Is your glass half full or half empty? Even for the cheeriest among us, a life-changing event can quickly throw you into a cycle of negativity. If you’ve recently experienced an injury or an operation that has forced you to reconfigure your daily life in a significant way, you may well be feeling down in the dumps, hopeless, or perhaps depressed. While this is normal, you don’t have to take the defeatist route and let your negative thoughts dictate how you live your life going forward.
Easier said than done, right? Staying positive in a less-than-ideal situation is by no means a breeze, but once you decide to put in a little effort toward taking control of your future, you’ll discover that optimism is the most fulfilling way to go. If you don’t know where to start, try one of these:
Reframing is a common tool used by psychologists to help patients see things in a different light. Imagine you drop your phone and it shatters into a thousand pieces. While most people would initially react with anger, reframing calls for consciously viewing the situation in a different way. Maybe this means taking the opportunity to disconnect from technology for a few hours in order to destress from a busy work week or perhaps your phone was getting old anyway and now you have a valid reason to splurge on a new one. In other words, instead of beating yourself up over something you cannot change, look for the silver lining!
Surround Yourself with Optimistic and Inspiring People
Remember those SNL sketches where after continuously pointing out the negative, the whole cast readily flees from the company of Debbie Downer? We can all relate; pessimists are a drag to be around. Conversely, optimists tend to brighten the mood of everyone around them. If you’re feeling blue, call up a good-humored buddy and grab a cup of coffee together. It is also worth considering joining a local support group. Meeting others who have been through similar circumstances and hearing their success stories can be inspirational and help spark ideas for exciting new endeavors in your own life.
Move Your Body
If you are physically able, moving in any way that raises your heart rate or works different muscle groups has a host of benefits. When exercising, your body produces endorphins which have been shown to not only diminish chronic pain but also improve sleep quality. By moving your body regularly, you’ll start to notice differences in your energy levels and physical appearance. What better way to boost self-esteem? Remember, you don’t have to do a “typical” form of exercise such as jogging or biking. Look for adaptive sports teams in your area, go for walks or rolls with a friend, do adaptive yoga, dance, or invent your own form of movement tailored to your individual capabilities.
Learn Something New
Once your formal education days are over, it’s easy to put down the books and fall into a mundane routine of work and passive screen time. However, studies show that switching your brain off is detrimental to health and can even accelerate conditions such as heart disease and Alzheimer’s. Scientists have confirmed that the human brain is plastic, meaning it is capable of both physical and chemical change. By picking up a new hobby, learning a foreign language, or even mastering different knot-tying techniques, your brain is firing neurons and creating new synaptic connections keeping your mind as sharp as a tack. Giving your brain a workout also stimulates the production of dopamine resulting in a natural high and making it easier for you to steer your focus away from negative feelings. Similar to physical exercise, there is not a singular right answer or magic formula. As long as your chosen activity piques your interest, it’ll do the trick.
Some would argue that the human brain is hard-wired to retain negative experiences more easily than positive ones and that certain people are genetically predisposed to pessimism. If you’ve never been the glass half full type, you will probably have to work pretty hard at looking on the bright side of your current situation. If all of these tips seem overwhelming or unrealistic to you, start your road to positivity by simply faking a smile every now and then. You might just find that it becomes genuine after a while!
One Last Tip: A hassle-free life can most definitely have a positive effect on your overall well-being. If you’re having trouble adjusting after a recent ostomy surgery or trying to get used to using a catheter, Comfort Medical is here for you! Give us a call at 1-844-700-7013 to find out how we can help.