Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Optimism Maintenance

Negativity is a cancer - crowding out all the good in life. It is leprosy. It will eat you up until there is nothing left. It can turn the bright sun into the dullest overcast cloud cover.

I know. It does that to me. It took me a while to figure out how to manage the negative tendencies in my environment, but I did it and you can too.

So what can we do to bring back the sun? What can we do to keep the good things in life?

There are a few things.

First, there is thankfulness. For anything and everything. This makes you feel positively about everything in your life.

Second is your words. Complaining makes you stupider (really) and focuses on the bad things in life. Instead, talk about the things that are good or talk about ways to improve situations you don't like.

Third is your activity. When you sit in front of a screen all day filled with violent or negative images, it affects your thinking. Exercise and movement release endorphins. Dance releases serotonin. Moving around should be a part of the majority of your day. Think: take the stairs.

Fourth, eat good food. It sounds strange that such a thing would impact your mood, but it does. Bad food makes you feel bad. Sometimes it makes you physically sick. Being hungry makes you angry or lethargic. Good food really makes a difference in your optimism.

Fifth, good sleep cannot be underestimated. When you wake up refreshed, you are better able to tackle whatever comes your way with an optimistic attitude.

Sixth, laugh. It really is the best medicine. People have laughed themselves well. Certainly this can keep the dementors away.

These are so simple and yet for many people, they are next to impossible. However, when you start to do one, it is much easier to do more. Like negativity, positivity can take on a life of its own.

Yes, sometimes a negative thought may intrude. Sometimes bad things will happen. But you can always return to the comfort of your positive habits. You can always find something to be grateful for. There is always something to laugh about. Tomorrow is always another day. How great is that? We always get another chance. I'm definitely grateful for that.

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