Keren Smedley 18th August 2017

Do you ever find yourself complaining about life when there isn’t that much to complain about?

I’m sure like all of us, you have your ups and downs but that doesn’t mean that your life is really hard all the time. Would you describe yourself as a glass half-full person? Being someone who is often gloomy and complaining, isn’t nice for you or others around you. I’m sure you’ll all agree that there’s nothing more draining than a friend, colleague or family member who’s miserable most of the time.

I’m not saying there is never a time when it is appropriate to feel upset; life can at times be very hard. It’s when it has become a habit that it’s a problem.

I think it’s probably a myth to think some people only have negative thoughts and others only have positive. I’m sure we all have thoughts along that continuum; the difference is how we manage those thoughts and act on them. Optimists are more likely to go for their goals and succeed while pessimists delay, debating whether or not their goals are obtainable in the first place. And, by achieving their goals, optimists have proof positive that they can make things happen while the pessimist stays stuck. 

If this is your habit or you find yourself falling into this pattern on occasions the exercise below is very useful and helps you to change your emotional state so you can once again be productive.
 
• Ponder on the situation you’re feeling gloomy about.
• Write down the outcome you expect.
• Now write down six different alternative outcomes – think creatively.
• Decide which one you’d most like to achieve (don’t listen to the pessimist voice that says you can’t!).
• Break the goal down into small manageable steps so that targets can be easily reached.
• Write down a detailed plan to achieve your goal including dates for completion.

I think you’ll be surprised at the change you feel in your body as soon as you’re focused on what you can achieve.  You’ll feel more positive and energised. Every time you reach a stepping-stone this feeling will reappear and remind you how well you’re doing.

One thing many of us forget to do is to celebrate our successes. Think of who you’d like to share your achievements with and arrange something fun.

It takes time to change a habitual way of being so if you find yourself slipping back into old habits, strike the negative thought from your mind and substitute it with the positive picture of your goal.

Best wishes, Keren

Experience Matters is an organisation set up to empower the 50+ and to help us to manage this next stage of life. We offer coaching, workshops, advice and information. 

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