A lot of the yoga classes I’ve been taking lately have been centered around the theme of “Happiness” & letting go of negative thoughts. Every time I hear this message in class I can easily relate, and promise myself that is how I will approach every negative situation I am faced with. But it’s not that easy in real life. Real life is messy, and when one thing goes wrong it’s easy to let yourself fall into a downward spiral of negativity.
In my previous post about Failure, I mentioned that my mom sends a quote every day from the Real Simple newsletter. Todays quote was “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain” by Vivian Green. I love this quote as it acknowledges that we all want to ignore negative moments in our life. We want to put our lives on pause every time something doesn’t go our way and just wait it out. The point is that we could spend an eternity waiting for a good thing to swing our way, and while we are waiting, life is happening.
Here are 3 essential tips that help pull me out of those negative spirals.
1. Think of something that brings you unconditional happiness all the time. Play through some of those memories in your head over and over. For me, I think of my dogs. I have two Cavalier King Charles, and when I think of them running on the beach, or the excitement on their face when I walk in the door, I cannot help but smile and I feel myself immediately lighten up as if a weight has been lifted from my shoulders.
2. Give someone a compliment, or say something positive to someone. I was riding in the elevator the other day, feeling kind of down and a girl walked in with these awesome and unique shoes. I unexpectedly blurted out “I love those shoes” and then I burst into a smile. Not only did I feel significantly happier, I also experienced the added benefit of making her smile. Scientific American performed a study that shows just smiling can shift your emotions more positively.
3. Experience feelings of gratitude. I was asked to write a “Gratitude Journal” for one of my classes last year. I found the experience somewhat cathartic. My relationships improved, I felt happier and more at ease. I found that writing down the things and people I was grateful for translated directly into me treating them better and being more expressive with my feelings. You don’t need to go old school and take out a journal, even just opening a google doc and writing down your stream of conscious feeling of gratefulness will do the trick.
So, stop waiting for the storm to pass, find what inspires your happiness, and start dancing in the rain!