How to Find the Silver Linings

Life has some pretty clever ways of knocking us down. It doesn’t take much to think of a time (or several) where it truly felt impossible to see any good coming out of it. But those are the times where we all need to push ourselves not to dwell in the negative, but rather find the silver lining.

What exactly is a ‘silver lining’ you ask? Silver linings are simply the good aspects of challenging or painful situations. The ability to perceive silver linings is an optimistic mindset that promotes emotional resilience and the ability to adapt to future challenges (Seery, 2011). Now the question is, how do we find them?

  1. Be optimistic – The moment you let pessimism get the best of you, you will find yourself spiraling in the negative emotions. Instead, use optimism to think about all the potential good that could come from a situation.
  2. Practice compassion – Understanding that other people experience hardships just as frequently as we do is important. Showing compassion to those around you may help you realize that what you’re going through could be worse.
  3. Recognize self-fulfilling prophecies – Be cautious of the story you tell yourself. Someone who tells themself that they will always be overweight likely will end up avoiding healthy habits or exercise. Have a positive mindset and don’t put yourself inside a box.
  4. Find good role models – You are who you surround yourself with. Find people who live the lifestyle you are working towards. You will find it much easier to stick to your goals when those around you want the same things.
  5. Remember: You have the power – In any situation, good or bad, you have the power to make the next move. Deciding that you no longer want to feel sad or angry is a power you hold all on your own – so use it!

While it is important to acknowledge your feelings and take the necessary steps to cope with sad life events, there comes a time where we need to move forward. One of these ideas might be the first step you take in accepting what has happened and finding your silver lining.