It’s a question of attitude

July 5, 2012

I am a simple soul. I like to be happy. I don’t like to be sad, but sometimes it is inevitable. However, there is a difference between being sad about something specific and being down about everything. A ‘mood hoover’ as I have called them before. That energy sapping person who can only interpret things negatively. The problem finder with no desire to solve them because they seem to thrive on telling everyone how shit things are even though it is relatively minor things that seem to be making them moan.

For me, I think we all interpret our world in a way that confirms our pre-formed ideas and prejudices. It takes effort to objectively evaluate information and see it in a different light. So, everything your best friend does you interpret positively. Her sending a text saying “You bitch” is obviously a joke. On the other hand, the same text from someone you don’t like that much will be taken as proof that they are in fact a complete cow, just as you always thought.

So if you see the world around you as hostile, that people are basically unfriendly and mean, then that is how you will interpret everything that happens to you. The optimist sitting next to you given the same set of circumstances will react differently and will see things positively. And be happier as a result.

We may not always be able to alter what happens to us, but we can change the way we react to situations. If you are unhappy about an aspect of your life that you can change then DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT and stop whinging in my ear about how stressed you are. Boyfriend doesn’t appreciate you? Dump him. Job is really boring? Find another one or make it interesting.Hate your commute? Change it or learn to tolerate it (see it as positive reading time rather than a wasted hour for example).

I am not trying to belittle depression. Believe me, our mother was a depressive and it is tough going when you can’t even get out of bed because you can’t decide what to wear. Each time she got depressed, our father sought treatment for her (she wouldn’t initiate it herself) and she complied with it because she hated feeling that shit. So she was trying to do something about it, but it was tough tough tough.

So, what I am addressing here is absolutely not clinical depression. You need proper help for that. No, I’m talking about that generic negativity, the negativity of being ‘stressed’ about everything. What an overused word that is. I don’t think I’d ever heard it growing up and now you hear eight year olds saying they are too stressed about their birthday parties. WTF? That is not stress.

For me, stress is fundamentally about having no control or power to effect change. Either in terms of the situation itself or how I deal with it. So if I can’t actually change the position I have found myself in (e.g the event has already happened), then I have to try to make it manageable or rewire myself not to find it such a pain in the arse. So all those irritating habits I bang on about that other people have? I see them now as blog fodder 🙂 Love ’em!

So in an unusally trite and happy clappy mode, (perhaps because my sciatica is improving!), I give you my

Top Ten Tips for a Positive Outlook

  1. Think happy, get happy, stay happy.We are in charge of our own feelings and how we react to the way people behave towards us. And in return I think we get more positive reaction reflected back.
  2. Fake it till you make it. Smile when it doesn’t come naturally. Interpret everything positively even if you don’t really believe what you are saying to yourself
  3. Work out what makes you happy and do it
  4. Don’t spend time fretting over things you can do nothing about.
  5. Take responsibility for your own happiness. Do not have a ‘victim’ mentality. It is not everyone else’s fault that things are the way they are.
  6. Believe you can make things happen because it’s true.
  7. Look forward. See the positive in situations, don’t focus on the negative or what went wrong in the past.
  8. Don’t get overwhelmed by insurmountable problems
  9. Break issues down in to bite sized chunks and and deal with them one at a time
  10. If you can only deal with one thing at a time, work out which is the key one to address. Do the thing that will give you the biggest benefit first.

So in summary then 🙂

It’s not rocket science

. .


14 Responses to “It’s a question of attitude”

  1. Lizzy Sisley Says:

    Just found your blog Sarah and this is awesome. I totally agree with what you say and try to live with this positivity when I remember! A note to myself on the bathroom mirror wouldn’t go amiss I think! If only I had the guts to share this with some miserable gits I know!

    • thanks Lizzy! I’ve only just seen this comment as haven’t been blogging for a while! I know exactly what you mean about wanting to stick it under the nose of some people!!

  2. Some truly select content on this site, saved to my bookmarks .

  3. I found your posting to be insightful! Thank you.

  4. michael Says:

    “That energy sapping person who can only interpret things negatively. The problem finder with no desire to solve them because they seem to thrive on telling everyone how shit things are even though it is relatively minor things that seem to be making them moan.”

    2 posts about me in what, a week?

    And it “is” “things”?

    • You complaining ? – thought you’d enjoy the publicity. And fuck off with the pedantry x (but yes, you’re right. If you’d like a proof reading role let me know)

  5. gitchorama Says:

    Now that is a prescription for health! Amen, Dr. C!

  6. Anonymous Says:

    spot on sara! Monica

  7. Paulie Peach Says:

    Too true!

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