Remember the Little Engine that Could? Most of us probably recall the little phrase " I think I can... I think I can... It is a good little reminder to have a positive attitude. By nature, I am a fairly optimistic, positive person. I guess it was passed to me by my dad and grandfather. I can't remember them ever being very negative people at all. Believe me too- I know what tough is. I have had much and lost it all, went through most of my early childhood without my mom, lost my sweet dad who was one of my best friends, been afflicted with a tumor that has not been able to successfully been removed... I have had a hard time. Overall, even when things are really tough- I usually can keep a good attitude about it. I remember there is someone who is always worse off than I and I count my blessings. I however, am human and have those moments of weaknesses when I just feel all is lost...whoa is me...it's not fair... You know what I am talking about. We've all been there.
The question is- How do I stay positive even when everything around me is crazy and I feel like screaming I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!! How can I cope with the pressures?
Good question! Here are some of my strategies-
1. Get some air! Fresh air that is... slow down and take a deep breathe. Oxygen is essential to a clear mind. When you are anxious, you generally breath more rapidly and take shallow breaths thus not getting enough oxygen. Stop and deep breathe. Go outside and take a breathing break. :) This is one of the ways I cope with chronic pain too. For the ladies who have ever taken Lamaze classes- remember how proper breathing techniques is one of the main things they teach you for childbearing?
2. Try to keep things in perspective. Many times down the road we look back and realize that circumstances we went through was really not the end of the world as we once thought it was. I try to keep this in mind when I am in going through the fire and tell myself- what doesn't kill me will make me stronger. A little saying I like is " This too shall pass". All things do.
3. Find pleasure in the little things. It will make you a happier person. The happier a person you are, the more endurance you will have to face the difficult days.
4. Surround yourself with good people who are supportive. Wow, this can make all of the difference. Be a good friend and you will have good friends. What better way to face a storm than to have an umbrella and a true friend can help shield you in the rain.
5. Sing! Yes, you heard me right- sing. Sing in the shower, in the car.... I am always humming or singing some kind of happy tune and half the time I don't even realize it! Music is good for the soul. Well, some kinds of music is- there are some exceptions... that is for another blog...
6. Have a little faith in yourself! Don't beat yourself up! Start by telling yourself- I think I can...I think I can... I think I can.. Then move up to I KNOW I CAN! If you believe you can do something- you can. I once heard that whether you think you can't or you think you can- either way you are right. If you don't believe you can do something- you never will.
7. I can honestly say that my main source of peace and strength when things are tough would be my faith. I turn to prayer, scripture and meditation when I need strength that I do not have. No one- not even the hard core optimist is immune to discouragement and self-pity. I'm not. I rely on something outside of myself to get me through the hardest of times. Even those who are not believers can benefit from at a minimum some quite time to meditate. Life can get so hectic and busy. When we are struggling, it seems that our minds have a difficult time sorting through all of the noise, confusion, heartaches... Sometimes it is good to just be still so we can hear that little voice in us...
I wish all of my friends on AR a happy and productive year! Remember to keep pushing forward!