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How do you stay positive?

Person24

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 9, 2008
Messages
209
Just looking for advice on staying positive in this crazy crazy world! THANKS! :D
 

zoebartlett

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2006
Messages
12,450
This might sound like a funny suggestion, but it works. When I need a pick me up, I sometimes go to our local animal rescue leage/animal shelter and play with the cats and dogs. I think they like the company and I like the furry cuteness. :)) I also spend a lot of time with our two cats at home.

I spend all day in a classroom and as draining as it can be, it's hard to feel negative when you're playing on the floor with little kids.

I don't go through tolls too often but when I do, I love to pay for the people behind me. It's such a small thing but it feels really good.

I reread notes, cards, e-mails, and letters from loved ones. Those always make me feel better if I'm feeling down.

I also love to buy flowers and display them prominently in the house. The bright colors always cheer me up.

Those are the things I could think of off the top of my head.
 

Tacori E-ring

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
Messages
20,039
I make a gratitude list. It is impossible to feel sad, angry, resentful, etc, while grateful. No matter what is going on in my life it is important to remember what is going right. Perspective is everything.
 

zoebartlett

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2006
Messages
12,450
I knew I was forgetting something. I try to put things in perspective, as Tacori mentioned. No matter how bad of a day I'm having, I haven't dealt with a lot of what others are going through.
 

Person24

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 9, 2008
Messages
209
Thanks guys! I don't know why but I am having a serious case of feeling sorry for myself (when nothing horrible/bad has even happened).
 

zoebartlett

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2006
Messages
12,450
I know what you mean. I've done the same thing plenty of times. Sometimes writing it out in a journal helps me feel better. Even if nothing bad has happened, it's helped me to write it all out. Often times as I'm writing, I'll find ways to get myself out of the bad mood. I can't say it's always 100% effective but it usually helps.
 

swimmer

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 9, 2007
Messages
2,516
Helping others whose problems include a lack of food, shelter, or other basic safety concerns generally puts things into perspective quickly. It is trite but true. Helping others (statistically) seems to make a person feel more powerful and less hopeless. Good luck.
 

Kaleigh

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 18, 2004
Messages
29,570
Zoe|1317775262|3033431 said:
This might sound like a funny suggestion, but it works. When I need a pick me up, I sometimes go to our local animal rescue leage/animal shelter and play with the cats and dogs. I think they like the company and I like the furry cuteness. :)) I also spend a lot of time with our two cats at home.

I spend all day in a classroom and as draining as it can be, it's hard to feel negative when you're playing on the floor with little kids.

I don't go through tolls too often but when I do, I love to pay for the people behind me. It's such a small thing but it feels really good.

I reread notes, cards, e-mails, and letters from loved ones. Those always make me feel better if I'm feeling down.

I also love to buy flowers and display them prominently in the house. The bright colors always cheer me up.

Those are the things I could think of off the top of my head.

Love this Zoe... You are such a dear one..

I don't pay tolls for people. but have been know to put money in parking meters so they wont get a ticket..

I also love flowers, I don't spend much on them but having them makes me happy...

My new puppy makes me happy. We put our dog down that was 17... It's really hard not to wake up without a smile...

I am sleep deprived. but it's all good.

HTH...
 

beesha77

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 16, 2010
Messages
249
I've been through a lot of stuff in my life, particularly in the last 2 years but I always manage to have a smile on my face. I just always tell myself that it can ALWAYS be worse. ALWAYS. That and when you look back on things that were tough...somehow you still manage to be ok. And when I just need a break, I go get coffee by myself or buy myself flowers. :)
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
28,946
I don't.
I don't think it is healthy to put such an unrealistic expectation on your existence 24 hours a day, no matter what.
That would be fake and exhausting to keep up.

I'm not talking about clinical depression; that's serious and should be treated.

Positive and negative are passing mental states which both can be appropriate for what's going on in your life at the time.

I attempt to stay neutral, authentic, and present in the moment, and not with my head in the clouds in LaLa HappyLand.
What is true and real is okay.

Life is a rich and wonderful combination of varied experiences and tough times help us appreciate the good times.
 

zoebartlett

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2006
Messages
12,450
Thanks Kaleigh! Have you posted pics of your new puppy? I don't think so, or at least I don't remember seeing him (or her?). Hint, hint... :bigsmile:
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
40,269
I agree with keeping it all in perspective and being grateful for everything good in your life. I also find happiness in helping those less fortunate and volunteering for causes I am passionate about.

I also agree with Kenny in that you cannot be happy and positive all the time and it is OK to feel down and sad sometimes. But, I don't like feeling this way for too long and by remembering all I am grateful for is a sure way to feel better.

And by keeping positive it helps to get you through really tough times. So you can feel sad about what is currently happening but optimistic about the future at the same time and it can help get you through the really difficult patches if that makes any sense.
 

JewelFreak

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 3, 2009
Messages
7,768
Life is a rich and wonderful combination of varied experiences and tough times help us appreciate the good times.
Kenny hit the nail on the head. The hard times make us what we are. We do not grow with only wonderful things -- it's the uphill climbs that make us stronger. My mom used to tell me that each hard thing I face straight-on makes the next one a little bit easier to handle. She was right.

When I'm in the dumps I remember that it will be over -- every situation changes, usually sooner than we expect; nothing in life is constant. I blow off self-pity; it's a waste of good emotion -- looking at my life, most misfortunes result from my own actions, inactions, or attitudes. Yes, some crap has happened to me, some devastating blows I couldn't avoid -- meeting those challenges gives one more depth & compassion for others. Really, the "poor me's" disgust me in myself or anyone else. Yack, go out & breathe fresh air! A gratitude list helps a lot -- including what we take totally for granted, such as living in a place where we won't get blown to confetti just going to the market, living in a country where we can say what we think, all that nitty gritty stuff.

--- Laurie
 

Circe

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Apr 26, 2007
Messages
8,087
kenny|1317791964|3033617 said:
I don't.
I don't think it is healthy to put such an unrealistic expectation on your existence 24 hours a day, no matter what.
That would be fake and exhausting to keep up.

I'm not talking about clinical depression; that's serious and should be treated.

Positive and negative are passing mental states which both can be appropriate for what's going on in your life at the time.

I attempt to stay neutral, authentic, and present in the moment, and not with my head in the clouds in LaLa HappyLand.
What is true and real is okay.

Life is a rich and wonderful combination of varied experiences and tough times help us appreciate the good times.
This. You might also be interested in this: http://www.barbaraehrenreich.com/brightsided.htm

As for just ... not sinking into the doldrums? I like long walks: the world is interesting enough that something always catches my eye. I like home projects: things that keep me occupied and have tangible results, like painting a piece of furniture (NOT like cleaning the bathroom, which is depressing in and of itself). And, never forget ... if something feels like it isn't "you" in terms of mood, consider meds (I know I'm wicked sensitive to random things: taking steroid-based medicine for my asthma, for example, can make me clinically depressed, zero-to-sixty). But, at the end of the day? What Kenny said.
 

iLander

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 23, 2010
Messages
6,731
It's hard. It really is hard to keep yourself from feeling bad, especially in this crappy economy. I'm sending you good wishes and BIG Hugs.

I do find that certain thoughts do help, take what works for you, if anything:

"This too shall pass." - life is full of ups and downs, and whatever bothered you a year ago, five years ago, probably isn't bothering you right now. Keep that in mind, stuff changes all the time.

"These ARE the good old days". Helps me remember that one day, I might be worse off (sick or something) and I'll look back and think how good I had it today. Also helps me appreciate the little moments of joy I get every now and then. Focus on them, look for more of them, they're there.

This quote from Steven Jobs:

"Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything—all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure—these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked."

Kind of keeps in perspective for me. It sounds perverse, but somehow this lightens my load, and makes me see things from the long view.

"Everything is going to be okay." Just repeat that to yourself, because it's true. :)
 

Octavia

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 28, 2007
Messages
2,660
I like to find a really beautiful piece of music that matches my mood, and I'll play it as many times as I need to. Right now, its the Mendelssohn Piano Trio No. 2, the fourth movement is sheer perfection. Other times, I'll go for something more angsty, wistful, angry, whatever seems to speak to me. I find it doesn't help if I don't match music to my mood -- happy music does nothing to get me out of a slump -- but something about having a "personal soundtrack" generally helps. It's not always classical music (or any other particular genre), though, sometimes I just create a playlist on iTunes with random songs organized around a mood.
 

Skippy123

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 24, 2006
Messages
24,299
beesha77|1317785819|3033557 said:
I've been through a lot of stuff in my life, particularly in the last 2 years but I always manage to have a smile on my face. I just always tell myself that it can ALWAYS be worse. ALWAYS. [/b]That and when you look back on things that were tough...somehow you still manage to be ok. And when I just need a break, I go get coffee by myself or buy myself flowers. :)


this!!! I have been dealing with some stupid stuff lately and feeling overwhelmed and I try to tell myself I could have it tons worse.

Now that I have twins I can't do this but if you volunteer at a food bank, etc, it really gives you a better prespective on what is important. Or just go help at a local senior center or a womans shelter. Honestly you will appreciate life much more. I did the food bank a couple of times and I really helped and it makes one want to make a difference. I know this is a diamond forum and it is awesome we all appreciate them but honestly they aren't a necessity, some people are just living on the edge and it really makes you grateful for what one has. :halo:

eta: also this thread shows there is GOOD people out there. [URL='https://www.pricescope.com/forum/family-home-health/i-am-not-too-old-to-learn-t145730.html']https://www.pricescope.com/forum/family-home-health/i-am-not-too-old-to-learn-t145730.html[/URL]
 

Haven

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 15, 2007
Messages
13,166
I wonder how much of this is due to natural temperament. I tend to stay positive and calm in most situations. This isn't something I consciously try to do, it's just the way I am. My best friend is the opposite. She becomes agitated and overwhelmed and immediately focuses on the negative in a situation. She doesn't try to do this, either, it's just the way she is.

On the rare occasion that I do feel down, I spend time with my pets. They're amazing.
 

Skippy123

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 24, 2006
Messages
24,299
Haven|1317831222|3033904 said:
I wonder how much of this is due to natural temperament. I tend to stay positive and calm in most situations. This isn't something I consciously try to do, it's just the way I am. My best friend is the opposite. She becomes agitated and overwhelmed and immediately focuses on the negative in a situation. She doesn't try to do this, either, it's just the way she is.
I read something somewhere that we have a happiness set point so some people are more positive in general than others no matter what. My parents have always been positive; it is shocking to me sometimes how they can see the good in every situation but some of it has to do with their faith and the people they are which I love! It actually humbles me when I think back at the way they handle things and still do! Also, you would never know, they don't talk about stuff like that; they just do it! I love their modesty and sweetness!

eta: Person, lots of people want to be happier. I think sometimes what is going on lately does make you feel bad and want to do something positive is great, so if that is how you are feeling that is awesome if you are wanting to make a difference!!
 

MichelleCarmen

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 8, 2003
Messages
15,880
Octavia|1317830367|3033889 said:
I like to find a really beautiful piece of music that matches my mood, and I'll play it as many times as I need to.
My husband plays also plays music, but REALLY LOUD, when he needs a mood booster which puts me in a bad mood. lol :errrr:

One way to help boost mood, as Tacori said is make a list of positive things. Another is looking into cognative behavioral therapy to help think more positively and/or looking at ways to escape situations that bring you down (if possible).
 

Tacori E-ring

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
Messages
20,039
It is normal to feel negative emotions and that is okay but any period of depression lasting over two weeks needs to be addressed by a professional. I work with people on some of their worst days of their lives which does help me with my perspective as well. People are resilient. Undeniably, profoundly resilient. We, as human beings, are much stronger than we think we are. Trust me on that.

I also think REBT is great for negative self-talk (if that is an issue). There are so many skills that a professional can teach you. Happiness is an inside job. Some people don't naturally think in healthy ways but that doesn't mean people cannot change their reactions and learn to accept life on life's terms.

Eta: I also find the serenity prayer helpful.
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
24,364
I eat an icecream sandwich for breakfast. That helps sometimes 8)
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
24,364
Haven|1317831222|3033904 said:
I wonder how much of this is due to natural temperament. I tend to stay positive and calm in most situations. This isn't something I consciously try to do, it's just the way I am. My best friend is the opposite. She becomes agitated and overwhelmed and immediately focuses on the negative in a situation. She doesn't try to do this, either, it's just the way she is.

On the rare occasion that I do feel down, I spend time with my pets. They're amazing.
It is absolutely highly genetic/biological. There are a few aspects of personality that are considered sort of primal building blocks, and they are evident from birth if you can believe it. One is emotionality. It is given lots of names -- emotional reactivity, affectivity, neuroticism -- but what it basically boils down to is ones physiological and emotional reactions to stimuli. As babies you can make a loud noise and see how a baby responds. Some babies will startle and cry and take a long time to settle. Those are reactive babies and they are more likely to grow up to experience more anxiety and worry and negative mood. Other babies will perhaps flinch and look around in response to a loud noise, if they cry they settle within seconds. Those babies grow up to have low levels of negative mood, to recover from stressors quickly, to be laid back. It is facinating, and as a psycholgist I knew all of this stuff intellectually, but having my own kids really brings it home how early some of these personality building blocks are evident.
 

Haven

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 15, 2007
Messages
13,166
Dreamer_D|1317840033|3033995 said:
Haven|1317831222|3033904 said:
I wonder how much of this is due to natural temperament. I tend to stay positive and calm in most situations. This isn't something I consciously try to do, it's just the way I am. My best friend is the opposite. She becomes agitated and overwhelmed and immediately focuses on the negative in a situation. She doesn't try to do this, either, it's just the way she is.

On the rare occasion that I do feel down, I spend time with my pets. They're amazing.
It is absolutely highly genetic/biological. There are a few aspects of personality that are considered sort of primal building blocks, and they are evident from birth if you can believe it. One is emotionality. It is given lots of names -- emotional reactivity, affectivity, neuroticism -- but what it basically boils down to is ones physiological and emotional reactions to stimuli. As babies you can make a loud noise and see how a baby responds. Some babies will startle and cry and take a long time to settle. Those are reactive babies and they are more likely to grow up to experience more anxiety and worry and negative mood. Other babies will perhaps flinch and look around in response to a loud noise, if they cry they settle within seconds. Those babies grow up to have low levels of negative mood, to recover from stressors quickly, to be laid back. It is facinating, and as a psycholgist I knew all of this stuff intellectually, but having my own kids really brings it home how early some of these personality building blocks are evident.
Dreamer--Thank you for this very interesting explanation. (I was hoping you'd pop into this thread!)

Now you have me thinking about my friends' babies and their behavior. My oldest friend's baby is the most laid-back little guy I've ever seen. Nothing really bothers him. He gets over scares very quickly. Smiles at anyone who will hold him, and gazes around happily as he's being handed off from one person to the next. DH's cousin's baby is quite the opposite. Always screaming. Never content. Doesn't like to be held by anyone other than mom or dad. Frightens easily and doesn't calm down for what seems like hours. Very interesting, indeed!

My mom always says that I used to wake up and start cooing, and later singing, to myself in my crib. She swears I was the happiest baby ever and adapted easily to all of the strange environments they put me in. I always thought she was full of it, but it gels with what you're saying, and with my current disposition now!
 

Miss Sparkly

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 2, 2010
Messages
1,664
kenny|1317791964|3033617 said:
I don't.
I don't think it is healthy to put such an unrealistic expectation on your existence 24 hours a day, no matter what.
That would be fake and exhausting to keep up.

I'm not talking about clinical depression; that's serious and should be treated.

Positive and negative are passing mental states which both can be appropriate for what's going on in your life at the time.

I attempt to stay neutral, authentic, and present in the moment, and not with my head in the clouds in LaLa HappyLand.
What is true and real is okay.

Life is a rich and wonderful combination of varied experiences and tough times help us appreciate the good times.
100% agree. How do I stay happy? I feel and experience everything in my life. I allow myself to be sad, angry happy etc. My life could be worse and it could be better. Comparing it either way won't help me Sib I don't do it. Instead I look to all the wonderful things I currently have. At the end of the day, if the positives outweigh the bad then it is considered a good day.
 

Lottie

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 28, 2008
Messages
701
Haven|1317840541|3033999 said:
Dreamer_D|1317840033|3033995 said:
Haven|1317831222|3033904 said:
I wonder how much of this is due to natural temperament. I tend to stay positive and calm in most situations. This isn't something I consciously try to do, it's just the way I am. My best friend is the opposite. She becomes agitated and overwhelmed and immediately focuses on the negative in a situation. She doesn't try to do this, either, it's just the way she is.

On the rare occasion that I do feel down, I spend time with my pets. They're amazing.
It is absolutely highly genetic/biological. There are a few aspects of personality that are considered sort of primal building blocks, and they are evident from birth if you can believe it. One is emotionality. It is given lots of names -- emotional reactivity, affectivity, neuroticism -- but what it basically boils down to is ones physiological and emotional reactions to stimuli. As babies you can make a loud noise and see how a baby responds. Some babies will startle and cry and take a long time to settle. Those are reactive babies and they are more likely to grow up to experience more anxiety and worry and negative mood. Other babies will perhaps flinch and look around in response to a loud noise, if they cry they settle within seconds. Those babies grow up to have low levels of negative mood, to recover from stressors quickly, to be laid back. It is facinating, and as a psycholgist I knew all of this stuff intellectually, but having my own kids really brings it home how early some of these personality building blocks are evident.
Dreamer--Thank you for this very interesting explanation. (I was hoping you'd pop into this thread!)

Now you have me thinking about my friends' babies and their behavior. My oldest friend's baby is the most laid-back little guy I've ever seen. Nothing really bothers him. He gets over scares very quickly. Smiles at anyone who will hold him, and gazes around happily as he's being handed off from one person to the next. DH's cousin's baby is quite the opposite. Always screaming. Never content. Doesn't like to be held by anyone other than mom or dad. Frightens easily and doesn't calm down for what seems like hours. Very interesting, indeed!

My mom always says that I used to wake up and start cooing, and later singing, to myself in my crib. She swears I was the happiest baby ever and adapted easily to all of the strange environments they put me in. I always thought she was full of it, but it gels with what you're saying, and with my current disposition now!

Yes, I definately agree with this. Both of my children have been raised in the same way but as a baby N would wake up and scream in her cot until we went and got her - then she was instantly happy. H wakes up and I hear him playing and cooing to himself, sometimes he goes back to sleep for a while and some times he makes loud quacking sounds so that we know to come and get him. N is a little more highly strung than H who takes life a little more in his stride.

If I am feeling a bit low or worried I like packing myself off to the kitchen, switching the radio on and finding a recipe with lots of steps or stages to bake. I find the methodical process of the baking soothing and the radio will usually make me laugh at some point. When I was younger I had terrible panic attacks and when I used to feel the creeping dread of an attack coming on, I used to get the ironing board out and get ironing. I found the repetative nature of the process comforting.

I also find that whenever I am a bit down for no proper reason its usually because I am tired.
 

Porridge

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 27, 2008
Messages
3,269
I'm the same as Haven. Interesting explanation Dreamer!

I went through a phase after a bad dose of glandular fever a few years ago where I was prone to feeling a bit down. The things I used to cheer me up have been mentioned here - "this to shall pass", doing something nice for others is an amazing mood enhancer, hanging out with friends is always good, pets are great. Music can pull me out in a snap. It's amazing. Also sometime I search for "laughing babies" on youtube. Impossible not to smile. Sometimes it really does just take work and sheer force of will to not let yourself spiral further or more often than is healthy. Practice that, then it becomes natural.

Hope you feel better soon Person24.
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
28,946
Circe|1317826574|3033837 said:
kenny|1317791964|3033617 said:
I don't.
I don't think it is healthy to put such an unrealistic expectation on your existence 24 hours a day, no matter what.
That would be fake and exhausting to keep up.

I'm not talking about clinical depression; that's serious and should be treated.

Positive and negative are passing mental states which both can be appropriate for what's going on in your life at the time.

I attempt to stay neutral, authentic, and present in the moment, and not with my head in the clouds in LaLa HappyLand.
What is true and real is okay.

Life is a rich and wonderful combination of varied experiences and tough times help us appreciate the good times.
This. You might also be interested in this: http://www.barbaraehrenreich.com/brightsided.htm.
That woman read my mind.
 

packrat

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 12, 2008
Messages
10,615
I watch movies that make me happy that I've seen a million times. I read, usually something I've read a million times that I can really lose myself in. I go sit in the backyard and look at the plants..there's so much green, and so many shades of it, back there during the nicer months I find it really is soothing to me. When it's colder months I look at the pictures of the yard on the computer and think about what we want to do to improve it. Sometimes I play all kinds of really sad songs on youtube and sing along and cry...once the emotion is out I feel better.
 
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