Following on from the last post I did about making the choice to make every day a good day we had a very dismal week in Ireland. I was thinking during the week how easy it is to say what we should do but how much more difficult it is to actually do it.

The negative spiral is very easy to get caught up in. Getting up and looking out at grey dismal-ness, especially now when walking is maybe the only outing we get in a day, can start that spiral. For me, then, I get annoyed with myself for letting the weather affect my mood and so I feel worse and so it continues!

I was struck by the influence of other people and events on our moods and our lives. We wake up and it’s dismal, we feel less positive. When we watch the news or scroll social media and read negative stories or bad news, it brings us down. When we are in the company of someone who is always complaining we are drained.

How many times have we had numerous compliments on something we’ve done or even on how we look, but if one person criticises us or even is less positive, that’s the thing we remember. I know I was very inclined to do that.

We spend our whole lives looking for validation for our whole being from external sources. We take the negative as being truth, even from people who don’t really know us or who we wouldn’t ever turn to for advice. Don’t get me wrong, everybody loves hearing good things about themselves. It really boosts us and it’s important when we see good or beauty in others we tell them. Boosting others and building others up is a very valuable and important thing to do.

Building our self-worth and self-belief around the opinion of others is never going to work. The opinion of others can at times be unreliable. People are inclined to make judgements based on experience or their own mood. Sometimes people just want, for whatever reason, to knock you down. Some people feel threatened by others doing well.
Equally, we will never be able to really achieve our potential or be happy if we are depending on others for our self-belief. Even if we surround ourselves with people who will compliment us and make us feel good, any gains will be short-lived and will vanish as soon as we meet a challenge.

It’s not just other people who control our moods. The weather, the traffic, a long queue at a cash desk, someone pulling out on the road in front of us, being kept waiting at an appointment – they are all things that have the potential to spoil our day if we let them and that is only a fraction of that list.

Until we start taking control of our own mind, we will never be happy. We will always be at the mercy of other things. It isn’t an easy journey – we are breaking the habits of a lifetime.

For me, I’m working on it a long time and there are still times when I realise I’ve spent hours – even a whole day – stressing about what someone said or wallowing in negativity or self-pity. I’ve discovered it’s very important to be kind to myself when this happens but as soon as I notice I’m in this spiral it’s time to do some of the things I’ve found that help me flip the mood.

The first step on the journey is to find things you can turn to when you are in a negative spiral or feeling down. These things vary from person to person. For some it’s music, for others - exercise. For me it’s reading, walking, Harry Potter films, detective shows on TV, EFT, Ho’oponopono, meditating, affirmations and essential oils. I add to the list frequently as I find things I can use, the list can never be too long. 

Once we can control how we react to outside influences, it brings us a step closer to controlling our thoughts and so controlling our outcomes. At the end of the day, we can only control ourselves - we can never control things outside ourselves and so, even if we waste time and energy trying, we are definitely going to fail. We must therefore control our reactions or outside influences will control us.
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