What we see depends mainly on what we look for. Unfortunately negativity has become so ingrained in our psychology today. We need only to turn on the TV or listen to the news to see and hear negative images. Fortunately we have the capability of rewiring our brains to find the good. We can get in the habit of seeing all the wonderful things that life has to offer. Each morning you can start your day by setting your intention to see the positive aspects of your life. Have a moment of gratitude. Start a gratitude journal and each day write down three things you are grateful for. They can be something small or large. Most people take many things for granted, such as having clean water, a car, food, a job, etc. Take a moment to reflect on each thing. What does each one mean to you? What can you do to continue having these good things in your life? How can you contribute towards society to continue the good? Think of three things you can do to make a positive impact on others; such as giving sincere praise, gestures of appreciation, and acts of courtesy. Some easy ideas include holding the door for someone, letting someone get ahead of you in line, praising your boss, letting someone have your seat. The more you give to others, the more happy and content you will be. Having an attitude of gratitude builds stronger bonds and makes you healthier.
Sometimes we are victim to tunnel vision. Similar to looking through an empty paper towel tube, we only see the negative and we miss out on all the positive things going on around us. We must learn to see the bigger picture and put things into perspective. Focus on the good instead of the bad. Life can be difficult, I am not disputing that. When you are facing a challenging situation, learn to seek the lesson to be had. Often times situations occur to teach us a lesson. We must learn from them. Problems often won't go away till we grow from them.
Having a positive mental attitude will help you be successful in life. It helps you build the resilience you need to carry though the tough times. It is not necessarily what happens to you that counts, but rather how you react to it. You are in control of your reactions, emotions and mindset.
I challenge you to practice this attitude of gratitude and focus on the good in your life in the upcoming year. Teach your children and loved ones to do the same. It's amazing the impact we can make on the world by being positive.
The holiday season does not always bring happiness and joy to everyone. Their are many lonely and sad people throughout the season. Those who have lost loved ones, are single, don't live by family, are sick, etc. The holidays bring high expectations of Pollyannaish feelings. We look forward to them all year long. The season is filled with baking cookies, setting up decorations, shopping for presents, visiting with loved ones, etc. Sometimes all this pressure leads us to being stressed, worn out and disappointed. Often when our holiday fantasy is confronted with reality, it fails to live up to our expectations. We get caught up in the traps of striving for perfection. Instead, happiness can be achieved when you focus on the small moments and things that truly matter to you. Remember the true meaning of the actual holiday and be sure to make that an intricate part of your celebration. Giving, donating and volunteering your time at this time of year can bring much cheer to those in need. Focus on all the good things in your life rather than your daily stresses. Dancing to holiday music can get you in the spirit of things. Light a holiday scented candle to set the mood. When you are feeling overwhelmed, ask for help from those around you. Make sure you maintain your exercise regimen and balance out all the sweets with healthy, nutrient dense foods. Wake up with gratitude each day. If certain family members drive you to insanity and back, limit your time and exposure to them. Set your own boundaries and remember to make time for self-care. Meditate and pray. This time of year should be about celebrating our Savior and treasuring loved ones. Be in the present moment and enjoy it. Lower your expectations so you can appreciate the holiday season properly. Do not compare yourself to others. Surround yourself with positive people who uplift you. Accept what you can not be changed. Life is not perfect. Once you have realistic expectations you can achieve happiness during the hectic holiday season.