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I live my life in a way that people often ask me why I’m so positive, or they make comments recognizing my positive attitude. On the flip side I come across people who say that being positive and happy all of the time is unrealistic, or that my positive attitude somehow indicates that I think I am better than everyone, especially those who rarely see the glass as half full. In reality I take a lot of pride in being good towards myself, and everyone who I come in contact with, positive or not. I see it as living a life of gratitude.
My attitude of optimism was instilled into me at a young age. Growing up in a home where the walls were filled with negativity and abuse would leave me craving for the opposite, happiness and love. Who I am today and who I was as a child are two very different people. The depths of that comparison will be left for another day.
In a 2014 Newsweek article it was said that nearly 1 in 5 Americans suffer from mental illness each year. This includes diagnosis such as depression and anxiety, both which many people deal with or have dealt with on a daily basis. But why is the diagnosis of the before mentioned not a lifelong sentence for everyone? In my opinion, I don’t agree with the idea that if someone is said to have anxiety or depression that it needs to define them for the rest of their life. I whole heartedly believe that changing ones thoughts and ones perspective on a situation can help contribute to living a life with less, and even free of worry.
1. Our Morning Mood Determines Our Day
Instead of hitting the snooze button of the annoying sound coming from the alarm clock, turn off the alarm and sit for a few minutes thinking of anything positive, and repeating it to yourself. There is plenty of good in our lives; we just need to find and think about what that is for us. Why not wake up and smile just to be alive, breathing, healthy, and capable of making your day and your life as good as it should be for you.
2. Begin or Strengthen Your Daily Exercise Routine.
Increased blood flow throughout our bodies will help elevate our moods, and allow for us to handle those more difficult situations that try to bring us down throughout the day. A daily exercise routine will lead to better overall health. Exercising releases endorphins, which make us happier. The happier we are the easier it is to express gratitude.
A In 2014, researchers from Johns Hopkins found that 30 minutes of meditation a day can improve some symptoms of anxiety and depression. It also showed improvement in patients who suffer from pain, high blood pressure, and stress. Meditation has been around for centuries, but only recently has the research increased here in the United States. I have been meditating regularly since September 2016, and I feel calmer, more focused, and I’ve experienced an overall feeling of well-being. The more focused and calmer we are the more grateful we will become.
4. Smile and Say Thank You
Our lives are more and more busy everyday, and sometimes we get caught up in the chaos of everyday life, but we should try to remember that we are not the only ones playing the game. A simple smile at a passing stranger will make both you and that person feel better, especially if they smile back. Each time we smile our brain releases dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin which relaxes our body.
Smiling and saying thank you are usually synonymous. When we say thank you we are relaxing our body, and teaching our minds how to show gratitude. We can practice by saying thank you over and over to ourselves during our morning rituals, while eating dinner, or even while taking a shower. It doesn’t matter where we are or what we are doing, as long as we are being thankful for that moment.
5. Be Grateful For Your Life
If you still can’t find something to be grateful for, remind yourself that your death is inevitable. Our birth and death are our only guarantees in life. The time in between both is borrowed, and how we spend that time is entirely up to us. Everything begins and ends with our thoughts. The day we have depends on the thoughts that we are allowing into our minds.
We can go through our lives letting our circumstances define us, or we can wake up everyday and fill our minds with positive thoughts and gratitude. The more we practice anything the better and easier it becomes. Our minds are powerful. If you don’t believe me just look around at the things we’ve created. It all begins and ends with a simple thought.