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Maintaining a Positive Attitude and an Optimistic Outlook...

missy

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How does one maintain a PAAOO?

Just wanted to get some points of view and experiences from you on this subject. Life as we all know it can be and often is challenging in different ways. Some people deal with it in a more positive way than others. I want to deal with problems and challenging issues in a more hopeful upbeat optimistic way. In contrast to the general worrying and pessimistic way I usually view and deal with things. You know that definition of insanity right? When one keeps repeating behavior looking for a different outcome. So wanting to break the negative thoughts and coming here seeking wisdom from some of the wisest people I "know". PSers of course. :read:

Here's what I do know. Just throwing some random thoughts out there as I type this post.

We cannot control everything but we can control our attitude and reaction to events and circumstances and challenges. Remembering that and internalizing it so it becomes automatic.

Maintaining a healthy gratefulness and appreciation for all I do have. And I am very thankful for all the wonderful people and loved ones in my life. That trumps (ugh hate that word now LOLOL) everything.

I plan on putting a real effort towards meditating on a regular basis. Going to start that during our vacation that is coming up and to that end if anyone has a good beginning meditating youtube video they can recommend I would appreciate that.

And taking pleasure in small accomplishments and experiences every day. I might not be able to solve all the world's or even just my problems but I am doing the best I can and need to realize that instead of focusing on the negative. i.e. All the animals I cannot save or even help. Heartbreaking but I am trying to realize (thank you my friends who are hammering this into my head everyday as I need it) I am making a difference to at least some animals. And for now doing what I can do though it is a huge overwhelming problem and hardly feels like I am scratching the surface. But doing the best I can and making a small difference at least.

Instead of focusing and concentrating on the negative and the unhappy events remembering I cannot do it all and I am doing what I can and sometimes life sucks. To remember things always change so when it sucks there's a good chance it will get better at some point too. That's the only constant that life changes all the time. So you hope for the best, prepared for the worst and deal with what happens in the moment knowing things will get better. One day at a time, one hour at a time if necessary. Suck it up and do the best you can. Keep moving. Keep the dark thoughts away and allow yourself to be happy no matter the circumstances. That wonderful quote stays with me and is keeping me strong.

"The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven..

No matter what is occurring focus on the positive do the best you can keep moving and know this too shall pass. And if it doesn't you will deal with it as it happens and make the best of it.


OK that's all I have for now. Hoping PSers will generously share their thoughts here and maybe this can help others too. Thank you!

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PintoBean

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Re: Maintaining a Positive Attitude and an Optimistic Outloo

Gosh, this is a toughie! My kitties are the world to me. I adopted them to give THEM a better life. When I have to power through challenges, I try to think about my kitties. For example, my DH and I HATE HATE HATE to go to the doctors. I tell DH, we're not going to get bad news. We are going to the doctor's office so that we can find out how to take control of our health so that we can be in tip top shape and be able to take care of our kitties. When I am fed up with work shenanigans, I remind myself that this job lets me collect a paycheck that let's me buy the best food to nourish my kitties...
 

monarch64

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Re: Maintaining a Positive Attitude and an Optimistic Outloo

I am fortunate and do not suffer from mental illness (that I"m aware!) so I can say that I am able to CHOOSE to be positive. Some do not have that freedom and I have deep compassion for them. I have been through several very difficult times in life and I have made the choice to walk away and not to sacrifice my happiness based on the fear of judgment from others. I'm not getting out of this life alive, and the best I can do is learn from every experience and really examine why it happened so I don't do it again. I also try to really live in the present, to BE present, and to enjoy my life. When I am unhappy I have to take the necessary time to work out what is bothering me, why, figure out how to resolve it OR make peace with it and accept it, and then move the heck on.
 

kenny

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Re: Maintaining a Positive Attitude and an Optimistic Outloo

I try to not be negative or positive.
IMO those are both not real, and would insulate us from experiencing what's really there.
Sometimes I suspect wanting to have a positive attitude 24/7 is not far from the need for religion or drugs.
What's real is not good enough for some, I guess.
But hey, people vary, right?

Sure, I endeavor to make good choices because that's what increases the odds of a good life.
But I can't control everything.
When bad shit happens I'm sad ... so I ... BE ... sad.
I don't run from what is there for me that day.
Experiencing the bad, instead of trying to medicate it away, is part of life and makes me appreciate the good even more.

I try to just do my best to live and fully experience whatever comes my way.
No rose-colored glasses for me.
As always, YMMV.
 

alexah

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Re: Maintaining a Positive Attitude and an Optimistic Outloo

I am going to post Sam Berns' Philosophy for a Happy Life (Ted Talk from 2013):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36m1o-tM05g&feature=youtu.be

It's only 12 minutes and this kid is an inspiration... when I think of him, I'm embarrassed if I feel mopey...
 

CJ2008

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Re: Maintaining a Positive Attitude and an Optimistic Outloo

I like what kenny had to say about this.

I do agree that should let ourselves experience whatever feelings come from things that are going on.

At the same I'm not sure that missy is talking about forcing a positive attitude - I think she's talking about not lingering in negative states of mind. There is a fine line between lingering because the situation calls for it versus getting too comfortable in the negative "state." For me, I can go down rabbit holes really quickly, and can stay there for way too long.

I would guess that people who think a lot, who analyze a lot, tend to be this way.

I am just realizing missy that I don't have anything to contribute as far a solution. I know when I've worked with a therapist or coach it's helped me when they don't let me go down the rabbit hole too long - it's like they snap me out of it. In the moment, I feel like I had so much more to say - sometimes I've felt angry that they "cut me off" - but then I'm glad I'm out of the hole and that's when I realize how comfortable I can get in the negative.

I also try to surround myself with positive people who I would be EMBARRASSED to be negative in front of. It's not that I can't share, it's not that I can't complain about anything - but not go on and on and on about it. ETA: not because they'd be mean to me in any way - but because it's just not who they ARE.
 

missy

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Re: Maintaining a Positive Attitude and an Optimistic Outloo

CJ, Bingo! You got it. Thank you.

At the same I'm not sure that missy is talking about forcing a positive attitude - I think she's talking about not lingering in negative states of mind. There is a fine line between lingering because the situation calls for it versus getting too comfortable in the negative "state."
I am talking about focusing on the positive and not letting the negative overwhelm me. Being grateful for the good and being able to see it and appreciate it and not let the darkness take over. CJ exactly re thinking too much. The more we think and analyze sometimes the more bleak the situation seems. I also agree that surrounding yourself with people you admire and respect who are positive influences can go a long way in helping you realize that positive side of yourself and lift your spirits. In contrast when I am around negative people it brings me down. Like Sam Bern I want to surround myself with positive people.


Kenny, I appreciate what you are saying and agree. I am a big believer in allowing myself to feel what I am feeling and not "faking" it. However I also want to be a more glass half full person than half empty if you kwim. I want to enjoy the positive and when experiencing the negative not let it bring me into dark thoughts and places in my mind. By no means do I want to be a Pollyanna but I feel there is middle ground. Just looking how to get there without sacrificing who I am in the process.

Alexah, thank you for posting that. I know who Sam Bern was and he was a remarkable young man and a great inspiration. I am sad he is gone at such a young age but he experienced life to the fullest and made a difference to many many people. I admire and respect him and my heart goes out to his family. Everyone he touched is better off for having known him. Thanks for reminding me I want to see the movie Life According to Sam. I think it's on HBO Go if you haven't seen it or if anyone here is interested in watching it.

Pinto, thank you for sharing and good reasoning to help you through. We have to do what we have to do and might as well just make the best of it.

Monnie, thanks for sharing and yes to be happy and optimistic *is* a choice. As is living in the present and enjoying each moment. Even mentally healthy people can struggle with this choice sometimes and it is a good reminder that it is a choice we can make if we want to. Completely agree we need to live our lives without worrying what others think of us. As my friend Kristie likes to say- it is none of our business what others think of us. :lol: And haha you used my dad's favorite line. No one gets out of this life alive. Truer words were never spoken. :bigsmile:
 

ZestfullyBling

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Re: Maintaining a Positive Attitude and an Optimistic Outloo

Missy you have the most thought provoking threads.

I have had to deal with some traumatic things in my life. The best advice given to me was I need to make a conscious effort to focus on my blessings; the loving family, people around me today and stop focusing on what I have lost. To live in this moment not the past.
Yes our past does or can shape our future positively or negatively, its up to us to consciously decide which. So I take each day as it comes with its challenges and victories. I identify and appreciate my blessings and do not take them for granted.

I surround myself with laughter. I gravitate toward positive and uplifting people. That has also been a huge help. I strive to live and love life and everything that comes with it. Laughter, joy, pain, loss, change...thats life. I deal with it the best I can, usually with laughter. That has worked for me. :))
 

Jambalaya

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Re: Maintaining a Positive Attitude and an Optimistic Outloo

I feel like doing a long, hollow, Halloween laugh.

In my experience - which is of course unique to me and doesn't mean anything definitive - you can really only gain enough perspective for a PAOO when you've experienced quite lot of death, including deaths of people close enough to shatter your existence and redefine the way you see everyone around you and the world you live in. It's really hard to put into words. I'm more carefree than I've ever been, but for me there has been a huge price, hence the long, hollow laugh. Before I got to the age where your family and your peers start going, I worried about things and was more preoccupied with little things. Now, I know how it goes. The diagnoses, the struggle, the slipping away of life, and the sheer circular quality of everything. Never have I been more grateful to still be swimming in the mainstream of life along with all the other fish, waiting in line at the grocery store or looking forward to a favorite TV show or listening to the rain. You really feel an enormously heightened appreciation of being alive and a certain knowledge that one day it will be time to say goodbye. Perhaps some people are born with this sense of perspective and gratitude that keeps them grounded, but I wasn't. When you see a lot of loss, and then one day you feel more used to it and shards of happiness and light-heartedness creep in, it's amazing. Like emerging from a long hard mountain climb into a meadow.

So that's my story of how I became more positive and optimistic.

I haven't read the replies and sorry if I sound a bit too serious, I'm just very tired. Goodnight now.
 

arkieb1

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Re: Maintaining a Positive Attitude and an Optimistic Outloo

I read a really interesting discussion which I can't seem to find but if I do I will repost it, that this is what is wrong with us, we assume that we need to be happy all the time, we are sold on this idea that we must find our perfect mate, we must have the perfect house, the perfect lives, and we must be happy or there is something wrong with us.

Feeling a range of human emotions is normal, magazines, the media etc sell us on the idea we must not only be perfect but we must be happy 24/7 or we are not living our best lives. But unfortunately people aren't perfect, life is messy, unexpected [email protected]# happens irrespective of our planning and our best intentions.

Almost every one of the most positive thinkers on the planet will tell you it's how you move on, recover and bounce back from the curveballs life throws you on a daily basis that separates you from a negative or a positive person.

In the past we have been sold on the idea that if we put a happy face on all the time we will become happier people, the latest school of though I had been reading about is it's O.K to feel low, to feel sad, to accept we have bad days, in fact the bad things actually make us enjoy and appreciate the good things even more.

As someone who suffers from depression (and so do millions of others) it's like a hallelujah moment that people are working out while it's great to have a positive attitude and an optimistic outlook for some people for those that don't it is also O.K to give ourselves permission to not have to be happy all the time. If your day sucks it's O.K to acknowledge that and move on.
 

MollyMalone

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Re: Maintaining a Positive Attitude and an Optimistic Outloo

missy|1464092923|4035697 said:
How does one maintain a PAAOO?
Just wanted to get some points of view and experiences from you on this subject. Life as we all know it can be and often is challenging in different ways. Some people deal with it in a more positive way than others. I want to deal with problems and challenging issues in a more hopeful upbeat optimistic way. In contrast to the general worrying and pessimistic way I usually view and deal with things. You know that definition of insanity right? When one keeps repeating behavior looking for a different outcome. So wanting to break the negative thoughts and coming here seeking wisdom from some of the wisest people I "know". PSers of course. :read: * * *
Have never been a pessimist, but I used to be anxious and analytical, in a not useful sense, i.e., trying to peer into the future & hoping to control for a host of variables, fretting about what-ifs... a trait BTW of my late mother, and maybe your mother too? I sure wouldn't recommend my catalyst -- a wholly unexpected heart attack while in the midst of divorce litigation, followed almost immediately by the fall-out in my life from 9/11 -- to anyone. But it all prompted me to work on this (and being overly conscientious) with a therapist. And I highly recommend that!

I believe there's only so much one can do about spinning your wheels, as in that definition of insanity, on your own (and I'm using "your own" to include a circle of good friends and/or a supportive caring partner, self-help books and web sites). Well, maybe I could have happened to live differently if left to my own devices, without the benefit of therapy sessions. But therapy was, I am certain, a lot more efficient in helping me develop a better, more useful "tool box" for life.

Because of my experience, I honestly think that everyone would benefit from a stint with therapy (assuming the therapist is suitable for you & is a good one, which, as with any profession, isn't a given).
 

Polished

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Re: Maintaining a Positive Attitude and an Optimistic Outloo

A while ago friends and acquantances were reading Alex korb, The Spiral Upward so I did. One of the things I found helpful in this book, and it certainly applied to me, was that he suggested it was the natural tendency of people to think negative thoughts as opposed to positive ones. It struck me that our natural tendency along with this trait is to lack discipline and in order to have discipline we need to consciously develop it in ourselves. I think this applies to our thoughts. I know I need to discipline my thoughts so they don't take me places that don't do me any good. However telling myself I mustn't think of this or that doesn't work. I actually have to distract myself with activity, practise meditation or come up with alternative more postive thoughts to diplace the negativity. I've made a list of things that I find satisfying to think about - elephant rescues, something happening in a friend's or my life that is good, constructive thinking around an issue etc. It was interesting that I had to make a physical list because it's a dreadful confession but when I tried to think of something to displace a negative train of thought I couldn't think of a single thing.
 

missy

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Re: Maintaining a Positive Attitude and an Optimistic Outloo

Zestfully bling, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I love being around people who love to laugh and do so freely. In fact it is one of my best qualities if I do say so myself. That I laugh easily and a lot and can also laugh at myself with no problem. I am sorry you went through some traumatic events and glad you were able to deal with it and still be grateful for all the wonderful people in your life.

Jambalaya, what you wrote resounds with me. Someone I admire told me something similar. That when you have already experienced the very worst everything else pales in comparison and you just don't worry about the rest of it anymore. When she told me that it hit me deeply and I got it. When you lose the people you love the most, the people closest to you, with whom you have shared your life, well I guess anything else happening just doesn't seem that bad compared to that painful loss of your loved one(s). So yeah. Makes me sad thinking about it but it's a part of life and inevitably if you live long enough you suffer profound losses that will forever change the way you see the world and your life. Thanks for sharing and I'm sorry you have dealt with so much tragedy.

arkieb, yes I see that, thank you. There is pressure on some (many?) that they need to be happy 24/7. I don't feel that pressure but posted looking for peoples coping mechanisms for dealing with feelings of anxiety/worry/sadness and pessimistic/negative thinking. What you wrote about how you recover from life's curveballs rings true with me thank you. It's how you deal with the bad that ultimately can make your life positive. I get that without the bad and the pain we cannot experience the good and the happy.

Molly, thank you. I am sorry you went through such life altering events that caused you much anxiety and stress. I appreciate your thoughts and find myself nodding in agreement. I have never been in therapy and have always relied on my loved ones (dh, close friends and family) to talk through my feelings/thoughts/emotions. And in fact most of my friends come to me when they have deep troubling issues to work through as they feel I give good advice and am a good listener. I have always thought therapy while so good for many people wouldn't help me because I am so aware of my feelings. But you bring up good points and I am keeping an open mind. It is daunting to me to try finding a "good" therapist whom I can click with and that is one of the reasons I never tried.

However another reason is I get that it is "OK" to feel sad and anxious and worried at times. I guess I just don't know what is "OK" and what becomes self defeating and a vicious cycle of worry and anxiety. Not sure I have anything worthy of going to therapy if that makes sense. I realize and appreciate the fact that I am fortunate and lucky in my life so in a (big) way going to therapy seems self indulgent. But I also realize it is my reality and it is how I am experiencing it and if it is a negative spiral downward I need to do something about it. I *think* I am working through it in a healthful and helpful way though but time will tell.

I keep telling myself I cannot control the negative things that are happening and need to deal with that the best way I can and keep moving forward and not let it affect me so negatively as to affect everything in my life. That is crap happens and just keep doing the best you can and making a difference for those you can make a difference for and feel sad but also allow room for happiness and joy.

Polished, thank you for sharing. That is very helpful and makes sense. We need to be disciplined in thinking positive thoughts as we are more wired to think negatively. I am going to make a physical list too and try what you are doing. I like this idea very much, thank you. And going to start meditating this weekend. Do you have any meditation videos you can recommend? I'm a total newbie re meditating and if you have any recommendations that would be great. Glad it is working for you and I look forward to putting this into practice.
 

smitcompton

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Re: Maintaining a Positive Attitude and an Optimistic Outloo

Hi Missy,

I do what Polished does. I distract myself with enjoyable things--like Pricescope. I usually don't participate in threads where people are sharing the bad things going on in their lives. That's my choice.

I suspect that your worrying and anxiety have been with you a long time. This is perhaps how you coped ever since childhood and now you see that way of coping may be unproductive for you now. This is a good thing. A good therapist doesn't need a specific reason, anxiety and worrying too much is a good reason to see a therapist. I'm sure some of your behavior(thinking) is really good for you, just needs some tweaking. I see, JMO, that you involve yourself In everyones' problems and feel bad for everyone. In order to empathize and sympathize we give of ourselves, perhaps to the point of draining our selves, which makes it harder to deal with what comes along in our own lives. Sometimes we have to give up something to find something new.

I find you to be a balanced person, giving honest opinions on how you think. Anxiety is real. I have gone to therapy with that exact problem--free floating anxiety. It was many yrs ago and helped me enormously. Inward stresses are real, but sometimes we don't now what they are. It like peeling that onion. There are probably several layers.

If therapy is not your answer, then please distract your self with frivolity. Animals to you is not frivolity. So no cat diversions.

Good Luck,

Annette
 

Queenie60

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Re: Maintaining a Positive Attitude and an Optimistic Outloo

I feel that life deals many cards to us and we need to play them the best we know how. I focus on putting life into perspective, knowing that it can always be much worse. I try to keep myself busy with positive, productive things. Gardening and walking my two dogs always helps me to focus on the good things. And I always feel fortunate to have those good things. Many things we aren't able to control and as long as they're not life threatening I try to deal with them and put the strong emotions aside. Anxiety, fear and frustration can take a toll on your body. After facing a life threatening disease, having a mentally ill child - I tend to let the small stuff roll off of my back. Life is much more peaceful this way. :wavey:
 

YadaYadaYada

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Re: Maintaining a Positive Attitude and an Optimistic Outloo

I try really hard to look at things in a positive light even though life has hurled some curve balls my way. I was talking to my SIL yesterday about my husband, he is becoming more short tempered and easily angered lately. Part of it has to do with him having to repeat things to me since I forget so easily. I told her in no uncertain terms that if he can't get this under control, I will leave him. She was shocked. Mind you I have no job but I will not stay with someone who is angry, pessimistic and acts out in front of the kids like a fool. I will make my own way and figure it out if need be.

We are trying to work it out but for me happiness is not an option it's a necessity and I can't control how he responds or his actions but I can control my actions and ultimately be responsible for my own happiness.
 

Elizabeth35

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Re: Maintaining a Positive Attitude and an Optimistic Outloo

Maintaining a positive attitude is partially your fundamental personality-what you were given genetically. Also partially how you were raised--what did your parents model for handling tough times?
I find that my positive attitude is a gift my depression era parents gave me. When the going gets tough--I pragmatically decide how to solve a problem. Life experience also teaches many lessons about positive attitude and resilience. I hav weathered many storms---my husband of 25 years abandoned our family and both my parents died within 12 months. I was left in a precarious financial position with two college age sons. Sometimes when you lose everything you gain gratitude.
You might want to try journaling. Write down 10 things your are thankful for every day. Also write down what ACTIONS you will take to deal with parts of your life you are unhappy with.
What in your life are you happy with and what are you dong about it? Take responsibility for your happiness. Yo are worth it and most of it is In your control.
A very wise woman told me 30 years ago---surround yourself with positive people. Avoid those who are negative.
 

packrat

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Re: Maintaining a Positive Attitude and an Optimistic Outloo

Hell I don't know. I am blessed (cursed?) with an amazing imagination so I daydream a lot and make up awesome story lines for my life. it relaxes my mind and I fall asleep fast. I don't like to be sad or upset or angry, I never have. So, I find ways to shove it aside and smile, crack a joke, make people laugh, go out of my way to help others, regardless what is going on in my life, at all times. I stay busy and have two kids to keep busy and look out for, so I focus on their needs. Fake it till ya make it.
 

LLJsmom

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Re: Maintaining a Positive Attitude and an Optimistic Outloo

The title of your thread is one of my biggest goals in life. I have seen people who either are born more positive or become more positive because of upbringing or life experiences (or some combination of both) weather some of life's biggest storms and come out better than before, all because they focused on being grateful, actively and consciously let go of anger and bitterness, and forced themselves to do things that would help them to be mentally, emotionally and physically healthier to get through the rough times.

I'm naturally a pessimist, but my DH, DS and best friends are soooo not. They are my inspiration. I know that when I have done the things mentioned above, things do come out for the best. It's not easy because it is not in my nature, but I can try to be disciplined and practice those things mentioned above.
 

Polished

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Re: Maintaining a Positive Attitude and an Optimistic Outloo

Missy - I just type in Meditation youtube and up comes - "Healing Spirit - Guided Meditation for Relaxation, Anxiety" - it's purple! I've tried others but find the repetition of this one works for me. There are so many to try and you may find different ones that resonate for you. I exercise alot and work part time so what I enjoy is keeping the meditation simple - it relaxes both my mind and body and only takes 15 to 20 minutes. I think I am a person who finds not thinking and giving my brain a rest difficult. I'd really needed to make some changes and I feel I am reaping the rewards in terms of my health and happiness. I wish you well in your journey.

Packie - I'm going to allow a little of what you said to rub off on me! It's inspiring.
 

packrat

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Re: Maintaining a Positive Attitude and an Optimistic Outloo

Well thanks Polished! I felt bad b/c I didn't have anything spectacular to add but I'm glad it made a mark w/you!
 

marcy

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Re: Maintaining a Positive Attitude and an Optimistic Outloo

Great topic Missy. I enjoyed reading everyone's thoughts.

I would rather believe people are good and things will turn out fine than live with doubt, anger and distrust people. Even if things don't turn out as I hope and I may be disappointed I feel better giving life and people the benefit of the doubt.

My philopshy is pretty simple. It took me about 30 years to realize it though. You are about as happy as you make up your mind to be. We all have bad and challenging times but no one can help us out unless we are willing to help ourselves. We can seek wise and sympathetic friends, family, professionals whoever we feel comfortable with as a confident. We can bottle it all inside but we are the only ones who can decide okay I don't want to live like this and I'm going to do something about it.

I know many people who are consumed by anger, bitterness and think the worst of people and things. I hope someday it will dawn on them that negativity is getting the better of them and their life. I guess I am stubborn enough I decided I won't let it get the best of me.

My days aren't all sunshine and lollipops but I always try to see the bright side of things and find something to smile about, laugh about or be thankful for having in my life.
 

missy

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Re: Maintaining a Positive Attitude and an Optimistic Outloo

Love all the responses thank you!

I'm going to start off by saying we saw a wonderful movie on Netflix Wednesday night and I am recommending it to everyone. It put things in a clearer perspective for me and while it was a heartbreaking movie I enjoyed it.

Don Hertzfeldt's It's Such A Beautiful Day

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/its_such_a_beautiful_day/


Annette, thank you for your thoughtful and kind reply. You are right. Animals are not a frivolity to me and the fact is they are who are causing me the newest worries but it's not them really but their situation. They are feral kitties we have been doing our best to care for at our part time home and trying to TNR all of them but they keep multiplying in number it seems. They are the innocent victims of terrible circumstances and that is what prompted me to start this thread. To get a better and more positive perspective. And I feel calmer now in part because of all the wonderful replies I received here that have made things clearer for me and also due to a book my friend Azstonie recommend.The 10 Best-Ever Anxiety Management Techniques: Understanding How Your Brain Makes You Anxious and What You Can Do to Change It by Margaret Wehrenberg. I highly recommend this book to anyone dealing with worry and anxiety.

You are also right that I take on everyone's feelings and make it my problem too in that I feel strongly for anyone I know who is dealing with unpleasant and sad and stressful situations. I don't want to change that part of me but perhaps not let it affect me as greatly because I agree with you that empathizing and sympathizing is a critical part of who we are and helps us help others feel better so it does serve a purpose. I just need to be able to empathize and sympathize and then not let it get me down long term.

I am pleased you found relief from your anxiety issues through therapy Annette and thank you for sharing that with me. It remains a possibility if my mindset does not continue in this positive direction and keep improving. One idea I learned from the book is that there will always be something to worry about and what one must do is figure out a solution should that fear be realized and then move on and deal with it if it happens. Know that no matter what happens you can handle it. Trust yourself. And stop thinking about it and replace it with happier thoughts. Deal with it, move on, don't obsess and know if the worst should happen you can deal with it. And keep breathing!

PS is a happy distraction for me too. Not just the bling but the lovely people here sharing interesting thoughts and topics and sharing of themselves. And one of my favorite distractions (besides buying bling lol) is exercise and cycling season is here so woohoo! That goes a long way in making me feel brighter about everything.


Queenie, thank you for sharing and yes gardening and walking with your dogs certainly sound like a good way to bring peace and happiness. Immersing oneself in things we love to do is a sure way to become less stressed.Can you please convince my dh to let me get 2 rescue dogs? :halo: You are right in that stress is poisonous to one's body if it goes on and on and we cannot get it under control and have a healthy perspective on issues.

I realize how much you are dealing with and my heart goes out to you. It is kind of you to take the time to respond here given you have serious life stresses compared to my worrying about the feral kitties. I understand how serious your situation is and I am (as always) sending good thoughts and positive vibes your way Queenie.


Stephanie, my heart goes out to you as well. You are dealing with so much and at a young age and I hope you get answers soon and can find a treatment that provides help. I am so sorry about your dh and hope that he realizes his behavior is unacceptable. Stress can make us behave in ways we would not normally behave and it can take time to work through those feelings and understand why one is acting the way they are before they can get their emotions of fear, anger and sadness under control and get it together so to speak. Hoping that is your dh's case and once he gets his emotions about what is happening together he will become your support system again and become the dh you married. Yes, happiness is a choice. (((Hugs))).


Elizabeth, wise advice thank you. LOL I sort of journal my life on PS don't I? It helps so I will continue. :halo:
My parents are not like me this way fortunately. They have dealt with adversity in their lives and are very strong people and handle whatever comes their way with grace and strength and positivity. Not sure how I got like this. I was like this from a young age though so it is not new though my challenges are more and different as I have gotten older (as most people's challenges are as they experience more of life).

My mom loves to recount a story of when I was in the 2nd grade and the math teacher pulled her aside when she came to pick me up one day and said I almost caused her to have a heart attack. She gave the class a math test that day and after the test I went up to her and said I didn't know any of the answers and failed for sure. She told my mom she though if her best student failed the test she couldn't have done a good job at teaching the material and she went to grade my test right away. And I got 100%. LOL I know it sounds pathetic but here I was 6 years old (I was the youngest in my class) and I sincerely thought I got a 0 but I got a 100. Why was I like that? I am much better now and not my old self that way at all but still. My parents never instilled that kind of thinking in me. They always supported and encouraged us and told us to just do the best we can and no matter what they will love us. So all of that was my own making and not theirs. Genetics perhaps or more likely a mixture who's to say but yes I was always a worrier. That doesn't mean I cannot change beucase I have already changed that part of me for the better. Not so much a perfectionist anymore (the book I linked above talks about being a perfectionsist as a way to ward off potentially worrying situations by making sure you do everything in your power so they don't happen) and I am generally self confident and have a good self image so I am not that 6 year old person anymore but bits and pieces of me still are.

And my mom told me how I was never a good sleeper and I remember laying awake thinking about what death meant and closed my eyes trying to imagine the black void of death. When I was quite young. One of my earliest memories. Yeah sort of a dark toddler lol. In my defense I was always quick to laugh and be funny and my sense of humor got me through challenges and still does.


Packrat, thanks for adding your thoughts to the discussion. My mom thinks the same as you and said if I had kids to take care of and be busy with my mind would be less busy with less important worries and obsessions. Personally I disagree and think I would be greatly worried about my children's welfare all of the time. Truth time right now-that is one of the main reasons I never wanted children. I didn't think I could survive raising children and that I would be worrying to death about them all the time. Sad but true. I do not regret my decision not to have children because at least I know my own mind when it comes to this issue and I just couldn't handle it.

I'm with you re imagination. Comes back to that quote I love about making a heaven of hell. It all starts and ends with the mind.


LLJsmom, thanks for chiming in and yes it is one of my goals too. I love being around positive people too and that is one of the reasons I love the NIRDIs. :halo:

Polished, thanks again for the video rec. I am similar to you in I find not thinking and giving my brain a rest very challenging. If I could shut it off for a while that would be a nice respite from all my darker thoughts. Exercise is my savior too.

Marcy, you have a wonderful life philosophy and thank you for sharing it with us. I agree we need to think of the best in people and take it from there. But with one caveat. If someone has shown me who they are and I don't listen and understand that's on me. Fool me once shame on you fool me twice shame on me and that's how I go about it. I give people the benefit of the doubt always until they prove me wrong and then I don't generally make that mistake twice. But I don't let the anger and disappointment eat me up inside or get the better of me. I let it go and move on not for them but for me because it is only me it would be hurting holding that negative grudge. And I agree completely. It is up to each one of us to be happy and at peace with our lives for better or worse.

And along those thoughts we are off cycling right now. Very early here still but rain is coming in at noon and we are making the best of a not so great weather day and I am happy to be cycling at all so woohoo! Have a good morning girls and thank you all for sharing what works for you and your thoughts.
 

marymm

Ideal_Rock
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Joined
Apr 21, 2010
Messages
4,086
Re: Maintaining a Positive Attitude and an Optimistic Outloo

In case my own experience is helpful:

I used to be a worrywart - I spent a lot of time fretting - and, as is I think obvious, a constant worrier/fretter is basically focusing on all the wrong/bad things that can happen. For me, that translated to an increasingly negative outlook on life which, on the worst days/weeks, also included an inner bitterness (occasionally outwardly expressed) - none of which was pleasant to live with, for me or my DH, or anyone else around me for that matter.

After my father died some years back, I kind of shut down, with extremely limited contact with my family and my DH's family. It was just my DH and me (in my own consideration), and I did what was required to take care of the basic necessities of life. Looking back, I see that I went through a heavy grieving period lasting several years. One day, I noticed the sunlight coming through the window highlighting the wood grain of our coffee table... it was beautiful and I felt joy. That was the beginning of my next phase of life.

Like many others, my experience of severe grief changed and matured me. I am not a continual worrier/fretter any more. I consider myself to be happy. My happiness spreads to my DH who, while basically a sunny person, had been adversely affected by my prior negativity. I expanded contact with the relatives, to the degree which works for me. While sometimes I do worry, because some things in life are worrying and a bit of worrying can help with considering potential responses/options, once I get to the place where I realize worrying is getting me nowhere, I stop worrying and move on to something else. It really does work that way for me now. Such a blessing.

I do think my overall attitude is in the positive range now. Rather than an optimist, I do consider myself a realist, which is more fitting for someone like me anyway, with my bent for research and facts.

One other thing I'll mention: I used to start my day with the newspaper; I'd read it front to back while having coffee. We stopped having it delivered maybe 5-6 years ago, and I'll tell you, my mornings are much brighter now. I still keep up with major headlines and local issues via the Internet, but not first thing in the morning; and I don't get the onslaught of all the other (negative) [email protected] that is published. Seriously I think this has also contributed significantly to my positive outlook.
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Jun 8, 2008
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33,916
Re: Maintaining a Positive Attitude and an Optimistic Outloo

marymm, thank you for sharing your thoughts and I am so sorry you dealt with such grief and sadness. I am glad you came through it in a happier place and have found contentment and peace. Yes when I am in a bad mood my dh feels it too and it isn't a good way to live. I also agree that I find myself overall happier when I don't read the paper or listen to the news. So I rarely do.

Thank you for sharing your hard earned wisdom and I am realizing that when my fretting and worrying and stressing has no positive impact on the situation I need to move on and deal with things as they actually happen vs. just worrying constantly that they will happen.

I actually consider myself happy despite being a worrier and also consider myself a realist too and just want to become a more hopeful realist.

Thank you and again I am so sorry about the loss of your dad.
 

smitcompton

Ideal_Rock
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Feb 11, 2006
Messages
2,605
Re: Maintaining a Positive Attitude and an Optimistic Outloo

Hi Missy,

I had a problem with a neighbor who complained about one of my sons cats. I was a bit miffed so I looked up the ordinance for my village. I just reviewed it again and will pass along some of what I learned.

Our village allows feral cat colonies. They have a program called TNR--Trap, Neuter and Return--to the colony.

Colonies must be registered with a Dept approved Sponsor. A sponsor must be someone like a Humane Society entity. Once someone agrees to be the sponsor. a volunteer caretaker is appointed and is responsible for record keeping of all the felines.

I thought if you had not already checked your ordinance code of where you live, you might do so and see what they have to say.
I understand the colony approach has gained acceptance in animal societies. You seem to have a colony in the making. You may need to joint venture with another group. Worth a shot. I don't want you worrying!.

I have a son like you over cats.

Annette
 

Jimmianne

Ideal_Rock
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Joined
Dec 9, 2013
Messages
6,058
Re: Maintaining a Positive Attitude and an Optimistic Outloo

marymm|1464362138|4036964 said:
In case my own experience is helpful:
After my father died some years back, I kind of shut down, with extremely limited contact with my family and my DH's family. It was just my DH and me (in my own consideration), and I did what was required to take care of the basic necessities of life. Looking back, I see that I went through a heavy grieving period lasting several years. One day, I noticed the sunlight coming through the window highlighting the wood grain of our coffee table... it was beautiful and I felt joy. That was the beginning of my next phase of life.]

Marymm, I love this! It is the best explanation of grief and recovery that I've heard.

I find that I can keep my balance through meditation until too much happens at once or something [like the death of a loved one] just blows the whole thing out of the water. Going out in nature is a big help for me, and thinking positive thoughts even though I don't feel them helps too..and having patience when feeling down and not getting too rattled.
When I was a little girl my parents gave me a mustard seed charm "If you have as much faith as the size of a mustard seed"...it's true. One tiny thought of having faith that things will work out/things will improve/answers will be found seems to banish dark thoughts.

I have a mix of worry and happiness every day. It's like a roller coaster every day LOL As much as possible I tell my inner worrywart to relax and focus on the good things. I call or write to friends. Watch a funny movie.
Coming to PS is fun. Fun is good . You guys help the + happen :appl:
 
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