Staying Positive When Life Hands You Lemons
Friday, August 14, 2015
These are challenging times for Canadians. It seems that we are bombarded with stories of doom and gloom at every turn. The price of oil. The Canadian dollar. The real estate bubble. You may be wondering if things will ever get better.
It’s hard to predict what the future holds, but history has shown that we can rise above hardship. All it takes is a little patience and positive thinking.
Here are some ways you can turn life’s lemons into metaphorical lemonade:
Accept that things are not great, and move on. Acknowledge that this moment in time is not as good as you would like it to be, and then decide that you will not be victimized by it. Pledge to yourself to make each day full and rewarding.
Embrace and appreciate your relationships. The ones you care about are your most valuable possessions. Reach out to old friends. Make a special effort to acknowledge birthdays and anniversaries. Send hand-written thank you cards. Meet the neighbours you only wave at from your front window. Your efforts to connect with others are guaranteed to send positive vibes your way.
Chase stress away with exercise. Oh, the dreaded “e” word. Commit to a half hour of exercise three times a week or more and you will be amazed at how good you feel! Among its many benefits, exercise increases blood flow, which helps reduce blood pressure, heart rate and cortisol, which is a stress hormone.
Disconnect from the electronic world. Whether you realize it or not, the constant stream of content from the Internet, social media, television and radio is feeding the dark cloud that is following you around. Unplug and get outside, away from it all. Give yourself some space to smell the fresh air, and see the beauty of the world as you move through it without distractions.
Watch Your Language
Kick negative words out of your vocabulary. Words such as Don’t, Not, No and Can’t only focus you on negative things. Language can seep into your subconscious mind, and ultimately your feelings. When you catch yourself in a negative statement, stop and restructure it in a positive way. For example, “I can’t do that.” “I will try to do that.”
Turn up the music. No matter what your taste in music is, if you enjoy it, your music will sooth and calm your nerves. Turn it up and dance!
Get Your Beauty Sleep
Sleep deep. If you’re functioning on an insufficient night’s sleep, you will find annoyances in everything, and react in negative ways. Make every night a deep sleep night. Allow yourself enough time to unwind before bed. Crack your window open to let the fresh air flow through. Wear earplugs and an eye mask to keep it quiet and dark. Invest in a really good pillow.
Be Kind to Your Stomach
Choose calorie-free treats. Avoid cortisol and blood sugar-enhancing refined carbohydrates such as doughnuts, muffins, white bread, and junk food such as candy bars and sodas. Instead, go for blueberries, green tea, soy products, milk and whole grain breads. Limit coffee to two cups per day. Even better, drink decaf instead.
Learn to meditate. Meditation trains your mind to calm the noise in your mental space. You would be amazed how much ten minutes of silence can do to calm a scattered mind, and rebalance you for the rest of the day.
Make it a Laughing Matter
Laugh – or just giggle. There may be many days when you just don’t feel like laughing, but the physical movement required to laugh will instantly make you feel joyful. And once you start, there is just no stopping!
Get creative. Even if you don’t think you’re creative, give yourself an opportunity for some type of creative release. Start writing in a journal. Join a knitting or quitting club. Take painting or drawing lessons.
Keep in mind that regardless of what is happening in our world, you can always choose how you react to it. Keep looking up, and pretty soon, everything else will too!
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