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"Choosing to be positive and having a grateful attitude is going to determine how you’re going to live your life.”
– Joel Osteen
I think it is easy to get caught in the cycle of feeling bad for ourselves. We start to go down the path of pessimism and wonder why 'things' keep happening TO us. We feel deflated and helpless, think 'why me' and even throw ourselves pity parties. We start to give negative or neutral/ negative responses like "It's going" or "It's ok." We see ourselves as a victim. Negative self talk is easy, comparison is easy and being unforgiving is easy. I'm going to encourage you to STOP.
There is ALWAYS someone that has it harder than you and is going through more than you are going through. I do feel it is important to be empathetic and I am not downplaying what people are going through/dealing with, but I do believe that people have the tendency to feel sorry for themselves. I believe it all comes down to perspective, and often we need to shift our perspective.
What is perspective? Perspective is the way that one looks at a situation, circumstance and/or an occurrence. I want to discuss how to maintain a healthy perspective, the importance of gratitude, and some tips to support a positive perspective.
A Healthy Perspective
A healthy perspective, I believe, begins and ends with faith. This is not necessarily suggesting faith in a spiritual context, but instead having a moral and ethical foundation and compass. For us, it has been through the development of a strong spiritual foundation, however, that has enabled us to grow in other areas of our lives as well. A healthy perspective allows us to have inner peace. It has also been a good interpersonal network that has provided the proper environment to have a growth mindset despite circumstances. Having self-compassion, proper expectation and practicing gratitude on a daily basis are keys to maintaining a healthy perspective. When we have a healthy perspective, we can assess situations more accurately and make decisions quicker. This helps to see what is happening in context. Developing a clear vision and a good planning process enables us to make better decisions and adjust when things go awry. A couple of things that have helped me along the way is having a clear vision statement and long term goals to maintain the proper outlook.
One of the most helpful practices that has assisted me in maintaining a proper, healthy perspective is gratitude. Implementing a daily gratitude practice helps to maintain positivity and purpose. Robert Emmons, Psychology Professor and Gratitude Researcher at the University of California-Davis, explains that there are two key components of practicing gratitude:
Here are some practices that can help you maintain a positive perspective in your life:
- Have a daily gratitude practice
- Start a mindful minute
- Record positive self-affirmations
- Have a regular physical activity regimen
- Keep a journal
- Take time for reflection
- Write about thoughts, feelings & emotions
- Read daily, especially literature that focuses on intentional areas of growth
- Listen to positive audios/podcasts
- Find music that is positive & uplifting
- Focus on self care
- Invest in counseling
- Find a mentor/guide that you can mastermind with
"Gratitude is one of the most powerful human emotions. Once expressed, it changes attitude, brightens outlook, and broadens our perspective." -Germany Kent
Greatness is a choice so is perspective.
Amanda & Brandon