Got a boss you think is mean and unfair? How about negative co-workers? Do you sometimes feel like you take one step forward in your career or your health or your relationship one day, then two steps back the next?
Lonely? Far away from your family? Not motivated to work out? Facing a tough decision? How about all of the above?
You might be a reporter. Of course, you can have ANY career and feel that way. I felt that way several times throughout my news career and also before I embarked on this crazy, and improbable ride.
In my time striving towards positivity and a meaningful life, I have learned the only thing to do when you feel stuck and that you can’t do something — is to do something. Take a step. Make a move.
Here are 7 steps I take that help me keep positive. I promise you they’ll lift your mood.
- Read and then reread the book “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz. Hell, this might as well be tips 1–10. This book has changed my life. You know when you feel like the world is against you personally? Like it’s got you in it’s crosshairs? Ruiz encourages you to think about the alternative — that it has NOTHING to do with you. That viewer who writes you an email saying you are the worst and you should go back to wherever you came from? That has everything to do with THEIR insecurity and mean-spiritedness, and how they feel about themselves in the world, and you just happened to come across their TV. Same with that annoying coworker who talks about you — he or she is insecure, and reaching for anything to help make themselves feel superior. You just happen to be there. It’s an important lesson to learn early on in life that you may be the recipient but it has NOTHING to do with you.
- Get out and take a walk. Exercise. Take a fitness class, even if you don’t want to. Hell, ESPECIALLY if you don’t want to. When you are done, you will feel so much better. Better about your accomplishment. Better about your body. Better about your life. The endorphins are real. The time the you devote to self-care will pay in dividends. Trust me. (Pro tip: There’s nothing I hate more than wasting money, so if I sign up for a class and there’s a cancellation free, I’ll never cancel. Know what motivates you to keep yourself in the game)
- Kiss a dog. Pet a cat. (if you’re not allergic) There’s something healing about the unconditional love animals give us. They actually are pretty inspirational. Think about this, that dog isn’t thinking, darn, if only I was a half pound thinner, life would be great. And they’re not at all concerned with their potential bad breath — they just want to be loved and to love you. And that unconditional love is a small, beautiful miracle in this world.
- Watch something inspirational. Whether it be a quick Facebook video about the 90-year-old woman who also happens to be a marathon runner. (!) Or watch this video about one of my inspirations, Nick Vujicic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rr_5wDmX3kY
- Do something nice for someone. Not sure what? Compliment a person walking past you in the street. Murray, my rescue dog, and I just delivered a package that was delivered to us by mistake. The recipient was so surprised someone would go out of their way to walk 2 blocks to drop off their lost package. Think about this: I didn’t just give her her package, I offered her a little bit of faith in humankind. Wow, just by walking 2 blocks out of my way — easy, peasy.
- Make a list of 20 things you are grateful for. When you focus on what you have, guess what? You’re not dipping into the automatic hell of “lack.” When you focus on what you DON’T have, you’re devoting your valuable time to the negative. Me? My health, my communicative and caring husband who’s a talented cook and also has great hair, my loving and well-behaved dog, my job that affords me the opportunity to amplify people’s voices and pay my bills, sunny days, healthy salads with avocado, great workout classes like my fave Zumba class, friends who make me smile and are always there for me like Diane, Susan, Lauren, Glenda, Tianni, Julie and so many more, clean water, a comfy bed, the ability to read my favorite books, a platform to share inspiration, my parents, my mother and father in law who are always there to help, I could go on and on…….
- Try something new. Life expands when you get out of your comfort zone. Do the thing you think you cannot do. Shy? Attend a meetup. Uncoordinated (or just think you are)? Take a dance class, or sign up for that 5K or 10K. If you are in the stands, you are not on the court. You’re not living when you’re watching; you’re living when you are doing. And when you are living, you are taking control of your life, and you have little to no time to dwell in the negative and the lack. You’re expanding the size of your life.