Stay positive?!?! For me that is easier said then done, but I really need to do this. When I do stay positive everything flows better, I’m happier and those around me are, too. I don’t necessarily feel like it comes easily to me, however, lately I think I’ve figured some things out. The good news is I figured this out in the midst of the mess so it’s not like life has to be going perfectly to do it, and I’m here to be your example of that. You are so welcome ;). I am also aware that overall I have so very much to be grateful for and from the outside it appears I have very little to complain about, but if you know me you know that doesn’t stop me.
The last few months have been a little tough for me. My focus has been negative, my stress has been high, and my patience low. I know what a treat I am when this is true and I had an experience a couple of weeks ago, 9 days to be exact, so actually just a little over a week that helped me to shift my whole focus and WHAT A DIFFERENCE. I mean really. I feel like a completely different person.
I won’t keep you waiting any longer. The three things that I’ve been incorporating into my life are: prayer, exercise, and directing my focus. Let me explain.
Stay Positive: My three tips.
I am super embarrassed to admit what I’m about to write here but I’ve got to say it because authenticity is kind of a big part of the whole point of all of this for me. Prayer has been pretty absent in my daily life lately. I hate that this is a reality. I hate this fact but ignoring it wasn’t making it go away. I have a hundred excuses, one of my favorites and perhaps the worst is this is what I do for work right, I bring others to the space to pray, I help provide this and then I pretend that’s enough. Heck no. It’s not. I’ve been making time in my EVERY DAY. Putting it on my date book, setting my alarm early, having my tea ready in my swell water bottle totally helps! This time has become such a gift in my days, it’s left me feeling ready and cared for. I’m going to write more on this and my favorite ways to pray in a series coming up on the blog but for now I say schedule it and do what comes naturally. Feel free to email me any questions!
The thing with these first 2 things on my list are that they’re things that in the back of my head I know I need to do and when I do them I feel SO MUCH better and happier but for some bizarro reason don’t (that may or may not be important, I’ll think about that more and get back to you.) When I exercise it’s all better. I think this is in part because exercise is just that important but also because I’ve suffered from anxiety for my entire life and there have been studies, like this one at Harvard, that show that perhaps exercise can reduce anxiety and depression perhaps as effectively as SSRI medications. (This is not a medical opinion and please don’t make any choices without consulting a medical professional.) Personally I find that using both is perfect for me! I also found this great article about the benefits of exercise for those with anxiety. Obviously whether you suffer from anxiety or depression or not a regular exercise program can benefit you! And it doesn’t need to be a chore. There are plenty of fun ways to get your body moving. My personal favorite is running but that doesn’t need to be yours!
If you’ve never had a chance to read any positive psychology definitely check it out. Positive psychology is essentially the scientific study of happiness. If you are looking for more than my oversimplified definition this article explains it pretty well and this site for the Positive Psychology Center at UPENN is a great intro. Another favorite resource is Dr. Robert Emmons’, a leading scientific expert on gratitude, website. Okay, so what does this all mean?!?! You don’t need to go read all of these right now but if you can bookmark them, I think you’ll like them.
Basically I’m finding that if I focus on shit. All I see is shit. I know it’s bad to say that but it’s the freaking truth. We all know that our lives are messy they are full of lots of things, good, bad, and indifferent. In the best situations we can always find something that could have been better. In the worst situations we can find something that could be worse. It’s just the way it is.
So I’m employing some of what I know about positive psychology research and I’m CHOOSING my focus. In addition to being able to see so much positive in my life that I wasn’t even aware of I’m realizing that I have choices, far more than I feel I have when I’m only seeing the negative.This one may be the hardest of the three in some ways and the easiest in other ways.
You’ve got this though, I promise if I can do it ANYONE can.
Which of these three do you think you need most in your life today and how will you incorporate it, leave a comment and let me know!