One of the most influential pieces of advice my sister ever gave to me was “you can’t control others’ actions, but you can control how you react.” This simple headspace has drastically changed how I handle adverse situations.
You will always have complete control over your own attitude and actions (although it can be difficult at times). Even if it’s as simple as an argument with a friend or a larger issue you are working through, you have the ability to act and react as you please.
Throughout my college experience, I have encountered situations that made me want to scream. For example, being put into a group project where the group lacks communication and you don’t want to be stuck doing all the work. Or sharing ONE kitchen amongst nine other roommates and dealing with the dirty dishes that pile up. Yes, there are certain steps that you can and should take to amend the situation such as making more of an effort in the group or doing your roommates dishes when you get too fed up with them.
Sometimes it is extremely difficult not to send that passive aggressive text to the person upsetting you. There are situations where you should speak up about things bothering you. Don’t let them fester inside of you, or complain to everyone who will listen around you. There are situations where people, including myself, have overacted and ended up feeling like a terrible for causing a scene. It can make all the difference realizing for the most part people aren’t out there planning to shake your Zen; it just happens. This is where self refection and control comes in.
I am no expert, but I do have some tips on how to create a positive headspace for yourself.
Take yourself out of the situation bothering you and, if not possible, remember kindness is key. Give yourself time to not only ponder, but find something that calms you. As cliché as it sounds, the best therapy for me is to take a walk, listen to music, or read a book. Physically and mentally take yourself out of that stressful position.
After some well-deserved time away, your brain may wander back to that negative feeling. One of the best ways to assess what life throws at you is to first decide if it is worth your energy. Is what’s bothering you really something you should be wasting your precious time over?
Look for the positivity that could stem from how the situation panned out. It can be extremely difficult as times, but when you can find these golden nuggets of insight hold onto them. An unfortunate series of events (rain, snow, little holes in the walls) led to my sister’s basement flooding a couple of weeks ago. Was this an extreme inconvenience of time and money? Yes, of course, it was. But, it forced her to move everything she was storing in her basement upstairs and get rid of items she no longer needed. If the circumstances were different she wouldn’t have been forced to get rid of unnecessary clutter.
The biggest factor that will create your positive headspace is realizing that you have all the power. Only you are in control of how you act and react.