September 17, 2018
STAYING POSITIVE does not mean that things will turn out okay. Rather it is knowing that YOU will be okay no matter how things turn out.
It has been a difficult few days for us. We have moved to our new apartment at the Forum in Indianapolis, a senior living facility. My wife had some health problems and I ended up having a minor automobile accident. My eyesight is slowly fading so we decided I would no longer drive so we no longer will have our own transport.
We are beginning a new life and we are not letting recent events take us down. What I have been telling everyone is that the good thing is that this week will be much better. And since we did not have a garage at our new place, now I won’t have to worry about snow removal when winter comes. We always try to stay positive but sometimes it is not that easy. Here are some thoughts on how we can do it.
Here are three things that I’ll be doing this year to stay positive.
- Separate Fact from Fiction – The first step in learning to focus on the positive requires knowing how to stop negative self-talk in its tracks. The more you ruminate on negative thoughts, the more power you give them. Most of our negative thoughts are just that — thoughts, not facts.
When you find yourself believing the negative and pessimistic things your inner voice says, it’s time to stop and write them down. Literally stop what you’re doing and write down what you’re thinking. Once you’ve taken a moment to slow down the negative momentum of your thoughts, you will be more rational and clear-headed in evaluating their veracity. Evaluate these statements to see if they’re factual. You can bet the statements aren’t true any time you see words like never, always, worst, ever, etc.
When it feels like something always or never happens, this is just your brain’s natural threat tendency inflating the perceived frequency or severity of an event. Identifying and labeling your thoughts as thoughts by separating them from the facts will help you escape the cycle of negativity and move toward a positive new outlook.
- Identify a Positive – Once you snap yourself out of self-defeating, negative thoughts, it’s time to help your brain learn what you want it to focus on — the positive.
This will come naturally after some practice, but first you have to give your wandering brain a little help by consciously selecting something positive to think about. Any positive thought will do to refocus your brain’s attention. When things are going well, and your mood is good, this is relatively easy. When things are going poorly, and your mind is flooded with negative thoughts, this can be a challenge. In these moments, think about your day and identify one positive thing that happened, no matter how small. If you can’t think of something from the current day, reflect on the previous day or even the previous week. Or perhaps there is an exciting event you are looking forward to that you can focus your attention on.
The point here is you must have something positive that you’re ready to shift your attention to when your thoughts turn negative. Step one stripped the power from negative thoughts by separating fact from fiction. Step two is to replace the negative with a positive. Once you have identified a positive thought, draw your attention to that thought each time you find yourself dwelling on the negative. If that proves difficult, you can repeat the process of writing down the negative thoughts to discredit their validity, and then allow yourself to freely enjoy positive thoughts.
- Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude – Taking time to contemplate what you’re grateful for isn’t merely the “right” thing to do; it reduces the stress hormone cortisol by 23%. Research conducted at the University of California, Davis, found that people who worked daily to cultivate an attitude of gratitude experienced improved mood, energy and substantially less anxiety due to lower cortisol levels.
You cultivate an attitude of gratitude by taking time out every day to focus on the positive. Any time you experience negative or pessimistic thoughts, use this as a cue to shift gears and think about something positive. In time, a positive attitude will become a way of life.
Optimism is a happiness magnet. If you stay positive, good things and good people will be drawn to you.
Mary Lou Retton
“Sir, What is the secret of your success?” a reporter asked a bank president.
“And, Sir, what are they?”
“And how do you make right decisions?”
“And, What is that?”
“And how do you get Experience?”
“And, Sir, what are they?”
Doctors can be frustrating. You wait a month-and-a-half for an appointment, and he says, I wish you’d come to me sooner.
A customer called the airline’s reservation office to pay for his ticket with a credit card. The reservation specialist asked him,
“Would you please spell the name as it appears on the card, sir?”
The customer carefully replied, “V-I-S-A.”
She said: I’m so out of shape that whenever I go to the beach, all the men dress me with their eyes.
A young executive was working late, trying to impress his boss. As he was leaving the office, at 7p.m., he found the CEO standing in front of the document shredder with a piece of paper in his hand.
“Listen,” said the CEO, “this is a very sensitive and important document, and my secretary left hours ago. Can you make this thing work?”
“Certainly,” said the young executive. Excited with the opportunity to kiss up to the man, he turned the machine on, inserted the paper, and pressed the start button.
“Excellent, excellent!” said the CEO, “I don’t know what I would have done without you.”
As his paper disappeared inside the machine the relieved CEO says, “Now, I just need one copy.”
No matter what you’re going through, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and it may seem hard to get to it but you can do it and just keep working towards it and you’ll find the positive side of things.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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