"Your outlook on life is a direct reflection on how much you like yourself." - UnknownGrowing up, I faced a number of obstacles. Too many, to be honest. I couldn't see it then, of course, but it all made me stronger in the end. As strong as I am though, unfortunately, I'm still very emotional. I cry for the smallest things: an animal dies in a movie (yes, that includes when Mufasa died in The Lion King, but come on now people, if you didn't cry when Mufasa died, you have no heart), a person dies in a movie, two lovers are reunited in a movie. So, basically, I cry during a lot of movies. And TV shows, including How I Met Your Mother and Friends. Then there's the real life stuff, like when someone goes too far with teasing me or a friend is stressed out and there's nothing I can do to help.
One thing I've learned though is that a positive attitude can get you through almost anything. I say almost because I know it's hard to stay positive when you're exposed to nothing but negative attitudes. How do you stay positive then? Of course, the simple solution would be to walk away from it, but what if it's not that easy? What if those negative attitudes are coming from your home, workplace, friends, family? You can tell them until you're blue in the face to BE POSITIVE but you can't force anyone to think or feel a certain way. After a while, all that negative energy that you're being exposed to starts to bring you down too.
While you're constantly promoting a positive attitude, it's easy for you to be embarrassed about getting upset over a bad day or situation. When that bad day or situation progresses and turns your positive attitude into a negative attitude, it can understandably make it hard for you to deal with daily situations, leaving you feeling worthless and upset. Then, what becomes even harder is to say, "I think I may be depressed." Sure, you may vent off to a friend here or there, but you can't find the words to say, "I need help. Help me." This is especially hard when you think that by asking for help, you're afraid that others will judge you and think you're looking for attention. Or, they'll think your situation is less important than theirs and ignore your situation. But we all need help sometimes.
I found an interesting article the other day from tinybuddha.com, a wonderful site that promotes positive thinking and a happy outlook on life. Basically, the article says that it's okay to feel weak sometimes. It also reminds us that it's okay to say no. I think that's one of my own biggest problems (and I've heard this before from people that really know and care about me): I don't know how to say no. Someone is having a crisis in their world and I feel like, as silly as their problem is, I need to be there to console them. I feel terrible if I don't. Even if a huge part of me is cringing and saying, "This can easily be resolved by positive thinking" but the other person just doesn't want to hear it. As an example (I wont use an actual situation, of course, but here's something similar) a friend wants a new job. They've applied to one job (and only one job) and never heard back, so they turn to me to tell me how upset they are. My immediate response is, "Apply to more! The more you apply to, the better chances you have of getting a response!" To which they respond, "What's the point? If this job, that I was perfect for, didn't respond, no job will." My mind is screaming, "Stop it! Be more positive! It'll all work out!" but of course, I know that's not what they want to hear, so I try to sit there patiently and console them. I know a part of me should just say, "If you don't care to take my advice, then it's best for us to change the subject" (because your negativity is dragging me down).
Then I think to myself, "When I complain to others, is this what they think of me?" As the article helped me realise though, there's no shame in asking for help. Sometimes that's just it: instead of complaining every time something goes wrong, try to get through it on your own. If you can't, then reach out to someone who cares about you and say, "I need help." That help could be something as simple as just talking and having someone listen. If you don't have anyone to turn to, there is professional help out there as well. The nice thing about having OHIP is that you can get a referral from a doctor to be able to see a professional at no cost.
Sometimes, even reminding yourself that whatever you're going through isn't that bad, can help. There are people out there who are dealing with much harder things in their life. That's not to downplay anyone's situation, of course. Especially if one is depressed, a situation that may seem like no big deal to one person can seem like the end of the world for another.
Just remember though: think POSITIVELY! Whatever you're going through, you WILL get through it! I promise you, if you change your thinking from negative to positive, you will see a huge difference on your outlook on life and how you deal with situations. We all get upset sometimes. We all need help sometimes. There's no shame in that. But the more positive energy you give the universe, the more positive energy the universe will give back. Slowly, you'll start to notice that those big problems don't seem so big anymore (or as frequent).
"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
- Winston Churchill
Oh, and you can read the article here: http://tinybuddha.com/blog/when-youre-pretending-to-be-fine-9-tips-to-cope/