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6 Ways To Stop Yourself From Going Down A Negative Spiral

I'm all about positivity.

I love my life, I'm grateful for everything I have, I care for myself and others and I live in the moment.

But, I can easily get derailed after, say, making eye contact with my crush while eating a powdered doughnut.

It happens to the best of us.

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If you've been in this scenario, try these six tips to check yourself before you wreck yourself.

You are what you think, and if you can develop the mental discipline to maintain a positive mental outlook, you will be able to face life's challenges with confidence.

1. Breathe.

Focusing on your breath tunes your mind into the present moment, and it gets you out of your own head.

Try “The Perfect 10,” counting 10 breaths on the inhale. As you inhale and exhale, concentrate on the feeling of your breath moving in and out of your body.

Along with focused breathing, meditating regularly can help foster a sense of calm.


2. Play a power song.

If you have a couple songs you love, get into the habit of using them as a visualization tool.

Imagine yourself dancing, flying, getting a trophy, getting into formation or whatever!

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Start cueing up your power song before you enter a stressful situation. Taking a moment to play your inspiration song can help trigger those positive feelings of overcoming success when you need them.


3. Maintain a mantra.

A mantra can help you check in to the present moment in a way similar to focusing on your breath.

The mantra doesn't need to be from your yoga class or some ancient text. Try something simple like, “I'm fun!”

The point is to repeat the mantra over and over, to focus your thoughts on the simplicity of the words, to concentrate on the here and now and to get away from the worry, anxiety and discomfort you're feeling.


4. Affirm yourself.

I always thought the old Stuart Smalley SNL affirmations were so dumb.

I'm good enough. I'm smart enough. And doggone it, people like me!

That is, until I realized they totally work, especially if you're a person who struggles with subconscious negative self-talk.

Try a random Google image search of affirmations, and pick a couple that really speak to you. They will help guide your thoughts away from he dark side.


5. Keep a “positivity” crystal.

This one is a little hokey, but it works for me.

I have a small quartz crystal that I hold when I mediate, and I visualize myself generating positive energy and charging the crystal with this energy.

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Then, I keep the crystal in my handbag or pocket.

If I'm feeling upset, I hold it in my hand, which reminds me to generate the positive feelings I've been infusing into the crystal.


6. Journal.

Keeping a journal is a fantastic way to access an immediate outlet for your emotions, especially if you're someone who needs something more active than meditation.

The trick with the journal is to dump everything out, to write without stopping and to give yourself a chance to process what's upsetting you.

Then, pick yourself back up by directing your free writing toward things in your life you are grateful for and visualizing positive goals and dreams for the future.

I journal regularly and like to think of it as “cleaning my room for my mind.” I untangle all my thoughts and emotions and organize them into neat, little piles.

Mental and emotional self-care is as important to your health and well-being as working out and eating right.

Practicing a few of theses exercises regularly will help you face emotional challenges and build self-confidence.

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Katie Hannigan

Freelance Contributor

Katie Hannigan is a stand up comedian, who also acts and sometimes writes articles. She's been on MTV, The Oxygen Network and performs at Caroline's on Broadway.
Katie Hannigan is a stand up comedian, who also acts and sometimes writes articles. She's been on MTV, The Oxygen Network and performs at Caroline's on Broadway.

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