In my blog http://theworkingcaregiver.org/2012/03/31/what-you-focus-on-expands I shared the story of my friend Holly and her positive attitude in the face of terminal illness. Today I want to share some tips to facilitate focusing on the positive.
Tips for expanding the positive
- Keep a Positive Journal – write down the positive things that happened during your day. Even if they seem small at the time, the way we perceive them can make a difference. (i.e.: I woke up, my car got me to work, or I made it to work on-time.) Then move the focus to more challenging events that you turned into a positive (i.e.: I had to wait in a long line at the grocery store and because of that I had a wonderful conversation with the woman behind me.)
- Look for the Silver Lining – there is a reason for most everything in life, including situations that appear extremely frustrating. For example, the other day I was stuck in traffic, I was tired and I just wanted to get home. I had a thought that I’m sure many of us have had “If only I had left earlier”. As I crawled along I realized that the traffic delay was due to an accident, it was at that moment that I thought “thank you God that I didn’t leave early” if I had I could have been the person seriously injured in the accident instead of the person who was inconvenienced for a short period of time on my way home.
- Remember you may not be able to change the situation but you can change the way you respond to it - A very wise person said “life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we respond.” Response is a choice! It cannot be forced upon us by others (though we can try to blame others), it is not mandated by the situation around us and cannot be regulated by any governmental agency, and is completely in our control! So the next time something stressful or challenging occurs take a minute to take a breath and choose your response.
- You have the same 24 hours as everyone else. This is the one equalizing factor for all people. It doesn’t matter whether you live in Japan, Australia or Kookamunga you still have the same 24 hours as everyone else. What you do with it is your choice!
What you focus on expands…right now choose to focus on what will give you a healthier, happier and richer life.