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Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Four Secrets Of Optimism

Not only is life hard, it can unexpectedly become harder. One day we might be comfortably cruising along, and then suddenly it seems like everything is going wrong: Your marriage is in a shambles, or you’ve just discovered that you’re not as financially stable as you thought, or you suddenly lose a lover, friend, or family member. The world has changed. Everything seems ominous and uncertain.
That’s when you can fall into the trap of pessimism and negativity. It may seem like the natural thing to do given what you’re going through. How can we work on building a healthy and optimistic way of living when we’re overcome with pain, anxiety, and fear? But no matter how hard things become, there are ways to approach your situation that can make it less burdensome.

Well, I can not speak for anyone, but myself, but the reason that I am passing on the article about "Optimism" is lately I have fighting what feels like the losing battle of staying out of the pit of despair or anger.

 Four ways to stay positive when life gets you down:
Express Gratitude.  Be mindful about what you do have, whether it’s a fantastic friend or a wonderful partner. Try making a list of things you’re grateful for every night for two weeks. It can be even more powerful to express gratitude to someone who you feel truly thankful for. Write them a letter telling them how they have helped you. Additionally, try to cultivate a sense of gratitude in everyday life for things both major and minor. Thank that stranger who goes a little out of his way to hold the door open for you. Appreciating the good in the world can change the way you look at life.

I wish, this is why it is hard for me to stay out of those 'pits'. I basically work in isolation, so it is rare  for me to talk to anyone about anything. In addition to that the few people that I have talked to complain that the majority of those who work/shop at Landerwood Plaza are 'a bunch of rich snobs' and considering the one time that my son talked me into shopping there--I remember there was a pair of capri (short pants) the cost $169.+change and even he could not believe the price tag.

Volunteer. Take your awareness outside of yourself and focus it on the well being of others. This may not be possible if you’re in crisis mode, but it can be very helpful if you’re increasingly preoccupied by your own negative thoughts. Many studies have shown that community service and philanthropy are more satisfying over the long term than focusing on your problems. Try volunteering at your local library, homeless shelter or hospital.  You can become less focused on the bad stuff you’ve been dealing with—and even form a connection with others in the process.

Oh, yes, I like this idea. I am joining more and more clubs in the attempt to get busier and busier with the hope that the less time that I have trying to plan out my schedual. The more time that I take in remembering that someone is counting on me, the less time I have to be in the 'pits'.

Notice the Good. It might seem nearly impossible to find the silver lining in a burdensome situation, but it can be helpful.  Maybe you’ve gone through some personal growth and change because of what’s happened, or you’ve become closer to someone.

Keep looking on the 'Bright Side'--I confess, sometimes this is easier said than done.

Change Negative Self-Talk. It’s way too easy to think the same negative thoughts over and over again. However, you can learn to change this by doing some cognitive-behavioral therapy on yourself. When you notice yourself having a negative thought about yourself, replace it with a positive one. If you find yourself  thinking “It’s all my fault” or “I’m not good enough,” stop and remind yourself of how well you’ve been coping and how others appreciate you.
The bottom line on becoming and remaining optimistic: We can’t change what happens to us or to loved ones, but we can change how we react to it. And though that process may take some time, it’s worth it because of the joy and peace of mind optimism can bring.

Again, I confess, this is easier said than done. After all, the temptation to be extra critial of myself has always been my biggest weakness and strength, when I do it constructively then I challenge myself to grow, but other times . . . Ugh! Grrrrrr!