Regine Johnece Boykin

Is it possible to be a joyful person when your income is the lowest it's ever been?  Or hopeful when your GPA drops below a 2.0?  Can you be happy after losing a best friend or partner?  These aren't trick questions.  The answer to each one is simply yes.  If the situation won’t change, you just need a mind makeover.

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Initially, we all get negative feelings when bad things happen in our lives.  Anger, intense sadness, or even periods of depression can sweep our minds clean of happiness.  We become uncomfortable because of our situations, which makes it hard for us to see the rays of sunshine that come from simple things like waking up in the morning.

The discomfort we feel overtakes our daily routines as we replay nagging, discouraging thoughts in our minds.  ‘It sucks that I gained 10 pounds since last year,’ ‘I can’t afford better clothes,’ ‘I still haven’t found a job,” – and so on.

We let everything that isn’t going right dictate what we think about ourselves.  Thoughts such as these can have many people reevaluating where they are in their lives, making them feel like they haven’t accomplished enough.  This also leads us to the downward spiral of comparing ourselves to friends or family.  Focusing on what we haven’t accomplished can blind us from our greatest successes.

It’s natural to think about what’s upsetting you, but you can train your mind differently.  First, put your frustration into a simple phrase and say it out loud.  Next, find the counteracting thought to each negative thought you have during your day.  It works like this:

‘I'm unhappy because I haven’t found a job yet.’

‘However, the word found indicates that I’ve at least been looking.’

Another example could be, ‘I’m unhappy with my college GPA.’

‘But having a college GPA indicates that I made it into college.’

Finding one key word or upside to very specific negative thought can bring back a sense of control to those situations you feel so helpless about.  It’ll be difficult, but in order to find peace with your mind you have to pick apart your thoughts and gain control over them.

It's also important to accept your uncomfortable situation.  Hard times in my life have been the very moments where I’ve learned the most about myself.  Instead of sulking in the pain, use it to your advantage.  Learn how you deal with failures and disappointment.  If your reactions reflect words like panic and worry, turn them into optimism and hope.  It’s admirable to make it through a difficult time, but to say that you came out stronger than before gives you a testimony.

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Don’t let temporary seasons of sadness snatch you from a lifetime of prosperity.

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Lastly, learn to make the most of every happy moment.  When you find yourself laughing with a friend, hold the memory close to your heart.  Dwell on the feeling you get when a plate full of food is in front of you.  Smile after you rap that verse without missing a word!  Little moments like these can lift your spirits in a way that can’t be brought down.  Be grateful for your ability to have joy even though things haven’t been so joyful.

Here’s the truth: trying to navigate through days where all you think about is how far you are from your goals only distracts you from working towards them.  Don’t let temporary seasons of sadness snatch you from a lifetime of prosperity.

 

Regine Boykin is a communication major and Spanish and journalism minor at Wake Forest University.  She sees writing as a way to creatively voice her insights and express her emotions to the world.

 

Comments (3)

This warms my heart.

 

Thanks Angelina!

 
  1. Meagan Hooper

Really great advice Regine.

 

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