Have you ever taken a good look at how others see you? Do they see a person in constant chaos or one that moves through chaos and continues on their journey. The choice to live a positive life doesn’t mean you won’t have conflict or stumbling blocks in your life. How you handle each of these situations is what’s important.
I’m sure you know someone who takes half the day to get started while some are ready to greet the day when they wake up. What a difference it makes in my day if I start out with a positive attitude and a smile. I was one of those people who needed my cup (or two) of coffee before I was able to carry on a conversation with actual words. Then I married a man who is cheery and ready to start his day with a great attitude that just seems to rub off on everyone he’s around. It didn’t take long for me to realize I wanted his morning attitude to be mine.
Now it’s twenty plus years later and I get after my grand kids if they come to the breakfast table without a smile and a “good morning Grandma”. It’s not hard – it’s a choice in the beginning that turns into a routine that can last a lifetime.
Don’t Just Hear – Listen
I am so thankful when someone takes the time to listen when I need to share. Taking time out of their busy day to sit down and listen, even if it’s not anything life altering, is a gift.
I come from a family of talkers so that’s really easy for me. Listening, however, can be tough. In my profession, confidentiality is a priority not a choice. Over the years I have worked hard to actually listen when clients speak and usually hear more than the words say even though I sometimes have to “sit on my hands” to continue listening instead of talking. Yes, I talk with my hands too.
For me, a phone call or a face to face chat with one of my close friends will clear my mind and allow me to move past or deal with the actual problem. Remember how that feels and it will be easy to return the “listening” favor when your friend needs it. Positive feedback is a great way to improve your outlook – whether you are giving it or receiving it.
Endorphins – We all Need Them
Here’s a word that can be used in various ways. We all know that endorphins have to do with hormones and that can be a complicated subject. A burst of endorphins can be a way to recharge and refresh your attitude and what a difference that can make in your day. So how do I get this burst? In so many ways – all of them positive.
Especially during tax season I get overwhelmed with long hours and full days of appointments with clients. So it’s no surprise when halfway through the day my attitude towards the next person through my door isn’t bright and cheery as it should be. That’s not okay with me so realizing when I need a bump in my endorphin levels is important.
Small things make a huge difference in my attitude. Sometimes taking five minutes to sit quietly and listen to a meditation podcast is enough. Other times a break to read one chapter in a good book or reading a quote from an expert on positive thinking does the trick.
Personal interaction is for me by far the best way to get a burst of endorphins and reset my attitude. I have wonderful clients – for the most part – ha! It always amazes me when one seems to walk through my door at just the right time with a smile and perhaps a cup of coffee to boost my day. Those acts of kindness certainly make my day easier and hopefully gives them the same boost.
People in Your Life Space
Who do you allow into your life space? We don’t always have a choice in who walks in and out of or daily life but we do have a choice in how we allow them to affect our life. My kids will tell you my favorite bit of wisdom I continually share with them is to pick their friends carefully – because they are stuck with their family. You may not agree with that but in this world of “I need total control” attitudes I feel it’s important to be picky.
I enjoy time with my family. Not every time we gather together is for a happy event, that’s just life, but I feel every time has a positive effect on me. Even a sad time can be a celebration of our past and a positive look to our future.
Life long friends are irreplaceable and in short supply these days. I have only a couple of close friends and they are my life lines when I need advice, need to share a joy or sadness or need a burst of endorphins to get through the day. These are people I choose to keep close to and they choose to keep close to me – it’s important to choose carefully.
Positive friendships take effort from both people. Effort and time spent with these friends should be fun and enjoyable – not work. Step outside your comfort zone and take a look at who your life lines are. Is their relationship with you positive and fulfilling? It should be – mine are.
Everyone has their own way of giving back. It could be a monetary donation to one or more of your favorite charities allowing them to put the funds to work for you where needed. Sign up as a big brother, big sister or elder caregiver. Work at a food bank, soup kitchen or thrift shop if you can give back with your time. All these programs need volunteers and appreciate any help freely given.
However you choose to give back it will be a positive choice.
A healthy lifestyle requires us to put our physical and mental health as a priority in everything we do. If you have found interesting ways to live a positive life, share them with me.