Friday, October 29, 2010

Reverse polarity

Last week I had an encounter that left me feeling exhausted, very upset and hurt. I apologised at the time (apology not accepted), but still felt attacked and worried. It’s far too involved to tell you the whole story, so suffice it to say that when I’m overwhelmed by negativity - my own or someone else’s - I try to counterbalance it with positive thoughts and actions, so I:

Do something to make someone else happy: this is one sure way to make yourself feel happy and worthwhile. Even simple chores around the house can help raise spirits; make a pot of tea, take out the garbage or strip and make the bed really well smoothing out all the wrinkles – better still, change the sheets.

Think about something else. A natural reaction is to go over and over the argument, thinking up the ‘right’ responses. There probably were no ‘right’ responses, and anyway it’s too late now. We all have so much to be grateful for – as the saying goes ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’ – so rather dwell on something (or someone) that makes you happy.

Forgive everything. No-one knows what is truly happening in anyone else’s life, so this incident was probably the ‘straw that broke the camel’s back’. Be forgiving, because holding on to anger and resentment never helped anyone – you just wander around with a thundercloud over your head and, believe it or not, others can see and feel it, and will want to avoid it. And you.

Put on a happy face. We don’t always feel happy, but putting on a happy face really can improve how we feel – and it makes life a lot more pleasant for everyone else, too. I’m not saying that nobody should ever be sad or anxious or feel bereft – we will all feel these emotions at some time in our lives – but make sure the tears you shed are for a worthy cause.

Cook. If all else fails, the kitchen is the place to be. Take out aggression by chopping and chopping and chopping! Bang the pots around. Slam the cupboard doors. It’s amazing how silly you’ll feel, behaving like this – and does it solve any problems? No… not unless the ‘problem’ was dinner!

Don’t take yourself too seriously. No one else will. And remember, however bad a situation is, it is going to change. Maybe as soon as tomorrow.

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