Wake up on the wrong side of the bed? Frustrated? Bad mood? We’ve all been there.
Here at JillFit, we believe that practicing positivity can have a huge impact on your natural way of interacting with the world, pulling you out of the victim mindset, so that you can feel powerful and inspired, creating your life, not a slave to it. It is indeed a PRACTICE that gets easier the more you, well…practice it.
Here are my 5 steps on how to turn that frown upside down in a meaningful, real way. This stuff makes an actual difference in how your life plays out, it’s not fluff. No longer are you expecting (and getting) the worst, but instead you are hopeful for the future, appreciative in the present and consciously educated by your past. So next time you feel down and out, go here:
1) CHOOSE to be positive. This is often the hardest part. Sometimes we feel better wallowing in self-pity. It can feel good to go around telling people how bad we have it to garner pity. I have done it a million times. No way is better than the other, there’s no judgement, it’s just to acknowledge that we are, in fact, choosing to stay in that negative place, rather than find a solution. Not ready to climb out yet? No problem, just be mindful and come when you’re ready :)
2) Name the emotion. Tal Ben-Shahar in his book, “Being Happy” talks about the importance of not suppressing emotions, but instead recognizing them and allowing yourself to feel them in the moment. By doing this, we can move on more quickly. For example, if you are upset that you indulged a little too much, go ahead and NOTICE, then NAME the emotion: Guilt. Shame. Remorse. Embarrassment. Going there in your mind allows for you to move on quicker, which is of course the point. Once you name it, you are able to more quickly let it go. We like to have our clients do something productive & physical at this point, like a 1-min burst of burpees or squat jump, to signal a positive move beyond.
3) Acknowledge worst-case scenario (but don’t expect it). Disappointed that you have plateaued on your fat loss? Ask yourself, what would be the worst thing to happen to me if I stayed this same weight forever? Chances are the reality of the worst-case scenario is not nearly as grim as you make it up to be in your head. You can handle the worst-case scenario. When we don’t look at the possibility of worst-case scenario, we act out of fear. But when we acknowledge it, we are able to feel more in control and also see new possibilities, because now we know we can always handle the worst life throws at us: “You’re never given more pain than you can handle. You never, ever get more than you can take.” –Byron Katie
4) Ask yourself: ‘What do I really want?’ Chances are, you don’t want to be unhappy, frustrated or guilty. You might justify your negative attitude by exasperatingly explaining your circumstances, arguing your point or making excuses. But the bottom line is that all your self-generated excuses are not serving you. All they do is uphold your own bad mood–which is what you say you don’t want. So cut out the middle man and just take responsibility for the circumstances, or at least your attitude toward them, and move on. Besides, that is what you want, yes? Do you want to be right or do you want to be free? The only person your justifications hurt is yourself.
5) Find one thing for which to be grateful in any situation. Gratitude is literally a game-changer. And as coach Jillian says, it is the OPPOSITE of complaining. When you are complaining, you cannot be grateful (and visa versa). When you show appreciation for anything, you are turning the tides on your negative attitude. Upset about overeating dessert?—> “I am grateful because now I know what it feels like to be stuffed and feel physically sick, and I will be more mindful next time.” Frustrated with a friend or partner?—> “I am grateful to have people in my life that are different from me, because it exposes me to new ideas and ways of thinking (even though I may not agree, I am grateful for the exposure).” Get cut off on the way to work?—> “I am grateful that I did not get in an accident.” When you do this, you don’t need to make excuses or wish things were different. Is it rude of someone to cut you off? Of course, but what can you really do about it? You’re the one who’s upset. The person who cut your off is not thinking about it, believe me :) So YOU move on too.
Literally. You can do this. In any situation. And it is a game-changer.
I mentioned in blogs last year that I had some personal challenges, and honestly, these techniques turned things around for me, especially #5. When you can find the lesson in even the worst of circumstances, you will be a thousand times happier. When you can see struggles as a GIFT, it makes you feel more relaxed, unattached and just “ok.” I know from experience. I want you to know that I never talk about anything in these blogs that I myself have not experienced. 2011 was the year of resiliency, and 2012 in the year of pushing forward in a big, positive way. I hope you are all with me! :) ox Jill