Whether you’re a glass half-full kind of person or not, it’s hard to feel positive when you’re going through a difficult situation. Depending on the time of year, your experience with the type of challenge you’re facing, and the attitudes of the people around you, you may feel like you’re sinking deeper and deeper into a rut that you can’t get out of. Add a full workload to the equation, and you may feel like you’ll never get out of it. But don’t despair! Challenges don’t last a lifetime, and by following a few guidelines, you’ll feel positive and closer to the light at the end of the tunnel in no time.
How To Feel Positive When You Are In a Rut
1. Like Attracts Like
If you’re feeling negative, you may find that other pessimistic people are starting to hang around you more often. Negativity only breeds more negativity, so try your hardest to steer clear of people who bring you down in favor for friends and colleagues that will motivate you and make you feel positive along the way.
Focusing on your own issues can be daunting enough, and there’s no reason for you to feel like you have to share that focus with other negative people. If you find yourself in a conversation with people who are bringing you down, politely leave to prevent their thoughts from making an imprint on your mind.
2. You Do You
You are your own best advocate, and only you will know the best way to face any given situation. Of course, it’s good to talk over your feelings with your friends and family, but at the end of the day, you are the only person who can determine how you will face your own challenges. Your instincts will tell you to either fight or flight; depending on the situation; you will have to decide which way to go.
For example: if you’re in a bad relationship, flight might be the appropriate response, but if you’re facing an illness, you’ll have to give it your all in the fight.
Once you determine how to face it (or not to face it), build yourself up for the ramifications of that decision – it might be bumpy along the way, but you are strong and capable and will come out even better than you could ever imagine.
3. Soak The Sun
During the winter months when the daylight is short, a challenge can seem even more daunting if you never get to see the sun, especially if you work early in the morning and your commute is before it even rises.
If you’re sitting behind a computer all day and lacking in sunlight, be sure to take a nice stroll outside during your lunch break. The wintertime blues are a real thing, and can take a toll on anyone, whether they are in a rut or not. On your time off, do activities that will get you moving and shaking, be it skiing, hiking with a friend, or even power walking at the mall.
Getting your blood moving and your muscles working will make you feel positive and stronger (physically and mentally), making the challenges you’re facing seem less daunting.
4. Treat Yourself
When you’re in a rut, it’s not the time to be stingy when it comes to doing the things that make you feel positive and happy. Take a vacation, buy yourself some beautiful pearl jewelry, and get a massage, manicure, or pedicure: whatever you need to make you feel pampered and wonderful.
Don’t go off the deep end by spending your entire saving’s account or blowing off the eating regiment you’ve been on for so long – you’re trying to set yourself up for success, not mess up your long-term goals.
5. Give Yourself Short-term Goals
Getting out of a rut can be tricky, especially if you feel like you are in for the long haul. Try to give yourself short-term goals that are measurable and realistic so that you feel productive about getting yourself out of a rut. If you’ve been trying to lose that last ten pounds, give yourself conditioning goals instead of weight-related goals, like being able to run two straight miles or complete that 5k in your community.
By giving yourself short-term measurements along the way, you’ll feel proactive in getting out of your current situation.
Once you feel like you’ve surpassed your goals and you’ve reached the light at the end of the tunnel, get on with your life! Dwelling on the negative experiences you’ve had will only make you resentful and cynical, so view each challenge as something meant to make you stronger, wiser, and more experienced.
Every person experiences trials on their way to greatness, and each one can be a blessing in disguise. Getting out of a rut can be tricky no matter the size or severity of the situation you are facing; constantly remind yourself that this is a temporary situation, and on the other side is the rest of your life.
Photo: Roberto Condado