Ways to Stay Positive When Life Gets Tough!

Life has not been easy the past two years. Last year, I discovered I had some health problems I needed to deal with. My partner and I also had a head on collision that caused a considerable amount of stress and pain for both of us. Finances have ebbed and flowed. We’ve tried our best to save money for our wedding and trip, but there have been several set backs. Every time we take a few steps forwards, we are thrown several leaps back and have to race to catch up to where we were again. It feels like we’ve barely made any progress.

In January, when my strength felt like it was finally returning since the accident and I was working out at my hardest again, I sprained my knee falling off a stone staircase. I couldn’t afford the deductible to go to Physical Therapy, so I practiced exercises from my home and the gym. I finally felt back to normal, and I went to the doctor to be cleared from car accident. I felt great again. I started working out regularly and training my body for our Patagonia treks and Machu Picchu.

Then, this past Tuesday, on my way to work I was rear-ended pretty hard and my car hit the car in front of me and bounced back and forth between the two. This threw my whole body back and forth. Hello whiplash, my old friend. I’m back to square one with healing my poor body. Back to continuous appointments with chiropractic and massage. It feels like I will never get out of this cycle. This is my third car accident in 4 years and I didn’t cause any of them.

I’m frustrated. I’m mad at the Universe. I’m depressed. I don’t know how this stuff can keep happening to me with no avail. Just when I’ve finally pulled myself up again from one fall, the Universe kicks me back down again. I don’t know how to live and be happy. I have so many things on my plate now and not enough time to even focus on healing my body again. If I don’t heal though, I won’t be able to do any of the trekking we have planned. So, here I am starting to feel bitter with my circumstances and cursing the sky for my continual bad luck.

Despite my circumstances, I don’t want to become a bitter and angry person. I don’t want to live with chronic pain and be miserable because of it. I want to get passed this for good and move forward in my life. Is this possible? I know that life will never be easy, but can it just get a little easier for once and stop kicking me while I’m down? How can I stay positive?

It is very hard to keep smiling and stay positive in times like these when you feel so defeated, but if you are like me and you don’t want to live your life feeling miserable, you have to find a way. So, I’ve started working hard to repair my broken faith in the Universe. My mom has always been such a light in my life. She’s always there for me when I’m down to quote some uplifting song or saying. If you don’t have a mom like this, then follow my list and maybe it will help you.

  1. Let yourself wallow for one day. Cry as much as you need to. Get it all out. Scream. Punch a pillow. Watch sad movies. Let yourself grieve and get upset. Then pick yourself up and stop it! Breathe!
  2. Make a list in your head or on paper of all the things that are going well in your life. For me, I have an amazing partner, a job, food in my belly, roof over my head, I’m getting married, and I have a great trip on the horizon.
  3. Practice gratitude. Thank the Universe for all the things on your list. We get so used to cursing God or the Universe for the things that go wrong, but do we ever take the time to just say thank you for the good things.
  4. Help someone who is in a worse situation than you. Put life in perspective and see how good you have it. It could always be worse. Be grateful for that!
  5. I’ve always felt like certain songs play around me to send me a message. Usually, those songs are uplifting and remind me that life will get better. So, I started making a playlist of all those songs that uplift me and make me feel more at ease with my life. So start listening to music with a positive message to make you feel happier.
  6. Dance! Blast the music in your room or house and just dance! Dancing helps to release negative energy. Shake it out!
  7. Create a positive mantra…”this too shall pass” (my mom’s favorite). “Things will get easier!” “Don’t worry, be happy!” “Everything is temporary.” Something that you repeat to yourself whenever you have negative thoughts or worries popping into your head.
  8. Reach out to your loved ones. Don’t hide your feelings. Lean on the people who love you temporarily. That’s what friends and family and partners are for. Listen to their advice. Let their words soothe your worries.
  9. Read uplifting and inspiring books. Some of my favorites are, “The Celestine Prophecy,” “The Peaceful Warrior,” “The Alchemist,” “The Prophet,” and “Jonathan Livingston Seagull.”
  10. Smile like you mean it. I heard that lyric on the radio and it made me smile. Smiling and laughter are super healthy and they brighten up not only your day, but everyone around you’s day. Fake it til you make it! Smile at yourself in the mirror. Smile until your face hurts.

I hope these help. Just know that everything is temporary and this too shall pass. I have to remind myself of this all the time. It is good to look back on those times when I was really stressed or it felt like my situation would never end, and recognize that it did end and now I am in the future with better perspective. I survived those hard times, so what is to prevent you from surviving these. We learn more from the hardships than the easy times. Although, it is very frustrating to feel like you can’t get ahead, know that you are building character and growing from these experiences. You will make it to the other end!

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