There is a feel of frustration in the air and it feels like a heavy cloud lurking around every corner. And, well, isn’t that just frustrating?
I notice myself saying this more often and I notice the frustration is most from people who feel stuck in a way of life that is not satisfying— maybe you have even met her. She is the woman who wakes up and says, “(SIGH) I can’t believe I have to do this today” as she twists her face in a frown and melts out of her bed to get her morning started. At work, she is the one who complains when the water cooler is low or when her pencil point breaks or when it is a rainy day. At home, she is exhausted and angrily huffs when her hubby looks at her the “wrong way” or when she runs out of toilet paper — whoops! But yet, she claims that her frustration is because of everyone else around her. It is not her fault.
In a way, it really is not her fault.
She is not alone! Frustrated people crawl the streets every day, some even just waiting for something to place blame on. Maybe you are one of them.
We all become unsatisfied at times. That is called life. Life is not happy all the time, some misery and frustration keeps that healthy balance. But when that healthy balance become one-sided and negative thoughts become more the norm, then life (and everyone around us) becomes a burden. And, we stop choosing our battles. That is the real core issue here.
We place blame because that is what we have learned and have been conditioned to do. But you can change that (Read that again to let it sink it).
Some mornings, I wake up and put on my suit of armor. I am ready for a battle— bring it on! It is those days that one of two things have happened: I have either dove head-first into a parallel universe and am practicing my warrior princess skills OR I have allowed my mindset and my old negative stories to have gotten the best of me (I think it is probably the latter).
Life is filled with turmoil. That is what makes it so interesting. But, it is truly about how you work through that turmoil and how you perceive the process that makes it either a negative or positive experience. Do I like flopping on my face when doing crow pose in yoga? Nope, it actually hurts. But it does help me maintain humility as I push myself physically and emotionally into growth. See — perception!
Not all of life is unicorns and fairies (even though that would be super fun!), but here are 6 tips to help you start rewiring your negative thoughts so that you can change your perception and truly enjoy your life (not just be “positive”).
The Good Stuff
- Become aware of your symptoms of negativity. We all have those little signs and cues that the poop is going to hit the fan! My tell-tale signs are when my shoulders scrunch up towards my ears, my jaw gets super tight, my breathing becomes super shallow, and I get a wave of heaviness overcome me. Your signs could be physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral. Knowing what happens before you lose your cool is paramount in stopping (or at least decreasing) how you react in a situation. What are your signs?
- Get your gratitude going on. When you recognize your symptoms, immediately start looking for what you are grateful for. This sounds all woo-woo, but the reality is that frustration can not live in the same state simultaneously with gratitude. And when you find 3-5 things you are grateful for, say them, write them, journal them, scream them; just get them out! This IS the real stuff, not the little irritating nuances that you are believing in your head. Finding things that you are thankful for can help lead you into a perception change, which takes me into number three…
- It’s all about perception. Focus on what is good rather than what it bad. Yes, hitting that long-line of early morning traffic is frustrating and maddening, but it also gives you a chance to listen to your favorite podcast or song. It may feel like you are lying to yourself and trying see something that is not, but it is actually about changing how your mind views it, so that your brain can form new neural pathways (literally!) to change your perception. This is what it means to start seeing the glass as half-full. It’s science. Plus, if you perceive something as poop, then it is magically poop 🙂
- Become a wordsmith. I am a lover of posting key words or phrases wherever you look the most to help you either remember who you want to be and/or to cue you to change a thought or behavioral pattern. You can post words such as “stop” or “change it” or “I am (insert inspiring word)” on your phone, computer, bathroom mirror, or in your car. This isn’t to convince yourself to be positive, this is to get you out of your head and refocus onto what is real and true. Take a look at mine on my phone:
- Surround yourself with people who think more open-minded and positive. Who you surround yourself with makes a difference in what is influencing you. For the good and bad. Surround yourself with frustrated people, become more frustrated. Surround yourself with happy, open-minded people, become more positive. Stop trying to be fake positive and get around those who already are happy with their lives. You will feel the energy and learn some new mindsets.
- Develop a practice, a mindfulness practice. This is my go-to for decreasing my reactivity. When I feel more calm and centered, I am less likely to throw an attitude. And I can tell the days I do not practice first thing in the morning! Developing a daily mindfulness practice trains the brain to slow down so you can better process the gunk of life and truly start to recognize the good stuff that is surrounding you every single day. It can be an actual meditation session or it could be a morning walk in nature — customize it to what calms your brain.
This also will allow you to take some risks. Because when we don’t take risks to make frustrating situations better, then we remain frustrated. Recenter yourself — build confidence — take risks to solve your issues — feel genuine happiness (and positivity) inside!
Life can get in the way, but you don’t have to be one of the frustrated ones.
How can you stand out and be the difference? Tell me in the comments below!
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