Using the Power of Your Thoughts to Overcome Negativity

Taking a moment to be vulnerable because I think we can all benefit from more of that in today's world.

Lately, I've felt a little off. Not anything crazy, but I’ve just noticed a slight shift in my mood to the point where I feel I’ve been bringing a little more negativity into my life than normal. I've been trying to figure out what it is that's causing me to feel a little low lately, and all my reflections keep coming back to transition. I am about to finish school full-time and start a new way of life again, and while this is supposed to be something exciting, there's a part of me that doesn't want change. It's not so much about the uncertainty of what the future may bring or whether I'll be capable of handling it, it's more about losing the joy, curiosity, and time for freedom and adventure that I feel in my days now. As I sit here and write this, I realize it's not reasonable to think that a life transition can drastically alter those feelings.

Those feelings are choices, but I share this because I am human. As much as I believe in embracing this change and discomfort, at the end of the day, I think anyone that believes this still has to do the self work. I believe in creating change and stepping into something different, but that doesn't mean I don't have the hard feelings beforehand and the moments of doubt in my days. I still have to remind MYSELF at times that every moment of every day is a choice. To stay curious, to feel happy, to seek fulfillment - that is up to me and only me, or you and only you.

It takes this reflection to understand that this is a part of me. I ride waves just like you. Before any major transition, I usually feel a sense of worry, but each time it gets a little easier. I start creating tools within myself to overcome those feelings and I know they’re there when I need them.

I share this because I think it's worth acknowledging that:

  • We're all human and we're not always going to be "on" all the time and that's okay.

  • We have the tools within us to ride the waves, and if we open ourselves up to using them, the waves get a little smaller each time.

Here are a few of the mental shifts and small reminders I like to use when I’m going through a little bit of a funk:

  1. Stop feeling guilty. I have a tendency to downplay any feelings and bottle them up because I always think that there are much worse things that could be happening in life, and this is 100% true. However, I think going through life like this and brushing off every emotion doesn’t get us far either. I’m not saying to dwell on unreasonable things or spend time complaining, but I believe we need to understand our own ups and downs, embrace these shifts, and figure out what it takes to quickly adapt. Not only will this help you through life’s uncontrollable moments, but it will also help you relate better to others.

  2. Understand that these moments don’t define you. Most of the time, they are just fleeting thoughts that can be caused by some other external factors in our days. Try your best to acknowledge what’s causing you to feel this way, but focus on moving forward. Just because you have a moment or two of negativity in your day doesn’t mean you’re a negative person.

  3. Think of it all as a choice. Back to my example above, if I’m feeling worried that I’ll have less time to do what I love or learn new things as I transition to a new phase of life that’s a bit more demanding of my time, my solution becomes - MAKE THE TIME. I’ll wake up a little earlier, shut down the emails a little earlier, and open the book, run the mile, take the online course, whatever. Listing it out in my mind that way is a comforting tool. It seems silly, but to me, it brings a sense of relief that I am still in control of my own life. I remind myself that this is all up to me, and as demanding as life may get, if we aren’t enjoying ourselves every day, it’s our own fault.

If you are someone that’s going through something difficult right now, I hope that reading this makes you feel like you have the strength to pull through it. I’ll always strive to share the reality of my feelings because in a world that can seem unrelatable and overly optimistic at times, I think it helps to remember that we’re all human. As inspiring as it can be to see the finished product, the end goal, the accomplishments that someone has reached in life, I think it’s way more inspiring to see the full story.