Everybody gets in one of these once in a while. Even the most die-hard optimists get the blues. Sometimes dark, negative thoughts overwhelm us. They put is in a state of blinding panic. We are unsure of what to do next and everything that we may do seems futile. We need to snap out of it as soon as possible so that we can get a move on. We need to focus on our goals and keep moving onward. We need to step out of the dark place soon. Here’s how to.
1. Know the Difference between Perception and Reality:
You are feeling sad. You are feeling lonely and unsupported. You are feeling like everything you do is bound to fail. Know that this is only how you are feeling. Reality has nothing to do with your feelings. The reality is actual facts and events.
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2. Take Stock of Reality:
If you feel that you are a failure, ask yourself “ How many times have I succeeded? Let me count those.” People always advise you to count your blessings. We say count your real successes, no matter whether they are small or big.
3. You are Not Your Circumstances:
Often we feel that we are no better than our circumstances. Our circumstances are temporary, we don’t realize that. “ I am poor”, “I am a woman, so I am helpless.”, “ I come from an overweight family, I will also end up being obese.” We keep looking at our immediate context and keep taking it for granted. We are not our circumstances. We are shaped by the choices we make. Our circumstances cannot hold us back if we choose to change course in life.
4. Cut the Negative People Out:
You cannot step out of the dark place if there are others who keep the lights off. Cut out this poisonous company form your life. It is difficult to stay positive when negative people overwhelm you with their depressing outlook about life.
5. Stop Reacting:
We seldom have clarity when are in a dark place. Our thinking is biased with unnecessary pessimism. Stop reacting to the circumstances. Tell yourself “I am not in a good place today. I will make decisions when I am in a good place. Till then decisions can wait.”
6. Hindsight is Not Foresight:
We may have had a history of making bad decisions. The decisions in our past have no bearing on our choices in the future. Just because we have made a bad decision in the past does not mean that we are not capable of making good decisions in the future. “ I have always dated abusive people. This is why I am not able to get out of my bad marriage.” “ I made a bad decision to drop out of college. Now I have to face the consequences, I can do nothing about it.” We keep torturing ourselves with our past. Stop doing that!
7. Take one Small Step:
The first thing to get you feeling positive is action. It doesn’t have to be a life-changing monumental action. It need only be one small step. Failed a test? Look up the dates for the next opportunity to give the test again.
8. Indulge in a Creative Pastime:
Despite taking all the other steps, it is sometimes difficult to stem the flow of negative thoughts. Get creative. Channel the negativity into a something like painting, sculpting, cooking, writing or any other creative pastimes.
9. Remember the Happy Hours:
It is very important to reaffirm to ourselves that WE CAN BE HAPPY. Happiness is not evading us. We could be happy in the past, and we could be happy in the future too. Going through a rough patch in your marriage? Look at the wedding video. Feeling taken for granted by your friends? Remember the time your friends appreciated you for something.
10.Find the Barriers and Break Them:
What is interfering with your capacity to be happy? Find those barriers. Do you feel that lack of appreciation from your loved ones is making you feel sad? Let go of the need for approval from others. Let go of whatever interferes with your happiness.
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11. Read Positive:
Read positive, stay positive. It is as simple as that.
Get out of the dark place! Switch on the positive light.