Voices, Well-being

2016: The Worst Year Ever?

When I first heard several people refer to 2016 as the “worst year ever” I didn’t think much of it. However, as this year begins to wind down it seems that the idea of 2016 being the worst year ever has become a common theme among many. There’s been a lot of talk about just wanting this miserable year to be over because of how terrible it was.

Well, grab a drink and take a seat because I’ve got some news that needs to be heard.

A simple shift in the calendar from December 31st, 2016 to January 1st, 2017 isn’t going to solve anyone’s problems. Everything that seemed so awful in 2016 isn’t going to magically disappear. As nice as that would be, it just doesn’t happen. Why do you think so many people only stick to their New Years resolutions for a few months at most? It’s because people rely so heavily on this idea that a new year is going to effortlessly be a new beginning. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.

The truth is, we can have a new beginning any time we want, including this very moment. But, it’s up to us to either change the things we don’t like or learn to accept and work with them rather than continue trudging forward with our heads hung low as if we are victims of the world.

If our attitudes about 2016 are this dismal then are we really setting ourselves up for a better 2017? How can we expect the new year to be any different unless we dramatically change our outlook on life? It’s up to us to solve our problems, change our lifestyles, and make ourselves feel fulfilled. I’ll admit this past year has definitely been a turbulent one with unexpected highs and lows, but hey, that’s life. We have to roll with the punches no matter how pummeled we get and seek out the blessings and gratitude every single day. There’s just no other way to make it through this craziness we call life.

If you’ve survived this year with good health, a loving family, friends, a career, a home, food on the table etc. then you’re already way ahead of the game. If you’re reading this right now then you must have access to the Internet so hey, things could be a lot worse right? This isn’t to say this year hasn’t held its fair share of trials and tribulations for each of us. However, continuing on with a negative mind and hoping it will all just disappear in January and dubbing 2016 as the “worst year ever” isn’t going to improve anything.

Why wait for a new year to make a change? Believing that 2017 will automatically guarantee a fix to all our problems is only setting us up for failure and disappointment. Start now. Let’s change our attitudes and see what follows. Yes, maybe 2016 was challenging, but we’ve made it through and I’m sure there are a lot of important lessons that, if noticed, could teach us a thing or two.

By changing our outlook on life and the way stress and challenges are viewed, we allow ourselves to find the good in every situation. Stress doesn’t have to be bad. It just means we have to get creative in order to overcome. Think of it as a game. Why should we let life get the better of us? Why does it all have to be so gloomy and serious?

So why was 2016 the worst year ever? If we really stop and think about it, every year could seem like the worst year ever if we only focused on all the negative parts. It’s when we start focusing on all the great things 2016 has brought, even if disguised by pain, that make this year seem not so bad after all. In fact, we may even come to realize that this year was a crucial stepping-stone in helping us become even better, stronger versions of ourselves.

Let’s stop waiting for a change in the calendar to solve everything. Make changes now starting with our most powerful tool. Our minds. I think you’ll be amazed at how a year that seemed so horrible could quickly become a year of blessings and promise.

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"Being both soft and strong is a combination very few have mastered." ~Yasmin Mogahed