The secret to happiness is focusing on the positive. The key to good mental health is also focusing on the positive. It almost seems that we are indoctrinated at a very young age to only focus on the negatives of life. We bitch and complain about EVERYTHING! We don’t like our jobs, we don’t love ourselves, we don’t like where we live. We fill our lives with drama and distractions. We are faced with extremely unreasonable expectations thanks to Hollywood and advertising. We are faced with war, disease, racism, unruly Governments. What’s the point on being happy when the world is falling apart right before our very eyes!
Well, you can look at it one of two ways. Either A) This world is going to shit, so what the f*ck… let’s go to shit with it. Or B) The world may go to hell, but I won’t be going down with it.
Seems simple enough, eh? WRONG! You have to make the mindful choice. Do you want to go out miserable and hating everyone and every thing? Or do you want to enjoy the time you have left on this big beautiful planet and fill your life with meaning, purpose, happiness, and fulfillment? Personally, I choose the latter.
Focusing on the positive can be hard. Especially when you’re facing mental health concerns, but it can be done. Starting with positive affirmations is a great way to begin. Many moons ago when I was fighting my own battle, I decided one day that I didn’t want to live like that anymore and I knew I had to start somewhere. So I drew the word SMILE on a piece of paper in bright colors. I then drew flowers, stars, hearts, and happy faces randomly all over the paper. In between each drawing I wrote something positive. You are beautiful, you are smart, you are kind, you are caring, you are worth it, stay positive, etc. I placed this piece of paper on my bathroom door and kept the bathroom door closed at all times. That way, every time I passed the bathroom or needed to use the bathroom, I was faced with this colorful piece of paper that was full of positive affirmations with a big fat SMILE right in the middle. I read it many times throughout the day and over time it instilled confidence and feelings of happiness within me. This is where my journey began.
Sometimes focusing on the positive is hard, especially when you’re fighting with someone or fighting with yourself. The trick is this – stay silent. Process your thoughts and try to breathe, remain calm. If you’re being hard on yourself – you absolutely need to remember, we are not perfect and we never will be. Don’t strive for perfection ever. Only strive to do your best. Once you’ve done your best, don’t think negatively and wonder if you could have done better. Instead be proud of yourself and know you gave it your all, whether you succeed or not is not important – what is important is that you recognize your accomplishments and congratulate yourself for them. Then try, try again. If you’re fighting with someone else or someone is just harping on you (be it your boss, your spouse, your friends, family, whoever). Take in everything they say – stay silent again, breathe and remain calm. Then – and only then, respond.. and do it in a positive manner.
“The problem is not the problem. The problem is your reaction to the problem”
One of the most important life lessons I was taught was this… Be a duck! Ducks feathers naturally repel water. So when negativity (the water in this analogy) comes around, be a duck and let the water roll right off your back – and you just keep paddling forward.
Don’t let the negatives around you bother you. Focus solely on happiness and positivity. Even in your darkest hour, when everything seems so doom and gloom – be thankful you’re still alive. Be thankful you have a roof over your head. Be thankful you have a job (if you do) be thankful you have friends and family (if you do). Even if they don’t understand your situation – be thankful you have them. Take a walk and listen to sounds around you, be thankful for the warmth of the sun, the sounds of the birds. Take it all in and be thankful. Focusing on yourself. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.
Your health and happiness should be the #1 most important thing you focus on. I am a mother of four, I have my wonderful husband and I have two pups. But still – my happiness comes before them all. Sounds a little selfish doesn’t it? It’s really not. If I am not healthy, happy and functioning at maximum capacity – then I cannot be a great mother, a great wife or a great dog owner. If I focus 50% of my thoughts on negativity then I can only be 50% good for my family. If I focus 100% of my thoughts on negativity then I am 0% good for my family. Your thoughts define your future. They inspire your energy levels and they decide the type of life you will lead. So always stay positive – and by doing so – you will live a positive life – and your positivity will benefit everyone you come into contact with.
Until Next Time