Anyone facing depression and anxiety naturally deals with more bad days than good.
These bad days feed a negative cycle that can seem impossible to escape.
You wake up in the wrong state of mind and carry it throughout the day. This affects every decision you make and a great many of those decisions further impact your mood in a negative way.
If we don’t intervene and anchor our minds, the winds and waves will cause us to be lost at sea for a lifetime. We will rob ourselves of future happiness and accomplishments.
The four mindset changes you are about to discover have changed my life. My emotions used to control my days – every day was dependent on the mood I woke up with. By regularly strengthening these mindset shifts, I have learned to make every day a great one.
I guarantee they can do the same for you. With the addition of practice, they will set you on the path to happiness. One day at a time, of course.
Mindset Shifts To Conquer The Day
#1. Today Is A Lesson
The world is one big classroom. Every person you meet and every obstacle you face brings with it the opportunity to learn.
Hindsight will prove this to you time and time again.
Unfortunately, in the moment, there won’t be a single time where your obstacle feels worth the growth it is producing.
If you can learn to appreciate even the hard times, you will catapult your growth to new heights.
When an obstacle of my own rears it’s ugly head, I think to myself “Good”. The presence of discomfort means I am growing as a person.
The only way to wisdom and success, in the long run, is to face some bumps in the road along the way.
The bigger the bump, the bigger the transformation.
Change takes time. The longer you struggle, the deeper and more well rounded your transformation will be.
What can you learn from your pain or failures?
You may feel like you are hitting a brick wall in your life. Remember that you cannot see what is on the other side of that wall but there is always another side.
Gather whatever resources you can from this side of the wall. When you make it over to the other side, you will have more resources than before.
Surely you will face challenges again but every time you do, you will be further equipped.
Think of five horrible things that you learned from in the past and wouldn’t take back for anything.
When going through your next obstacle, mood or otherwise, ask if it may be transforming you below the surface.
Every time I find myself in an uncomfortable position, I ask myself if there is something to learn.
For example: Last week an old injury I thought I was done with came back rather strong. It was debilitating and without the mindset shifts written here, it would have ruined my day.
Of course, this happened on day one of my only vacation of the summer.
I was able to identify it as a reminder of how much the injury has improved. After learning this, I invited the pain to tea and refused to let it steal my happiness.
The rest of the day turned out to be fantastic and the pain subsided within 36 hours.
#2. Nothing Can Steal Your Happiness
Find feelings of happiness, enjoy it, and lock it in a safe deep inside of your heart. Your happiness is yours to keep.
Life can take away your possessions, your job, or a loved one but it can never take away your happiness. Strengthen this idea whenever possible – affirm yourself that you are happy on a daily basis.
This positive self-talk can end many bad thoughts faster than they can form.
Happiness is at the end of all goals. It is also the thing we spend the most of our lives chasing. With a few mindset shifts, you can realize happiness is already within you. Once you realize you have it, refuse to let anything take it.
“There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
Find one single thing in your life that you wouldn’t trade for anything.
When confronted with negative emotions, remind yourself that you will always have that…and your happiness.
Note: A great book to strengthen this idea is Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl.
#3. Invite Your Emotions To Tea
This exercise was brought to my attention in the book Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach.
This mindset shift is like the one above but with a slight twist.
In this exercise, we want to establish our center-state or, our internal home. This state should be one of happiness and peace.
Once we can identify the feelings of happiness and peace, we identify ourselves with those feelings.
The next time negative thinking patterns or anxiety slips into your mind, welcome them to tea. Recognize these feelings but do not be scared of them.
This exercise is phenomenal. I can’t praise its effectiveness enough when practiced and strengthened.
“Circumstances alone do not make us happy or unhappy. It is the way we react to circumstances that determine our feelings.” – Dale Carnegie
Strengthening Exercise: Affirmations and Positive Self Talk
Of course, if you feel depressed and anxious, achieving this ‘home’ will require some work.
Affirmations are a powerful and simple method to strengthen this exercise. They can also do so without consuming much of your free time.
To perform an affirmation, identify what you would like your ‘home’ state to look like. A few examples might be:
- Happy and calm
- Energetic and youthful
- At Peace
Once you have identified what is most important, say to yourself you are full of those emotions. Do your best to feel the truth of the statement.
- I am happy and calm. I love my life
- I am youthful and full of energy and vitality
- I am calm and at complete peace
You should then go on to repeat these statements 10-20 times, two or three times per day.
Over time, you will find much truth in your affirmations. At this point, invite any emotions that don’t align with them to tea.
When I experience anxiety, I invite it to tea. I have convinced myself, beyond doubt, that I am calm at my core. Anxiety is welcome in my home but it will never bother me.
Depressive and anxious thoughts need to control you and when you don’t let them, you starve them like a fire without oxygen.
Tea never tasted so sweet.
#4. But A Sliver Of Time
Anytime life throws us a tough situation or mood, we can feel as though it will never end.
Of course, this is far from the truth. In your life, you have already overcome countless obstacles.
Shift your mind to tell yourself this is another one that will pass by with the wind.
When I find myself in an uncomfortable position, I like to remind myself how fast time passes. You and I can both push through anything for a few hours. At the end of the day, we will be in our beds ready for a good night’s sleep.
When you are caught up in a moment of distress or worry, remember that it is only a moment in time.
Once overcome, weeks will pass and you won’t believe how long ago that struggle was.
Thinking back to your birthday or Christmas three years ago is a simple reminder of this. Does it feel like it has been a full three years? Unlikely.
If we are capable of grasping how fast years pass by, shouldn’t we be able to realize how fast hours go by? If it won’t matter in a year from now, remind yourself that it probably doesn’t matter right now.
Think of five past situations that were horrible and felt like they were never going to end.
Analyze how long ago they were and try to hold onto this perspective.
You can then bring back these memories during times of trouble as a reminder of the illusion of time.
Give Them A Try!
Put these four mindset shifts in your toolbox and you will be amazed at your increased positivity.
Whenever your mood does take a dip or you are going through a tough time, these mindset shifts will ease you through.
The more you practice and use them, the less likely it is that you will need them at all.
No matter how rocky your conditions are, you can become unbreakable in spirit and mind.
If you found any of these useful or have any tricks of your own, let us know in the comments below!
Don’t forget to check out Man’s Guide to Well-Being: Take Control of Your Mood and Life