I’m happy to introduce a new weekly blog series:
Positive Thinking Mondays
I’ll be discussing ways to make little positive changes in order to live a more well-rounded and happy life. I’m no expert in psychology but I’ll be sharing tips that personally work for me. I hope this will be a way to keep me “in check” and remind me to practice these changes and methods.
I think we can all use some extra positivity in our lives and I hope you’ll be joining me on this venture!
I truly believe that a positive perspective has the ability to change your life.
I didn’t always think that way, there were times in my life where I felt very low and would rather make excuses and find all the negatives than try to be happy. It was easy to complain about all the ways my life sucked and how the world ruined my chances and punished me. I would attempt to say quasi positive statements like, “Well at least I have a job” when I was struggling with a less than kind boss or “At least I can pay the rent” when I was upset with my low salary that left nothing over after living expenses. But the fact was, I was still feeling defeated by the world.
But if you want things to change, you must change the way you look at things.
It took me a little while to realize that the world didn’t owe me anything. I in fact I owed the world something. I owed the world gratitude for all that she has given me. I owed the world my best self, no matter the external factors. With just that one simple switch I began to see all the potential happiness I was missing out on.
Perspective is everything.
“Problems cannot be solved with the same thinking that created them.” Albert Einstein
In the past year I’ve made some big changes in my perspective, tackling negative thoughts, and finding new ways to be grateful. At first it took me to get used to these practices, because if I’m honest, at first it all sounded like BS.
Yet, I kept at it. Pretty soon it felt good. I was starting to have happier days. I felt taller and like I was growing into someone I could be proud of. Of course some days I’d fall off the wagon and find myself sitting on the couch crying into a plate of nachos while watching bad TV.
It takes 49 days to change a habit. After a bad day (or week) I’d throw on a smile and try again.
Only we are in control of our own perspective and in turn our world. No one else but you has the ability to decide how your life should be lived. Start with the day by day. Find little ways to switch your perspective. When something happens outside of your expectations or when something bad surprises you, try to change the way you normally would look at it.
Simple ways to change your perspective:
- Pretend to take on another person’s perspective and examine different angles. How would your boss tackle your stressful work project? How would your mom handle your same troubling situation? How would someone who has had a completely different background than you look at your life and your worries?
- Look at the problem from a different angle. Step away from the issue, take a little vacation from your thoughts, and come back look at them a few hours or days later. Have things changed? Things aren’t always nearly as bad as we initially think.
- Change the timeframe. Think of how you will look back on this problem in 2 months and then 2 years. Will it still be as serious?
- Close your eyes and take a big breath. Is this problem or scenario something that will be important to you while you are on your deathbed? If you only had one year left in your life, would this problem seem so big?
Those may sound like an obvious practices, but I can’t think of how many times I’ve let a little problem or mistake snowball into something far greater than it is. It has been easier to focus on the negative then remember to take a step back and change your perspective.
I hope you’ll join me each Monday and take on new habits to live a more consistently positive and happy life.
When has a new perspective helped you?