Staying positive when the inner-cynic wants to take over.

Good morning, babes! How has your week started off? Have you begun any new projects? Found something you enjoy doing? I hope your Tuesday was as stellar as you are (which is, dare I say, pretty freaking stellar). Today I wanted to share with you some of my tips and tricks that help me stay positive in stressful, less-than-pleasant situations.

Everyone has a critical, cynical person inside of themselves. It’s impossible to deny or ignore; it spits out words of doubt into our minds and tries its best to coax us into a more safe- but more miserable- life. It unleashes a siren call for us to stay in our little box, to stay within the lines, and remain untouchable in our comfort zone. It pretends it has only our best interest and well-being at heart but in reality it is determined to keep us under tight control so we don’t do anything exceptional or extraordinary. As someone who’s been actively trying (very much so, might I add) to keep an optimistic, positive perspective on living, I find myself usually being able to shush that grumpy creature and shut her up with good memories and happy moments. When stress rises to insane heights and the situation is not looking so good, however, my inner-critic breaks free and tries to take me down with her. Unfortunately, I am in one of those situations. I came across a job that would fit in my life perfectly- it pays exceptionally well, is nearby, would work gorgeously with my school schedule, etc. I have done all I can in order to obtain this position. Now is the time where I must wait until I can hear back about the status of my application; and it feels like an eternity. I have no idea if I’ll get it. It’s an understatement to say that I’m stressed.

So how is one supposed to remain positive when their surroundings are so damn negative? It’s definitely not easy (and probably more challenging if positivity is a new thing to you) but it is worth the struggle. Here is a short, simplified list of a few things I do to try my best at being positive even in negative circumstances:

1. Get some of that extra stress out. A little stress can be good for you. It can fuel passion, empower, and bring you closer to your desired destination. But you don’t need all the stress that you’re carrying right now. Do whatever works for you in order to release some of that stress so it doesn’t overpower you and your determination. For me, this usually means spending time actively with loved ones, creating and crafting, exercising, singing, reading, baking, cooking, and/or watching stupid-but-funny animal videos on Youtube.

2. Keep your eye on the prize. Use your remaining stress for fighting the good fight. Focus on the goal and visualize what your most desired outcome of the situation. This can include visualization during meditation, but for those (such as myself) that aren’t always good with advanced mental focusing, making a “Treasure Map” works best. This idea comes from a motivational speaker/positivity-enthusiast whom I regret forgetting the name of. I just know from reading one of his books last month that he’s probably a genius. If anyone knows who I’m talking about it would be awesome and lovely if you can post his name in the comments! I wish I remembered so I could properly credit him and recommend him to other people who haven’t accomplished their goals yet. Anyhoo, his idea of a “Treasure Map” would be taking out a big, blank piece of paper and breaking out the rest of your art supplies. Then draw symbols of the things you would have in an ideal life (enough money, love, family, good friends, travels, higher education, etc). To better remind myself, I also wrote down what each symbol represented next to each image. Lastly, hang that shit up! Put it where you can see it every damn day. This is a lovely technique that can be very inspiring. It helps keep you focused on what you truly want and if you’re constantly viewing it, your mind will be better able to recognize when opportunities to achieve these goals come knocking on your door. Since right now I’m worried about achieving my perfect job I made a new one that caters only to that (dollar bills, a happy face, organized bookshelves, a heart to stand for passion for my job, etc.) and I keep it on my desk facing my bed.

3. Listen to your body. It’s hard to have a healthy, positive mindset if our body is feeling bad! Make sure to pay extra attention to the vessel that holds your soul during this stressful time. Make sure you’re eating yummy foods that are good for you, eating enough of them, and staying hydrated. Be nice to your body. Draw a relaxing bath or do yoga or get a pedicure. Keep your health in mind and listen to what your body is saying; that way you can direct most of your energy towards positive and mindful thinking.

What are some of your tips and tricks to staying positive in stressful situations?

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