One thing that I’ve always hated about myself was how sensitive I am. I mean, I don’t cry about everything. I prefer to describe it as having low threshold in withholding emotional pain, and once I feel my eyes water there’s no stopping the floodgates from flowing.
If you’re an overthinker like me then chances are you’re also one to play the same embarrassing scenarios in your head with what you could’ve done in that situation or what the other person thought about that interaction.
In a similar way, when something bad happens i’d play it on my mind again and again. I subconsciously made it a habit to think about how sad my situation was, how it turned to be like that, and what’s going to happen if it continued.
It was a toxic cycle of continuously feeding the negativity as if it was an addiction. It’s almost as if it was a game of trying to find reasons to be sad about, a game that I was fairly good at.
“Oh look at me, i’m so sad. I wish I wasn’t sad but there’s nothing I can do to change what’s happening in my life and it’s so fucking sad. The fact that i’m sad makes me even more sad because I shouldn’t be sad, but I am.”
I can’t even tell you the amount of times I’ve cried in public because of feeling even more bad about myself for having everyone to witness my breakdowns and not being able to stop crying, but I digress.
Being sad from the thought of being sad is that one fucked up subconscious thought that I decided to give up. This is because once I get trapped in that depressing spiral It’s hard to come back from having a healthy and positive mindset.
I once read in a self help book that we have power over what we think and reading that was mind blowing for me. Someone actually thinks that I can control how I think or feel? I was skeptical by the bold statement until I get to experience it myself.
I used to stop myself from crying by focusing on my breathing and reciting the color of the first object that I’d see, as an attempt to keep my mind off of things. It would work for a minute or two until I would bring myself back into the loop of sadness by thinking about it again (i’m telling you, it’s a game i’m REALLY good at)
What I’ve learned from reading self help books was thought redirection which basically means, changing the way I think. Now, after reading a number of self help books and hearing this from countless podcasts, I think I’ve finally figured out what it means and how it works.
The reason why I easily think of such negative thoughts is because I’ve gotten used to it being the 1st response whenever something bad happens. Thinking negatively is a practice that a person chooses to do overtime, the same way you’ve gotten better at playing the guitar or playing volleyball. I realized that the more I practiced doing it, the better I get. And this, folks, is why we should choose what we practice.
If you told me about a flying hippo with cow boobs, I would picture it in my head not because you told my brain to make sense of it, but it’s because of my curiosity and my choice to understand it (Keyword: choice). Pondering on this observation about myself made me consider “huh, maybe I do have power over what I think.” And that’s a good start.
This is how I learned that the way I choose to see my situation matters a great deal as it will ultimately influence the way I process my emotions.
When being faced in a difficult situation, thinking about positive factors is key, it’s all about changing the game. If i’m capable of thinking that things in my life are going downhill, then it means that i’m also more than capable of thinking that taking one step back isn’t as bad as it seems because there’s always an option of taking two steps forward. I just have to find the light inside the tunnel so I can see my way out of it.
“What am I thankful for?” is a good question that I started asking myself with. The answer to this question is what pulls me up from the spiral and grounds me back to the present.
An example of a problem of mine that I can tell you is how I am dealing with being an anxious 20 yr old with body and trust issues, who lives with her irresponsible father and wicked step mother, just until she finds a job despite unsuccessfully searching for one for months. Now, the game here is listing the ways to make this positive:
+2 At least I have a roof over my head and my own room with a comfortable bed to sleep on.
+1 I can always go to see my friends and sleep over on their house if I don’t feel good
+1 I don’t have to pay for any meals
+3 I’ve been consistently exercising and i’m seeing results, feeling a bit more confident about myself and
having better overall mood
+1 I graduated at a well known university in my country and have good work ethic surely someone will hire
+1 I would always have my aunt and my brother to support me no matter what
Total: 9 points. Four points higher than the problems that I have.
And as long as I have these positive points, there is never enough reason for me to give up. If there may be a chance that my positive points is lower than the negative ones, then it must mean that maybe I should play a little harder. And If I already won the game, why would I want to play it again?
Life is a game, my friends. Let’s learn how to have fun with it while it lasts. So tell me, what’s your score?
Hello! It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything in my blog so i’m not really sure if anyone would be reading this but I just wanted to say that i’m back! I wasn’t motivated on writing anything before since I didn’t really know what kind of direction i’m gonna go with this. But now, I think i’m starting to have a clue on what I want to say.. and i’m excited for it! I still feel a bit iffy about what i’m writing about though so let me know your thoughts.
Anyway, I wrote this when I was really feeling bad about myself and this technique that I discovered really helped me to raise my spirits up! Hopefully, it works for you as well. I would like to know about your own ways to see the brighter side too! I guess you could say that i’m new(?) . It would be nice to gain some friends here!