2020 was a hard year. So was 2021. Unfortunately, on some days it seems 2022 is continuing this unwanted trend. It’s as if you can’t turn on the news without hearing about a new health crisis, act of violence or the downward spiral of our economy. Turning to social media to take your mind off things isn’t much help either. While it can be nice to watch a funny video or look at pictures from your friend’s summer vacation, the negative stories are there too. Not to mention the constant bickering and horrible comments that seem to be the norm on social media platforms nowadays.
So how can we escape this revolving door of negativity and keep ourselves from feeling irritable, grumpy and pessimistic? Our psychologists in Tampa want to share a few tips that will, hopefully, help put a smile back on your face and improve your mood.
Staying Positive is Good for Your Mental Health
Being in a bad mood from time to time is natural and it’s unrealistic to think we can or should be in a good mood every second of the day. However, staying positive and keeping our mood upbeat is beneficial for both our mental and physical health. Even on an off day, for no particular reason, we can still find ourselves caught up in our own thoughts, which may drag our mood down. Making a conscious effort to swap out our negative thoughts for more positive ones can not only help change our mood in the moment, but can also change the way we think and process information in the future.
4 Ways to Stay Positive from Dr. Wendy Rice
Here are a few simple ways you and your loved ones, children and adults alike, can live the most positive life possible.
Step away from the screen. Turn off the news and your electronic devices, silence your social apps notification for a few hours, or even a day.
- I leave my phone in the other room much more often now than ever before.
- I periodically remove social media apps from my phone to make them less a
- I restrict my news viewing, reading or listening to 30 minutes a day or less.
Write about your future. Envision your goals and envision positive outcomes. Starting a journal where you write about the excitement of your future can be a great mood booster. For an added boost, identify one doable step you can take this week to move yourself in the direction of your desired future.
- I always have a spiral notebook with me for just this purpose.
- It’s important to be brave enough to dream big.
- Perhaps you prefer to sketch or draw your future dreams.
Practice gratitude. While practicing gratitude is something we can benefit from every day, it can be particularly helpful when a negative situation has you down. Set aside five or ten minutes time to reflect about the great things you are thankful for having. Do what you can to make a note of the more positive aspects of your life.
My gratitude list from this weekend was:
- The ice cream shop in Ocala had the most delicious cotton candy!
- I got to ride some incredibly nice horses.
- My neighbors took amazing care of my cats while I was away on vacation.
- My brother was able to join my mother and me for a late dinner on short notice.
Find the silver lining and avoid dwelling. Look for the positive in every negative situation. (It may take more time to find it in others, but it’s there). Also, try not to focus on the negatives. Ask yourself if this issue is really worth your energy and try to distract yourself if all else fails.
- My AC repair person was able to come to my house within hours of my AC shutting down yesterday (this one falls under gratitude and the silver lining). And now I don’t have to schedule a post-summer AC check up next month.
- I had to get up for an early morning meeting this morning (not so positive for me as I’m not a morning person) but while there, I got to reconnect with some fantastic people who I hadn’t seen in person for a while.
- I wasn’t able to ride my own horses in competition this summer but spent special time with them grooming and bonding instead. I was also fortunate to have a great horse trainer who arranged for me to have another nice horse to bring to the horse show. (And yes, I’m still that horse crazy 12 year old girl inside!)
Request a Consultation with Our Psychologists in Tampa
Sometimes when we’re feeling low, it may just be a bad mood caused by our circumstances, and other times it may be something more serious. Whatever the case, our team of licensed psychologists in Tampa understands that balancing your mood and staying on top of your mental health is a journey. Contact us to schedule your free, 10-minute consultation today.