Look On The Bright Side To Banish The Blues
With practice, it's easier than you think!
Mental health is a huge issue at the moment. The Covid-19 pandemic made us all feel the mental health crisis more acutely, as many people struggle with issues around loneliness, isolation, money problems, and lack of purpose.
Fortunately, anyone can feel a bit better by choosing to look on the bright side of a situation. Regardless of your experiences, problems or circumstances, looking for positives in difficult situations can help you feel brighter, more empowered, and able to continue with the journey that is life, despite its numerous, inevitable setbacks.
What if there is no bright side?
There’s usually a bright side. Sometimes, it’s just hard to see it. I used to struggle with depression, which stemmed from bullying and a difficult home life. I managed to find some positives to cling onto, and always believed things would get better as I grew up. Indeed they did.
A friend who’s recently gone blind is very upbeat about his situation. He’s grateful that he has otherwise good health and a lot of support. I’d quite understand if he was in the depths of despair, but no, he’s being very positive and pragmatic about it.
Trying to be thankful for what you do have can really help your mental health.
Don’t sweat the small stuff
Get a sense of proportion about what matters and what doesn’t. When a fellow writer told me they felt disappointed that their family had left a four star review of their book, I said, “I’d be grateful if they read it and reviewed my work at all!”
Indeed, I am. My sister read my novel and left a four star review, for which I am truly grateful.
This author felt that her family should not leave anything less than five stars. But honestly, this is small fry and it’s a good review. Don’t spend time worrying about small things that don’t matter.
The bright side is that her family is interested in her work and one of them gave the book a positive review!
Tips for a positive outlook
- It takes practice to overcome downbeat and depressive thinking. Try not to jump to negative conclusions too readily. Give people the benefit of the doubt.
- Don’t think people have ulterior motives or are being unkind if they say something insensitive. They might just be being unthoughtful or a bit dim!
- Move on and be the bigger person. Don’t hold grudges. Judge people on their good qualities and don’t dwell on the bad.
- If possible, keep a distance from critical individuals if they repeatedly hurt your feelings. You don’t need negative influences in your life.
- Focus on the positives. Try to stay positive by looking for the best in all situations.
- Hate Covid restrictions? Most people do, but we’ve enjoyed more time in the countryside and discovered new places. That’s the good outcome that we can repeat in the future.
- Try to take away the positives from a difficult experience. Was a relationship that’s just ended becoming tiresome anyway? The future often has something better in store.
- Are you struggling with change? Sometimes a new challenge can make you a better person in the long run.
- If you lose your job, perhaps there’s something you’ll enjoy more, just around the corner. Redundancy changed my life for the better!
- According to Harvard Medical School, looking on the bright side might help you live longer too!
- Have a think about what you can do to take a more positive perspective on life, to help you feel more upbeat about the challenges ahead.
- Good luck!
Disclaimer: Trying to adopt positive thinking doesn’t work for everyone. In cases of clinical depression, social anxiety, or PTSD, etc, medication and/or therapy may also be required.