From the moment we wake in the morning our heads start to fill with all sorts of thoughts. What will you give the kids for breakfast? Will you get the time to iron your blouse before you leave for work? What will you do if you miss the bus? And so it goes on.
The first clue to turning your life around and making it happier is to stop using negative thought. You probably aren't even aware that you're doing it but when you say "I was hit by a car and now I've got a broken arm" and feel angry about it, you're using a negative attitude. If you'd said "I was hit by a car but luckily I escaped with just a broken arm" and feel relived about it, you're tackling life with a positive attitude.
The question should never be "why did it happen to me?" but "what can I do to improve things now that it's happened."
The tips below will help you understand what you could be doing wrong and help you turn around your negative attitude, helping you cope with life and enjoy a brighter future.
1. SEE LIFE AS THE ENEMY
The whole world's out to get you, isn't it? Or, if not, maybe just certain groups of people?
By being suspicious of others' motifs and believing that they have some hidden agenda that includes hurting you, you'll keep people at arm's length and never make new friends or improve the friendships you already have.
For the person who's wrapped up in a negative world, the result is that they have an excuse to not go out and meet people. Meeting people would mean they'd have to be friendly and that takes too much effort.
For a more positive outlook on life you need to understand that most people are far too busy running their own lives to bother hurting you. Being friends is far more pleasant than being enemies so why would they want to put so much energy into something they'd have nothing to gain from?
2. BE LAZY
Again, by avoiding the gym or any other form of exercise you won't need to meet people and be pleasant.
We have enough knowledge nowadays to know that exercise is important, not only to our physical well-being but also to our mental health.
Eat a few fatty snacks while you're veg-ing in front of the TV and you'll soon be feeling too tired and lethargic to move! Just don't start moaning when you start suffering from all kinds of health problems that are associated with lack of exercise, from osteoporosis to coronary artery disease. Yes, lack of exercise is nearly as dangerous as smoking!
Next time the sun's shining, put on some comfortable clothes and go for a walk. Exercise releases adrenaline and therefore reduces stress so you'll definitely feel better for it.
3. DON'T KEEP UP APPEARANCES
If you don't go out much, who's going to see you anyway? And even if you did, who'd care?
You should care, that's who!
When you don't bother to put on your make-up or do your hair properly, you're just telling the world that you're not as important as the rest of the people around you. Before you know it you won't even bother to wash, and you'll be walking around in wrinkled, un-ironed clothes. Hell, why even bother to get dressed at all? Just lay around in your night clothes watching TV all day, why don't you?
Even if you're just nipping to the shop make sure you look, if not your best, at least presentable. How others view you will eventually reflect in how you view yourself. When you have a positive attitude towards yourself, you're far more likely to see life in a positive manner, too.
4. TAKE THE LONESOME TRAIL
If you hide yourself away at home, you won't have to meet other people who are still able to be happy, even though they're undoubtedly suffering many of the same problems as you, plus as few of their own. Why would you want to accept that others could have problems and still be cheerful?
Get out there and spend time with friends. Experiencing other people dealing with their lives in a positive manner can do wonders to how you feel about your own life. If their cup's half full while yours is half-empty, ask yourself why. What are they doing that you're not?
5. GET OFF YOUR HEAD
Do you get yourself drunk or stoned in order to forget your woes? I bet you're having great fun while you're falling all over the place, spilling and breaking things as you go, aren't you? And by the time you wake up in the morning, all of your problems will have magically disappeared, won't they?
No? Why not?
Because no matter how much you drink, smoke or inject yourself with illegal substances, the only things you'll change are your ability to do your job; the way your family feels around you; your health as you deprive your body of important nutrients; and if you think you've got problems now, just wait until your bank balance starts to diminish even further!
Put the bottle, joint or pills away and accept that they aren't going to make your problems go away ? they're just going to add to them.
6. PLAY THE VICTIM
Isn't it awful when the world owes you something but just isn't giving it? That chip on your shoulder just keeps getting bigger and bigger until in the end, the world is probably the last place you want to be.
The truth is, the world owes you nothing. Regardless of who's done what to you and why, nobody but yourself can do anything to change things.
Sure, when somebody's upset us it'd be nice to receive and apology but what if we don't? Where will sitting about stewing get us?
If you think that playing the victim will make others want to be with you, you're wrong. They may feel sorry for you but not for the reasons you'd think.
Nobody wants to be with miserable people and you think they should then you're simply being selfish. Misery breeds misery and you've no right to expect others to want some of yours!
Whatever's happened to make you unhappy, let it go! It's in the past and none of that matters anymore. You've got a future ahead of you and only you can make it bright.
7. HIDE IN YOUR SHELL
If you keep yourself to yourself and don't tell anybody anything, nobody will be able to hurt you, right?
Well, there's some truth in that, but by the same token, nobody will be able to support you when you need it, laugh with you, cry with you or just be there, either.
People need people - we're designed that way. If you insist on being a closed book you'll only have yourself to blame when you become a lonely old person with nobody to turn to.
Accept that some people will hurt you. It happens to all of us. It's part of life and we have to learn to deal with it. They're not important. It's those who care about us and only want what's best for us that matter.
8. MAKE FRIENDS WITH THE EVIL GREEN MONSTER
Don't you just hate it when your neighbour buys a new car and you're still stuck with your 10 year old Ford? And "By Jove, they're having new furniture delivered ? again!"
Do you really believe that life will improve once you've bought a bigger house, had a baby, been on a foreign holiday or re-decorated the living room, don't you? There's always something that will make you feel better than you are right now.
The problem with the desire to have what others have, and what you believe you also have a right to, is that when you've finally get that house you'll then what better furniture for it. When you've furnished it to your taste (which will probably take years), you'll want to have the garden improved, a new car, a better job - there's always something more.
Don't fall for it! If you get the things you'd like to have then good for you - just don't let them hinder your chance of happiness along the way.
Look around you and appreciate the things you DO have instead of focusing on those you don't. No matter how little you think you have, if you're able to sit at a computer and read this, then trust me, there are people not far from you who are far worse off than you are!
9. STICK FIRMLY IN THE MUD
Weren't things so much better in the old days? You didn't have to fear being raped, mugged or murdered every time you left the house back then, did you? The newspapers weren't full of bad news and people actually cared about each other.
Does that sound like you?
How do you think others manage to cope with the changes in life, and the world? It's simple really; they just get out there and get on with their lives. They try to see the good in modern developments rather than dwelling on how things were in the past. By living in a time that no longer exists, you're cutting yourself off from friends, family, and your entire social network and taking a very negative attitude to life.
10. ALWAYS LOOK ON THE DARK SIDE
We all have problems ? each and every one of us. Some more than others and some more serious than others.
What those problems are is immaterial; what matters is how we deal with them.
If you look at your problems as hurdles that are stopping you from moving forward in your life then they're attacking you. It's only when you start seeing them as a challenge, or an opportunity even, that you're the one doing the attacking.
Keep a positive outlook regardless of what life throws at you and you'll stand a far better chance of dealing with your problems and enjoying the time you've been given to spend on earth.
Be happy ? you're worth it!
Sharon Jacobsen is a freelance writer living in South Cheshire, England, with her partner Richard, also a writer. Having had more than her fair share of problems thrown at her, Sharon truly understands the philosophy of a positive attitude. To contact Sharon, please visit her website at http://www.sharon-jacobsen.co.uk