The world has not been a very kind place lately. It has not been kind to me, my family, or my friends especially. Combine all of those together, plus my additional past troubles, & you would think I was one bitter gal. But I’m not. I’m anything but bitter. You see, after life has decided to punch me in the face time & time again, I have trained my mind to see the good in every situation. & I am happy. So today, I am here to spill my secrets with you to having a strong mindset in tough situations. Lets get started!
Now, if you are in an environment where you can listen to music while reading this, I recommend clicking play on this audio button! I listened to this beautiful background music while writing this blog post, & it really ties in perfectly with the mood. Don’t worry, there are no distracting lyrics, it is only an instrumental!
Okay, so to start, I was in high school when I was seriously troubled. Things would happen to me, & I withered away in my room, letting my sorrows get the best of me. I swore I had the worst life ever, because in my eyes, I did. Have you been there before? I think most people have. It was when we started to learn about the holocaust in school I started to let down my bad attitude. We had actual holocaust survivors come in & speak to us. They were some of the toughest people I’d ever seen. (No, this isn’t a “Well be happy for what you have, because some people have it worse” article)
I grew more fascinated each day by their incredible strength, & that was when I read The Diary of Anne Frank (Listed here under my book recommendations) The entire book moved me, but there was one quote that I knew was going to be important to keep close to my heart.
“Think of all the beauty in yourself and in everything around you and be happy.” -Anne Frank
She was rooting for me. She was rooting for you. A holocaust victim. A 13-year-old victim that spent two years in hiding to be free of the Nazi persecutions. A child. Though her life was completely in danger at all times, she still found it in her to be positive. She did not let the madness of the world get the best of her soul. She understood that her situation was not a reflection of who she was. If she could do that, why can’t we?
It’s time we all started living our life with the mindset she had. Truly living it & breathing it. We need to stop giving negative things the power to drain the life from us. We all deserve so much more than that, YOU deserve so much more than that. Changing your mindset can change your life, but the only person who can do that is you. Nobody else.
We are going to need to actively work on implementing positive strategies every single day for it to be effective. We need to take care of ourselves. Your future self will thank you for making your mental health a priority all of this time. So what better time to start tending to our minds with love & care than now? Let’s start by laying down the facts.
Situations will be out of our control time & time again, but do you know what you can control? Your mindset towards it. You see, it all begins and ends in your mind. What you give power to, has power over you. -Valerie Karen Click To Tweet
Life will continue to unfold in front of our eyes every single passing day. Situations will be out of our control time & time again, but do you know what you can control? Your mindset towards it. You see, it all begins and ends in your mind. What you give power to, has power over you. Let that sink in, really take it in. Process it for a minute.
So, when you find yourself in a situation that makes you anything but happy, this is where you need yourself the most. You are in charge of your mind, & taking care of it. Not your mom, your dad, your friend, not anyone but yourself. I say this because I used to wait for everyone else to help me, but what I didn’t realize was the happiness had to come from within me. At the end of the day, it was always up to me to find the silver lining. If I could do it, & Anne Frank could do it, you can, too!
I see the whole process of working through tough situations in steps. One: You’re going to dwell on it, because you can. The pain will hurt, & you let it. It’s okay to feel this way, we actually need to acknowledge the pain to push through it. When it stops being okay, is when we let it consume us, & don’t actively try to work through it. We are scared to move forward, so we stay in the same place. We stay stuck in our sorrows, & hope if we push it down far enough it will go away. But it won’t, it will just constantly linger. So taking a step towards enlightenment is necessary. This is step two. Because you know what happens when you take that first step forward? You start to grow in wisdom. Even if it is just a baby step, it’s slow, but it’s forward. & that’s what’s important.
So, how to take that step forward you ask? Acknowledgment. Put aside time for reflecting & actively acknowledging the feeling. First, ask yourself why it made you feel sad/angry/nervous, & acknowledge the feeling. This is where you have to be truthful with yourself. Decide what to do with that feeling. If you want to overcome it and continue to step three, keep reading.
Now, try to find as many positives from your not-so-great situation that you can. This is the part where a lot of people start saying, “But-” NO BUTS! Don’t let your mind even think, “But- *insert excuse here why you’re allowing life to get the best of you*” If it does, fire back at it with some, “Well, at least-” positive comebacks. This is not the time for excuses, find the good.
Accept that it might still hurt & that's okay, & accept that you are strong enough to not let it get the best of you. Do not give the negativity in this world the satisfaction that is does not deserve. -Valerie Karen Click To Tweet
& finally, step four. Acceptance. Accept the situation for what it is, accept that it might still hurt & that’s okay, & accept that you are strong enough to not let it get the best of you. Do not give the negativity in this world the satisfaction that is does not deserve. Love & care will always conquer all. & these tough times will make you truly grateful for all of the things that you do have. If you don’t believe me that this can be done, I have provided a few examples from my own life you can reference:
The first, is when I fainted at practice & hit my head hard; some girls said they thought I had a seizure. The doctors told me that I had an irregular heartbeat & anemia. Initially, I dwelled on it, but eventually decided to alter my mindset. Sometimes the occasional “but” would still creep into my mind. “But- you’re not as strong as everyone else-” or “But- you get exhausted too quickly-” my negative thoughts whispered. That’s when I knew I had to actively seek positivity.
“Well, at least I’m still alive,” or “Well, at least I know what is wrong with me & I now know exactly what my limits are,” I shot back at my own negative thoughts. I constantly applied positive thinking to that situation, & changing my mindset helped me change my life. I used to be embarrassed in the gym, because my body didn’t allow me to do as much as everyone else. But now, I feel like a badass in the gym. When working out, people give me the side eye, because my stamina doesn’t keep well. Little do they know- my body has to work 10x harder than most people’s. The fact that I am even at the gym is badass; it’s something to be proud of, not embarrassed. The positive drowns the negative any day.
Another example: I fell for a boy one summer that lived 2,000 miles away. We decided to try a long distance relationship, & the beginning my mind was full of “buts”. “But- I miss him so much,” or “But- I don’t know if I can date someone who I only get to see a few times a year,” constantly crept in. Soon we both realized, in the grand scheme of things, the little time apart would only be a fraction of our entires lives spent together.
What did we value more- Short term happiness in being single & partying, or patience for a lifetime of happiness? We learned to appreciate what we did have, rather than dwell on what we did not have. Nearly four years later, here we are living happily together & he even did the big-got-down-on-one-knee for me! If I would have let those “but” thoughts get the best of me, we would have never been able to get to where we are now. A place we deserve to be.
& that’s the whole point. If you continue to let your “but” thoughts stop you from moving forward, you may never get to the happiness in your life that you deserve! So, if you’re going through a tough time now, this is where you need to apply these strategies to your life. I am living proof that they work! You can be genuinely happy starting today. So think positive thoughts, write them down if you need to, quote anything from this article; whatever is most effective for you! Whatever you do, don’t let the positivity slip away from you! I am rooting for you, & don’t forget, so is Anne Frank.
If you know anyone else going through a difficult time in their life, show them you care by sending them this article! It takes just a minute out of your day, but has the power to change the rest of their days for the better. Also, if you enjoyed this post & would like to read more of my work in the future, on the top righthand side of this page is a field where you can type your email into to follow this blog. (If you are on your phone it will be underneath this post) Much love. Thank you for your time & support.
♡ Valerie Karen.
Enjoy this beautiful cover I found on Youtube of “Don’t Worry Be Happy” 🙂
(Don’t forget to turn off the audio towards the top of the page if you turned it on!)