life is so harsh to you, why do your friends or even family avoid you. But have you ever wondered how depressing it can be to always be hanging around a negative person? I was lucky to have friends who still stood by me despite the state I was in and most importantly, friends who saw the need to help me get out of that state.
Deal With The Situation, Make A Choice
I believe that in every intolerable situation you encounter, you have three choices to deal with it.
- You try to change the situation
- If that is not possible, you remove yourself from it.
- And if that too is not feasible, you accept it. But accepting it can be really difficult so this is where that shift in perspective plays an important role.
And so I started making baby steps to achieve this change in perspective. To be honest, it was not easy for someone like me, whose thoughts have mostly been negative. I am by far, probably one of the most pessimistic person ever, who would often think of the worst case scenarios in every situation. I was highly anxious and apprehensive and that did not help my mental and emotional health a single bit. I had always felt the need to be in control and when a situation got out of hand, I would start to feel desperate, lost, helpless and even angry. From experience, this was an awful feeling.
Letting It Go
So instead of focusing on making sure that everything goes according to plan, I needed to accept the fact that there are things beyond my control. And if the inevitable happens, if something does not go my way, I should not waste time dwelling on it but to move ahead. This is simply because focusing on a problem brings you nothing but misery. The interesting thing about this is that people around you probably tell you this all the time but you do not understand it till you experience it for yourself. This change in perspective is so powerful that you would be amazed once you manage to achieve it.
There have been a few instances where I could have stayed angry and upset but I chose to move on. And it made my life much better and happier. I was no longer allowing these external factors to affect my internal self. It can be as simple as waiting for someone who is really late. Do you get all upset or do you refocus your time on something else while waiting? If you fail to secure a deal, do you focus on the loss or spend your time learning from your mistake so that you can be sure to secure the next one? Just think about it, what purpose does it serve to get upset over things which do not really matter. You could spend weeks mulling over the verbal abuse from a boss but you are only making yourself feel resentful and unhappy. Your boss does not care nor is he feeling miserable. You are the only one who ends up miserable.
The moment you realise this, you would find that you are freeing up your mind for emotions and energies that matter. Positive thoughts and feelings which in turn make you a much happier person. When you are feeling good about yourself, you are optimistic about the opportunities that come your way. And this is when you realise that hey, life isn’t that bad after all, it was really all in my head.