Ever wonder how ‘they’ do it? You know the ones, they are positive, always see the glass as half full, and no matter what the situation, they can always find a positive thing to pull from it. How do they do it? What is different in their day to day thinking that allows them to see the good in all? Well, for quite some days I’ve been trying to stay positive especially when it comes to what is going on around the world. One of the most giving things we can do for ourselves is to discover different ways to stay positive throughout the year. I know there are times when I just feel the weight of the world on my shoulders and, I’ll be honest with you, this year is probably one of the most challenging years I’ve ever experienced. But having these outlets really serves to remind me that, in the long run, things are ok.
Now most of you may very well have done a quick once over of your day in those past few moments as you read those examples, looking to see where the weak spots are. Here are the big ones and some of the hardest ones to let go.
1. Stop watching the news. I’m not saying never ever watch the news anymore, but really, in the morning, and evening, every day is really unnecessary, as well as reading the paper, and check on the internet, and so on. Once a week or so is probably more than enough. It’s been a proven fact that bad news sells, so it’s what is focused on. Almost every expert I have come across who is involved in attitude adjustment, time management, and so on have made this the number one change to make, and to make it immediately. Stop watching.
2. Get rid of cable. Better yet, get rid of your television altogether. Now for those who just shut down at that thought, take a deep breath and stay with me here. Trust me, I understand the want for the entertainment. I really do. But for the most part, the programming is unnecessary and a waste of time if it dominates your entire evening. Get rid of it. Think of the money you’ll save.
If you can’t handle totally getting rid of the television, then just get rid of the cable. At least drop down to basic cable, and I mean basic cable, not the option of 75 channels or more. I know, it will be rough at first, you will more than likely go through withdrawals, I know I did when I couldn’t watch some of the programs I had adjusted to watching on a regular basis, but you really will feel the cobwebs clear out of your head after a while. If nothing else, you can sign up for something like Netflix or Blockbuster and get movies in the mail and online.
3. Steer clear of negative conversations, including the ones you have with yourself. If you find the conversation drifting towards being catty, or constant complaining, and we’ve all done it, stop yourself. These are habits that need to be broken, and a great way to help stop the habit is to wear a rubber band around your wrist. Whenever, you feel the conversation heading in that direction, or you are hard on yourself, snap that band. It will remind you that you are someone who wants to grow in a positive manner and those conversations that tear down someone else or yourself are not allowed anymore.
I’ve discovered these days that if I do start becoming involved in a negative conversation, I can actually feel a sense of poisoning and discomfort in myself during the conversation. I know then that it’s time to check the conversation and adjust accordingly.
4. Keep your distance from dreamstealers, and crazymakers. We all know who they are in our live. They are the ones who say, ‘that sounds too hard to do.’ Or, ‘Why would you want to do that??’ Now, you don’t have to disown them, just distance yourself a little. Your dreams, goals, and ambitions are important to you and to others in this world. You absolutely do not need someone who is threatened by your ambition to be constantly attempting to quietly sabotage your efforts, whether their intentions are well meaning or not. They are, hands down, the quickest reason we give up our dreams and goals. Tell your dreams and goals to people who will support them, not tear them down.
After the cleansing, the out with the bad, we want to fill the space with good things. Things that will lift us up, and take us higher. This brings us to the final part…turning on. This is my favorite part, because replacing all the icky stuff in your head and heart with the good stuff just feels so nice.
1. Be grateful. Not just at dinner during grace, not just at bedtime during prayer, but all day. Allow thanskgiving to be more than just one day out of the year in your life. A great exercise I do, which is from the book Ask & It is Given by Esther & Jerry Hicks, is called the “Rampage of Gratitude”, and here is how it works:
At any point, but especially during an upset moment, take a quick look around where you immediately are, and find something you are thankful for at that moment. It can be the wedding band on your finger, it can be the shoes on your feet, the car you are driving, the baby you’re holding, etc. Recognize why you appreciate it and give thanks. Here’s an example:
The other night I was sitting in bed and having an especially rough night. I won’t go into details, but let’s just say it was one of those nights where you just want to hide. As I sat in bed I remembered the exercise. I looked around the room, and then I thought, ‘I love my bed. It’s big, it’s soft and warm, and is such a heavenly retreat. I am so grateful to have this bed.’
It’s as simple as that. Soon, you’ll find yourself noticing all sorts of little things to be grateful for, without even thinking about it.
2. Listen to music. It is scientifically proven that music has an effect on your mood. There is a great book called, ‘This is Your Brain On Music’ that writes about the physical reaction our body has when it comes to music. Music can enhance your mood. Get yourself an I-pod, an mp3, a cd player, whatever, and burn some of your absolutely favorite uplifting songs that you have and listen to it. Regularly.
Now with this, you need to remember the ‘tuning in’ rule of be mindful of what you are listening to. If the lyrical content is that of a negative origin, it kind of defeats the purpose. Remember, you want to lift yourself up, not bring yourself down.
Find what fills your heart and soul, musically, and listen to it on a regular basis. Play it loudly and dance. Belt that song out! Let those endorphins rush around!
3. Subscribe to positive daily messages. Let the first things you see when you log into your email is an uplifting message, or thought provoking message that puts you on the right track for the day. It’s so nice to be able to go to my email in the morning and the first emails I see are those that remind me how great things are.
4. Associate with people who are where you want to be. You Want to be a high up in your networking company? Find your highest upline and get to know them. You’ll discover these people these people are always willing to help. Associating with people who are where you want to be helps you expand your mind and grow. You are able to see a different perspective from people who have done what you want to do. Again, this doesn’t mean you have to get rid of all your current friends, family, etc. You never know when you might find your mentor among those new friends.
5. Go to what fills you, spiritually. For some that can be church, for others meditation, it’s your life, only you can make that connection. And here’s what I mean by that. I’m a trail runner, and years ago I used to live by a trail that I would run on regularly that would take me right by a church. I remember running by the church on Sunday, seeing all the parishioners filing into the church, and thinking, ‘that’s their church, this is mine.