Doesn’t everyone have those times when it feels like everything is going wrong? It’s like Murphy’s Law is out to get you and it’s sort of overwhelming. For the past few months, I’ve felt like I have been on the top of Murphy’s shit list, to be honest. What is already a stressful time–my last semester of college–has been exacerbated by a handful of chronic stressors that have, at times, left me feeling on the verge of defeat. In all honestly, it’s been a roller coaster of optimism and total exhaustion.
It’s easy for others to encourage you to stay positive and be grateful. Those things are super important and can be helpful, but they are also easier said than done. What I’ve learned is that it can also be helpful to stop ignoring your negative feelings and simply face them head on. I believe that, in the long-run, this can make us stronger. I’ve observed that in American culture, unhappiness is a thing to be ashamed of. We value this unhealthy, unrealistic level of constant happiness. It’s important to know that allowing yourself to sit with your negative emotions is a crucial step in the process of truly overcoming them and creating sustainable positivity.
As I said earlier, it is easier said than done. What I’ve found though, is a technique for building a positive mindset. When you’re in the midst of a difficult time, it is hard to see the bigger picture. It’s hard to accept and understand that, one day, your situation and your feelings will be in the past. So, i’ve taken on the perspective of focusing on and being grateful for little victories.
Maybe you’re fighting with someone you love, but at least they answered the phone and are willing to hear you out. Maybe you’re drowning in work, but at least you completed one task on your list. Perhaps it’s hot outside and you feel disgusting, but at least you’ve got a good excuse to drink really sugary lemonade without feeling too guilty. Maybe you had to undergo throat surgery, but at least you can spend a week doing nothing but eating ungodly amounts of blue jello.
Its hard to just feel grateful when you keep experiencing relatively major setbacks. I guess my point is that you can circumvent that difficulty by finding and appreciating the tiny things that actually do go right.