We live in times where we constantly endure negatives. There are tornadoes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters. There are hardships, break ups, depression; need I name more? At times it is so easy to slip into the negative realm of life rather than gravitating towards the positive plains. As with most things in life, being positive more than being negative is a learned and trained behavior. Ask yourself how often you have run into someone and said, “Hi, how are you?” They respond with a list of why and how they feel miserable! How many times have you heard someone say, “I’m great!”? I can recall a few times where someone responded to me like that and my response was, “Wow, I’m so happy to hear that. Usually, people say the opposite. Good for you!” Like I said, being positive is a “learned” behavior.
You might wonder how to train yourself to embrace and keep a positive attitude. Well, we must be realistic and know that not every day is going to be filled with sunshine and roses. We all have bad days. That’s o.k. It’s also o.k. to feel bad for a day, pamper yourself, have a good cry or just curl up on the couch and watch mindless t.v. all day. The key here is as I said, “for a day”. After you are done wallowing in self-pity, pick yourself up and start making a plan. Write down your goals, then figure out small steps on how to obtain those goals. Every morning when you rise find at least one thing to be thankful for. Then repeat it three times. Better yet, find three things you are thankful for. Even if you are just thankful to wake up, that’s a start. Practice this same ritual before bed every night. See if you start and end your day in a much better frame of mind.
People go through many hard lessons in life. We go through trust issues, disloyalty, anger and breakups. We go through fires, hurricanes, job loss and death of loved ones. If every time a disaster in our life strikes, we curl up in a ball and refuse to participate positively in society, then, of course, you will end up with a negative, defeatist attitude. We can not go through life worrying about what “might” happen next. Will there be another tornado? Will she/he cheat on me again? Will I have enough money to pay my bills? What good does it do to worry? Absolutely none! It’s actually counter-productive. If you live through a natural disaster then guess what? You “lived”. If you don’t have enough money to pay all your bills, try to find a way to legitimately make extra money. If your significant other cheats on you, ask yourself if you really love them and want to salvage the relationship. If so, then make a plan and take one day at a time.
Taking one day at a time doesn’t mean you have no long term goals. It just means that every day we wake up is one more day we are blessed with life and opportunity. One more chance to live right, make a change, be a positive influence and aim towards our goals. Now don’t get me wrong. Trust me, I have made my share of mistakes. I’ve had my depression days and poor me days and I’ve broken some of life’s rules. I’ve had my heart broken, broken other people’s hearts, been through my own disasters. However, I consciously practice what I preach. Each morning when I get up I say thank you to the universe for the fact I’m alive. Then I give thanks for those three things or people in my life that make a difference in my life. Every night after I close my eyes and before I drift off to sleep, I silently reflect on the day and remember a few of the positive things that happened that day. Even though I may have a disagreement with someone, I may be disappointed over something, or I just ran out of gas…I still remind myself of something that made me feel good. It doesn’t have to be something big; it can be as simple as someone calling you. Each of us is different and have different things that drive us and make us happy. We just have to find what those are and remember them daily.
If you continue through life focusing on all the negatives influencing your life, then you will most definitely fall victim to depression or some other form of negative behavior that will only hurt you in the long run. Start today training yourself to live a happy, positive life. Remember, not only is happiness a learned behavior..happiness is a state of mind.