We definitely cannot deny the fact that these are difficult times. Everyone is feeling the stress, in one way or another, of the struggling economy, the unrest overseas, and basic every day stress. Some deal with this stress better than others. I am writing this BLOG to hopefully help those having a tough time staying positive these days. A lot to these ideas I have learned the hard way and I sure wish I had applied them a lot sooner, sure could have saved me a lot of years of anguish. They help me to manage most of the time to keep a smile on my face and mostly be happy.
Stop letting negative people get close to you. It's true that misery loves company but so does happiness. It is impossible to avoid negative people completely but limit the time you spend with them. Attitudes are contagious and you can catch what they have. LOL Hang out with people with positive attitudes, they tend to be happy people too.
Live with the essence of a positive attitude every single day. Focus your mind to think about all the good things in your life rather that dwelling on the negative. If any thing negative tries to infiltrate your mind push it out of the way immediately, Overtime this can become normal practice and every day you can be filled with positive thoughts.
Put your thoughts on paper. I was going through a terrible time years ago, I took off a couple of days went to a cabin on a lake with my Grand Dog Spunky, no phone calls, no interruptions just me and the dog. I took a large sheet of paper, drew a line down the middle of it. On one side I listed all the bad things happening in my life and on the other side I wrote down all the good things going on in it. After a couple days of deep thought and contemplation the things on the good side far outnumbered the things on the bad side. Then I read a quote that said for every bad thing that happens to us on the average about 18 to 21 good things happen, and most of us, I for sure was one that would dwell on the one bad thing instead of the good things.
Find humor, let yourself laugh a lot, find humor in the simple things and have fun. Learn to laugh at yourself, people enjoy being around others who find humor in embarrassing moments. Laughter helps to elevate moods. If you find yourself having negative thoughts, read jokes, watch some thing funny or just be silly sometimes. I just read where a study was done and showed that people who laughed for 15 minutes a day for three weeks had an increase in optimism and positive emotions.
Counting your blessings is another positive thinking technique. Everyone has some thing to be thankful for. Ask your self what you have to be grateful for. In my case just a few things that are wonderful are a wonderful family, great friends, and two little guys, Carter and Griffin that think their Papa is a cool guy, a part time job that keeps me in contact with people all day long, as I am a people person, and a lot more things I could think of. Make a list of the things you are thankful for and write them down. Focus on what you have and not on what you don't have. Before you got to bed at night or when you are feeling down, take out your list and review your blessings. Another way to practice gratitude is to thank people who have helped you out in your life.
Avoid watching news just before you go to bed. We need to stay informed but the news is usually filled with awful stories, about the war, the economy, and other tragedies that have occurred during the day. Who wants to go to bed with all that on your mind. Instead think good thoughts, what you want to accomplish the next day and try to go to sleep relaxed and ready to wake up refreshed the next morning, not tired and stressed because of a bunch of depressing stories.
We can't control every thing that happens to us in our life but we can control how we react to it. We are all going to make a lot of mistakes as we travel the road of life, but always try not to make the same mistakes over and over. Reading the Serenity Prayer once in awhile helps also. It's easy to be positive when things are going good, not so easy when things are going bad, although it is hard to do, try to remember that tough times don't last forever.
Brilliant in its simplicity, The Serenity Prayer is one of the key spiritual tools used by virtually all 12-step recovery support group members.
God, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.