Sometimes life throws curve balls at us. There are always reasons to stay positive though despite the odds when we’re feeling low. The one thing to remember is that you’re never alone. We all feel low at times, but what we need right at this moment is a strong dose of positivity in whatever shape or form that takes.
Since 2015 had been a year of grieving, healing and trying again following miscarriage, I saw in 2016 with joy. I was 12 weeks’ pregnant and to ensure H and I cultivated positivity in our lives, we paid for a last-minute trip to Vienna.
While friends had seen the news of our extravagant New Year break as it appeared on my Facebook feed, very few of them knew I was pregnant. Even fewer knew the real reason behind our trip. That way, I kept some of the pressure off if things took a turn for the worst.
The run-up to the festive season had actually come and gone in a blur of emotion after an early pregnancy ultrasound scan abroad had shown what looked like an empty sac in November. It could have been a devastating blow – but I still had a 50/50 chance of a successful pregnancy according to the doctor, so we knew all we could do was wait it out.
My next dating scan was booked for Christmas Eve and trying to celebrate the festive season was really tough with so much uncertainty hanging over us. I knew the result was either going to make or break the Season of Goodwill. Negativity at that moment could have destroyed me and our marriage because I had already prepared myself for the worst because of what had gone before.
How to deal with negative thoughts
Sometimes I’d lie in the bath and just repeat positive phrases to myself that I’d find on apps to squash my concerns and worries and self-defeating thoughts. I’d also pray to God that things would work out and promise that I’d do something good for others if everything turned out right. This was my stress-free zone.
Positive thinking is a simple, but powerful coping strategy when times are tough. It can help diffuse tension when we are facing self-doubt. While repeating positive phrases and my prayers helped me and bolstered by motivation and optimism, everyone needs to think about what might help them.
Set aside time to come back into balance
You need to set aside time in the day when you’re at your most peaceful and use this time for positive thinking. Write everything down if it helps. ‘Inhale confidence and exhale fear’ was the phrase I repeated daily to myself until Christmas Eve, the date of my scan. I also used to repeat the phrase ‘The past holds no power over me.’ This helped me battle my demons … even if it also reminded me of Jennifer Connelly (Sarah) in one of my all-time fav films, Jim Henson’s Labyrinth! Sarah’s story was certainly one I could grab hold of as a kid. Although my TV romance with a goblin king (David Bowie) is still not something I fully understand.
The big scan day
I woke that morning feeling anxious, but I repeated the phrases above over and over to myself en route to the hospital. My heart was pounding in the waiting area and my palms were sweaty, but I had survived this feeling once before so I was determined to get through it. It was nervousness I hadn’t felt before, but I kept telling myself it was all going to be fine.
What I hadn’t prepared myself for was the feelings of amazement, joy and relief as I got to see baby Cyrus bobbing around on-screen for the first time. The day I got the all-clear was a surprising source of comfort. Having pinned all my thoughts on this moment, I felt a huge swell of emotion and the tears rolled down my cheeks.
Write down your emotions, good or bad
I’m a big believer in writing everything down when times are tough. Writing is my therapy and it also enables me to see things clearly. Sometimes when everything seems to be going in the wrong direction, there are little positives that you can clutch to your chest. It’s those little positives that will help you get through things.
My gran always used to say to me that there was always someone worse off than her and whenever things were tough, she’d just have to remember that.
So what did 2016 bring when I stayed positive?
1) Celebrated New Year (and most importantly the all-clear after my 12-week scan) in Vienna
2) Promotion at work – made PR Account Manager
3) Renovated and sold our old home
4) Gave birth to baby Cyrus – 8lb 4oz
5) Became a new mum over 40
6) Bought and moved into our forever home
7) Took up a new fitness regime with Buggies, Bums and Tums
8) Met new friends
9) Began my blog
10) Hubby gained Chartered status as a mechanical engineer
Despite all of the above, I was still healing, so I still needed to give myself time each day to remain positive and I kept a list of everything that was going right on a daily basis. One thing I’ve learned is that protecting your wellbeing is incredibly important and during testing times, it’s more crucial than ever to remain positive.
Ways to stay positive in life
Exercise, getting plenty of sleep and prayer / meditation will help if you’re struggling with anxiety – as well as having a bath! Looking back on old photos also have a positive impact, making us feel nostalgic, happy, relaxed and inspired. When you capture a moment in a photograph, whether it’s a family portrait, a holiday of a lifetime or a fun weekend trip with friends – you can instantly feel yourself back in the moment just by looking at the photo.
We tend to remember the things we could see, smell, hear and most importantly feel when we look back at our photos. This instant feeling of positivity that we get from reminiscing over our photos impacts our wellbeing in such a beneficial way. It also helps us feel closer to loved ones and reminds us of those precious moments that we hold so close.