8 Techniques For Recovering Happiness When Life Gets Tough
Stop thinking about what's wrong. Refocus on creating more right.
Posted February 21, 2010 | Reviewed by Hara Estroff Marano
I'm here to encourage you to stop thinking about what’s wrong in your life, and refocus on creating more right!
Thankfully, there are many proven techniques which will empower you to get back on track after adversity knocks you sideways—which I share in THE BOUNCE BACK BOOK. Here are some free "Cliff Notes" to keep you from leaping off that cliff into hopelessness. With conscious focus, you can recover and recreate the life you desire and deserve!
1. Recognize if you ask depressing questions, you will get depressing answers! If you ask proactively-oriented, happy questions, you will not only get happier answers but a happier life! When going through tough times, it's easy to sit around wondering: "Why didn’t I?” “Why did I?” “What if?” “Why me?” “Why not them?" “What if my fear comes true?” These are all time-wasters and downward spiralers, as there are no happy answers. Hence, you must stop them and swap them with these new present-tense-oriented questions, which will make your present less-tense: “How can I learn from this?” “How am I better person from this?” “What can I do now to make my life better?” “Who can I surround myself with today to make my life happier?” “What can I do to relax?” “What do I have to look forward to that I should aim myself at?”
2. Know that feeling means you’re dealing means you're healing. Confront, tolerate and feel your pain. If you can do this, the pain will eventually get smaller and ultimately disappear. But don’t push yourself to move on too quickly–you have to nurture your wounds appropriately. If you don’t like to express your suffering verbally, keep a journal. Dig deep into your feelings by writing them out.
3. Turn off the tube. Watching TV produces low levels of satisfaction because it doesn’t challenge you. Instead, do something that raises your self-esteem. Tap into your ‘signature strengths’—things you’re good at or passionate about.
4. Step outside yourself. Volunteering is a great way to look outside your own problems. Giving back to makes you happier by both giving you a sense of purpose and helping to put your problems in perspective.
5. Get a ‘mental rental.’ Sit in a quiet place and consciously think about optimistic future goals or happy memories. Make a list of five great moments from your past and five future events you’re psyched about. Envision as much detail as you can. What are you wearing? How are you standing? What scent is in the air? By tapping into positive thoughts, you can actually change your body chemistry.
6. Keep perspective. The hard time you may be experiencing is merely a ’slice’ of your life, not your whole life. Think about your future—and realize that you don’t want your life to be defined by this one circumstance. Keep a gratitude journal to remind yourself of everything you do have in your life—rather than what’s missing. You may even ‘bounce back’ higher because you’ll learn to appreciate other important things in your life.
7. Change your mood with food. During difficult times, it’s best to cut down on sweets like cookies, cake and candy. Satisfy your sweet tooth with fruit to help prevent blood sugar dips and spikes.
8. Let go. When you feel stuck in a hard time, jump-start a pro-change attitude by letting go of possessions that no longer work for you—like old clothes and old shoes. When you get rid of physical things that that ‘weigh you down,’ and start to feel lighter—you’ll witness how by letting go, you’re making room for new things to enter your home/life. As a result, your subconscious will know if you let got of emotional burdens, you’ll likewise be making room for new better people and experiences to enter your life.