Image by Kowit Phothisan

Ways to Stay Positive

    Fake it till you make it- If you feel unmotivated or unhappy pretend that you are, and you may be surprised at how quickly you trick yourself into believing it. The more you do it the more real it becomes, and the more you practice it the easier it gets. When people ask you how you are and you’re always saying “I’m fine,” or “I’m doing great, thanks!” don’t you smile? Say No- When something is too difficult, too tiring or too anything, just say no. Others are not always aware of your limitations and you need to be! There’s nothing wrong with knowing when something is too much for you. It’s hard to speak up for yourself sometimes, I know. It can be embarrassing to admit that you’re not up to whatever it is. You feel weak and sometimes humiliated. But it’s exhilarating and freeing to admit to yourself that you have a limit. You can give yourself permission to say no to things and not feel lazy. I give you permission. It’s ok. Don’t you feel better? Be Grateful- Learn how to notice the small things around you that you enjoy. You can write them down in a journal or just make a concerted effort to notice a few things every day. We have a habit of looking over what can seem everyday and ordinary, but if we take the time to really notice how lucky we are we can see that our lives are extraordinary. For example: I like my simple ritual of having a cup of herbal tea. It takes a few minutes, but while I have to wait for the water to boil, I choose one of my favorite cups. They all have a memory attached to them, since I’ve collected them in different places, and I get to be grateful for the adventures I’ve had. I set the tea to steep and I read whatever book I’m enjoying at the moment. When it’s ready I stir in some honey and a bit of cream and then comes my favorite part. I let the warmth of the cup seep into my sore hands. I just love that feeling, and I’m always waiting for it. I take a deep breath, close my eyes and my shoulders relax. I spend a few moments just being grateful that I’m alive. What do you do that makes you feel grateful? Be Kind- Make yourself happy by adding happiness to the lives around you. Just listen; sometimes you don’t have to do anything at all and just be there for someone isn’t it nice to have a sympathetic ear? Smile. Give out hugs when you can. Encourage the people around you, especially your spouses or close family members who are there for you and helping you every day. Play with children- they’re the most purified form of happy and kind out there. Don’t be self critical - Only compare yourself to yourself, not to the people around you. Everyone is at a different stage. Some are ahead of you and some are behind- it shouldn’t matter. You may even have a better day one day than you will a few days later. Focus on the things that you CAN do by celebrating the small milestones with yourself. I sometimes will give myself a small reward after I manage to take a shower! Be brave. Make a list of goals for yourself. It doesn’t matter if they’re small ones or big ones. Get some ideas, do some research and find something exciting that you want to do. Or do something every day that is a little bit hard. My list will one day include “Go to the library by myself,” and I’ll be awfully proud if I manage to do it. Carrying all of those books can be hard. Don’t limit yourself to other people’s goals, do the things that you can be proud of just for you. Be Balanced- My doctor compares the balance of sleep, exercise, medicine and diet to table legs. If the legs become unbalanced my health would wobble and fall. The exercise can be as gentle or slow as necessary, but it certainly makes an enormous difference in insomnia and rest. Sleeping well is hard with chronic pain but if you’re balancing the other three it will help a great deal. Your doctor should be able to help you balance your medication- that can be a hard one, but stick with it, you’ll get there. As for diet; “eating clean,” or less processed foods, is the best thing you can do for inflammation and pain! Feeling healthy and rested will smooth the way for your days and nights to be more peaceful and happy. “Everybody in the world is seeking happiness — and there is one sure way to find it. That is by controlling your thoughts. Happiness doesn’t depend on outward conditions. It depends on inner conditions.” ― Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People
Ways to Stay Positive

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