1. REMEMBER THAT THINGS CAN BE MUCH WORSE: No matter what type of situation you find yourself, you can almost always think of a way in which it could be much worse. For example, if you get into a car accident and your door gets dented in, you can be upset about the damage, receiving a ticket, and the inconvenience of filing an insurance claim. It’s easy to focus on these problems but not keep in mind that you and the other driver were not injured in the accident, that you did not need to go to the hospital, that the car is still drivable, and that there was not more expensive damage. When you take the time to recognize that there are so many things you have to be fortunate about, it helps put stressful situations in proper perspective.
2. REMEMBER THAT THERE IS ALMOST ALWAYS A SILVER LINING: Bad situations happen but there is almost always a silver lining present, even if you can’t see it right away. For example, when I was first shopping for a house, the deal ended at the last minute because the home inspector found mold in the attic. It was a very bad day for sure, but it caused me to expand the house search and find a much better house in a better development. Try to keep the silver lining in mind when something bad happens.
3. WORK SOME FUN INTO YOUR WEEK: At least a few times a week, you should work some type of fun activity into your week, such as watching a movie or favorite TV show, going to a game, listening to good music or a favorite talk show, socializing with friends, going to a favorite restaurant, etc.
4. HAVE SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO EACH DAY: While you should at least do something fun a few days a week, try to have something to look forward to each day that you like to do from the section above.
5. HAVE A HOBBY: Hobbies make life interesting and they usually provide a good escape from the doldrums of daily life. Great hobbies include collecting things, doing something creative, video games, sports, reading, and much more.
6. SMILE & LAUGH: Try to find something that makes you smile laugh. It does not need to be public laughter if you are not comfortable with that, but try to watch a comedy, listen to a comedian, listen to a comedic radio show, pick up a joke book, or spend time with someone who makes you laugh. Laughing just makes you feel good.
7. STAY AWAY FROM PEOPLE WHO BRING YOU DOWN: We all know who these people are. The ones who love to say things to push your buttons, people who are insulting, people who tell you that you are not good enough. Stay away from these people as much as possible and stay near people who are nice, encouraging, and generally have positive things to say.
8. EAT WELL: It is difficult to define “eating well” because by using that term, you may assume all I mean is to eat fruits and vegetables. Actually, what I mean by it is to eat a generally healthy diet with natural foods and avoiding artificial chemicals. Keeping your body as pure as possible helps you feel better. BUT, I also strongly believe people should be allowed to treat themselves and get that pepperoni pizza they have been craving or ending the week with a cookie dough ice cream Sundae. You only live once, should not completely deprive yourself, but should also not overdo it. As the Greek philosophers said, moderation is the key in life.
9. REMEMBER WHO IS IN CONTROL: Always remember that while you cannot always control what happens to you, that you are the only person in charge with how you think about it and react to it. A feeling of loss of control is a major reason why many people develop significant emotional disorders. Remember that the way you choose to think about something will determine how you feel about it.
10. STAY AWAY FROM NEGATIVE LANGUAGE: Remove extreme negative words such as “can’t,” “impossible,” and “must not” from your vocabulary. For example, if you tell yourself that you “can’t” accomplish your goals, that it’s “impossible” to succeed at something, or that you “must not” make a mistake, you will create self-fulfilling prophecies and be very upset when you make an error. The fact is that most goals are attainable with hard work and that everyone makes mistakes. View mistakes as opportunities to learn and improve yourself in the future rather than as long-term sources of grief. Try to move on fast, remember that tomorrow is another day, and that