In my last post, I discussed a sensitive subject that I have never discussed outside of 1 or 2 conversations with my husband, 2 therapists, and 2-3 close friends. As you might imagine, I was extremely nervous about how it would be received. You, my wonderful readers, were very receptive and non-judgemental, which is appreciated more than you will ever know. Thank you.
Optimism is my general outlook on life, despite going through depression a few times. Depression has, somewhat surprisingly, reinforced my drive to be optimistic because I know how tentative my daily happiness can be. One way that I strive to be optimistic is to always look for the bright side or look for silver linings. It’s not always easy though, as Don Marquis eloquently put it:
has its silver
lining but it is
sometimes a little
difficult to get it to
This is one of my all-time favorite quotes because it concisely acknowledges that it can be hard sometimes to find the positive side of a situation. Even though there may be a storm cloud over your head, there has to be a silver lining somewhere.
Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head
When that storm cloud is hanging over your head, it can be incredibly difficult to find that silver lining when the raindrops just keep falling on your head. Every time you look up, another raindrop falls in your eyes. Most of the time, the raindrops are little things that add up, such as:
- Waking up late
- Hitting every red light on the way to work
- Stuck behind a slow driver
- Spilling coffee on your shirt
- Missing an email from a client
- Tripping over your feet
- Forgetting to your lunch at home
- Burning dinner
- Snippy fights with a loved one
- Running out of gas
- [endless options for annoying little raindrops]
- [a combination of any or all of these happening in the same day or week]
Sometimes, the rain comes down in great big plops with wind gusts and is a proper storm, but those storms will be left for another day. For today’s post, I’m focusing more on finding the silver lining in the little rainstorms.
3 Ways to Get Silver Linings for the Mint
Wouldn’t it be great if we could just use some silver polish and then effortlessly carry that silver lining to the mint? Sometimes, some silver polish is all you need. Other times, you need to use some elbow grease. Here are 3 polishing methods that might help you get silver linings to the mint:
- Be grateful for the good times.
Gratitude is a scientifically-proven way to boost happiness and it is an excellent way to find a silver lining. Sometimes when my day is going all wrong, I make a point to be grateful for the days that go right. Even though we’re programmed to remember bad/uncomfortable things more vividly, those bad/uncomfortable things tend to happen, on average, less often than good things. So, even though it might feel like my world is slowly crumbling around me, I try to remember that I usually have more good days than bad days.
- Be grateful for the basics.
When that cloud is raining on you and it’s hard to find the silver lining for that particular situation, be grateful for the basics. For example, be grateful that you have a car at all when you hit every red light or get stuck behind a slow driver. Or be grateful that you have enough food in the house that you can make a backup meal in case you mess up dinner (or can order takeout/delivery). Or, be grateful for your overall health when you get a cold. Finding something basic to be grateful for can help put the overall rainstorm into perspective.
- If you (or someone else) drop the ball, use it as a learning experience.
Say, for example, that you don’t get a report out on time to a client. Instead of getting mad at yourself and the situation, use it as a learning experience. Don’t dwell on the fact that, yes, you messed up. Look back at the situation and try to find something positive to learn from it, such as you got too overwhelmed with other things and now is a good chance to improve your organizational skills or learn how to say no to other things. Or, you can use it to improve communication with your client by being upfront that you screwed up on the report and you are committed to over communication next time. Chances are, the client will appreciate your honesty and commitment to being better (as long as you follow through).
None of the lists above are comprehensive. There are many more things that can go wrong and I didn’t even touch on the big stuff. However, if you practice finding the silver lining to little things, it’s easier to find the silver lining to big things and get them to the mint.
Do any of you use one of the methods above? Do you have other methods that you use? What silver linings have you had that are difficult to mint? Please comment below or send me an email. I love to hear about how other people find happiness in your day to day lives and would love to hear about you.