The Last Time I Got Upset.

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Human beings can be very funny; and the beauty of the world is that we all exist very differently. To be honest, that’s literally what makes the world “work”. Our unique differences come together to create a world that, at times can be very uplifting, or disheartening. That’s the beauty of this story.

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It was the last day of the year, and despite all the negative energy surrounding the change in time for the crossover service, I entered into the church a few minutes before 8pm, in checked white and black tees, retro black pants, and white sneaks—with a spring in my steps.  

Behind the piano, the worship and praise session was electric. Nodding my head in resonance with the bass guitar while grooving with the drums, I almost didn’t notice that the congregation, which seemed so full minutes ago suddenly seemed so sparse.

A rush of negative thoughts suddenly came. Hoodlums? Soldiers? State Government? After wrestling with myself (this whole process couldn’t have taken 2s), I decided the best thing would be to focus on praising God rather than worrying about what I couldn’t control; and eventually end up losing on both ends.

As the praise session finally ended, and the elder in charge of the next assignment mounted the altar, ofofo me could not resist going out to check the cause of the commotion. Alas! A church member seemed to have suffered a leg injury while entering into the church premises. And not just any church member, a family friend, and mother to one of my close pals. What was initially a vibeless evening was quickly turning into a depressing one.

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After first aid and all the necessary treatment has been administered, she was taken to the hospital for further examination. Phew, you would say, no? The real obstacle came not soon after, convincing her child that the injury really was nothing serious. This child seemed to have taken the injury to heart such that nothing I said or didn’t say could convince her to engage a more positive mind-set towards whatever the future held… Needless to say (I’ve always wanted to say that; lemme say it again). Needless to say, I was frustrated, hurt, angry and upset.

We can all relate to this scenario. You’re deep in the throes of despair. That light at the end of the tunnel? It’s so far from where you are; you could as well be gazing at Pluto. How do you go about changing your mind-set from a negative to a positive one?

1. Adopt a Morning Gratitude Routine.

Tbh, this is the easiest and most effective habit to develop if you want to shift your thinking so that it aligns with the positive. As soon as you wake up in the morning, think about three things you’re grateful for. Really, it doesn’t have to be grandiose or “deep”, you could just be grateful that you’re not going to do laundry today because you already did it yesterday.

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This helps you trick the mind into wanting to think in a more positive direction.

2. Choose a Mantra you Can Rely On.

I like this one (blushes). Write down your fave mantra for how you want 2021 to go. Say it softly in your heart, or shout it to your heart’s content. Whichever works. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Practice. Practice. Practice. Make it become you.

Take this one: “Whatever you’re worried about, think: would this matter in the next three to five years? If it wouldn’t, please stop worrying.”

3. Make Positive Thinking a Priority.

Very importantly, the best way to go about reframing your mind-set into a positive one is making positive thinking a priority above all else. When you know and believe that nothing ever happens to you, but for you; that everything and everyone in your awareness is a gift meant for you to experience, your perspective quickly changes from “negative and close” to “positive and open”.

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4. Audit your time—and whom you spend it with.

If there’s anything, I’ve learned that Emotions are very contagious. Surround yourself with people who inspire you, lift you up, and bring out the best in you. If you spend too much time with people who make you feel small or less than, maintaining a positive mind-set will be difficult.

5. Remember to be Kind to Yourself.

Lastly, shifting your mind-set starts with being truthful to yourself and acknowledging where you are right now. Are you mad? Are you sad? Do you feel lonely? Whatever it is, get clear, and in your feelings. Then get curious. What’s driving them? Once you know the source, you can work with that.

What would make you feel better? A brisk walk? Calling a close friend? Talking about your feelings? Distance from whatever is causing you feel so negative?

Whatever it is, let it be. Shifting your mind-set comes with being a lot kinder to yourself, accepting where you’re at, and getting clear on proactive steps you can take to shift your mind-set and bring more pleasure and joy to your life.

Related: It’s High Time You Were Kind to You!

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