Things don’t always go right. In fact, when you are balancing a job, an internship, schoolwork and a social life, it is inevitable that something will go wrong. Mistakes will be made, people will let you down, projects will pile up and life will get hectic. When things go wrong, it is essential to maintain a positive attitude in order to conquer the tasks and challenges that lie before you. Positivity is the best weapon for fighting negative situations. Here are ways to stay optimistic and cheerful amidst chaos:
- Breathe – This is the first step of handling any dilemma. Take a deep breath and relax. Avoid making any decisions when you are too emotionally charged. Pull yourself away from the negative situation and return when you are ready to handle it with a clear head.
- Maintain a positive view of those around you – Someone may be a bad roommate, coworker, or group member, but that does not mean they are a bad person. It is OK to be angered by someone’s actions or manner, but do not mistake that anger for personal hatred. Recognize the weaknesses of others, and do your best to fill in the gaps and help them grow.
- Uncover the source of negativity – Maybe you got a bad grade. Maybe you got a less-than-perfect review from your internship coordinator. Maybe your friend ruined the shirt she borrowed. Any of these things can send you into a negative spiral. Before getting upset, pin point the exact source of distress. Then, think about all of the favorable things in your life. Do not generalize one letdown as a major life crisis.
- Admit when you make a mistake – No one is perfect. I promise. Everyone slips up at one time or another. When it happens to you, admit it. Keeping the mistake to yourself causes you to dwell on the problem and can distract you from other projects on your agenda. If you admit to your mistakes, then you can fully let them go.
- Surround yourself with positivity– Do you ever notice how spending time with cheerful people makes you cheerful? Spend time with your most uplifting friends and let their positivity rub off on you. Then, determine who the chronically negative people in your life are and figure out ways to separate yourself from their bad influence.
- Make a mood board – Find images and quotes that motivate you and put them in an easily viewable location. I clip pictures and quotes from magazines and tape them on a wall by my desk. When I need inspiration for a daunting project or assignment, I simply look up.
- Help someone else – Showing kindness to someone else is a quick way to boost your own feeing of self worth. Lending your services to another is a great way to reaffirm your value. Volunteer at a shelter, or simply help a classmate understand a concept they are having trouble grasping. Help yourself by helping others.
- Keep a gratitude journal – Put a notebook by your bedside and use it jot down things you are thankful for whenever they pop into your head. Be grateful for family, friends, your health, your favorite food, and funny movies. You can express your thanks for anything. Open your journal at least twice a week and take time to appreciate all of the wonderful things that fill your world.
- Listen to music – A single song can send you soaring from a world of sorrow into a place of utter happiness. Create a playlist of songs that cheer you up and listen to it whenever you catch yourself sliding down a slope of sadness.
- Remember that things will get better – Good times don’t last forever – and neither do bad. One bad day does not set the tone for the rest of your life, or even the rest of your week. Just because something went wrong today doesn’t mean something won’t go very right tomorrow. Good things are coming your way. Keep your head up and your eyes open so you don’t miss them.
Your attitude is a major determining factor in your success. Luckily, your attitude is something you can control. When you catch yourself spiraling into a negative mood, follow these steps and find your way back to happiness. Make the choice to be positive person.