I believe one of the most difficult things in life to do, and maybe the most difficult thing of all, is to not go into a downward emotional spiral when life circumstances go against our desires. It’s not at all difficult to maintain an optimistic outlook when life is going as we’d like it to, and it’s not so difficult to stay optimistic when life is going the way we’d like at least some of the time.
But if we should look around at our life experience and find that it’s a significant contradiction to what we want then, from there, maintaining emotional balance is an enormous challenge. And the longer life circumstances remain in opposition to our desires the more we tend to be drained of positive energies. Soon enough it feels as though we’re entirely immersed in a negative outlook.
This is a dangerous place to be.
Having a significant negative outlook certainly compromises emotional health and can lead to dysfunctions like depression and anxiety; but it also, I’m convinced, affects our physical well-being too. If you’ve ever been in a bad emotional state for any length of time and considered how you felt physically, you surely noticed that you didn’t feel well.
If this sort of strain on your body keeps up eventually there will be a significant break somewhere; and there may be a significant emotional break before then. Intervention really is needed and there’s nothing small about it, no matter whether anyone tries to diminish the situation.
Your health is at stake.
Let’s assume that you’ve become despondent about the state of your life and are convinced that life circumstances are simply not going to improve. To start with you have my sympathies. Where you are is a painful place, and can be very difficult to navigate out of. Know as well that many, many people come to this same place — I have been there myself more than once — so you are not, not by a longshot, alone.
Sympathy and company however probably don’t resolve the situation and get you out of the state you’re in. Here then are some action steps you can take to help yourself.
Many people have the habit of accepting their negative thinking as truth, or as something significant. But the reality is negative thinking is proof of only one thing: that you’re thinking negatively.
If you can learn to stand back from your thinking, to allow it and observe it without engaging it and / or acting upon it, you will live a more peaceful existence and be much less subject to emotional dysfunctions like depression and anxiety. Having distance from our thinking is not necessarily easy to do, but the impacts of doing it successfully really are profound.
If you’re concerned about life never getting better you are, by definition, mentally dwelling on the future. But there’s a substantial problem with the future — it’s not real. Future is a mental abstract and exists only in your mind. This is why your physical body cannot occupy the future. There’s no there there.
An interesting observation about life is that problems, and emotional dysfunctions, almost always come up when we mentally occupy past or future. When we mentally inhabit present, when our mental focus is squarely on what’s happening now, there is genuine peace and contentment. Mentally occupying only the present moment, like keeping a distance from our thinking, is not easy to do; but the more we do it, and the less we occupy past and future, the better we will feel.
3. Think positively.
Negative emotional states always follow negative thinking. Always. Without negative thinking there is no negative emotion. If you stay away from negative thinking then your emotional responses cannot sink into pain and suffering.
Observe your thinking, and when you notice that it’s negative in nature step in and change it to something more positive. Consistently doing this takes practice and discipline, but the more you do it the easier it gets and the better you feel.
Not only can the action steps above make you feel better they will also assist in turning your life around, for the better, because you’ll no longer be stuck in negative patterns that reinforce unhappy circumstances. Your life will become unstuck from negativity and positive energy can flow, with positive life circumstances following from this, especially where you keep it up and don’t fall back into negativity.
Try it, and see the truth of this for yourself.