Amidst the negativity and stress so rampant in our culture, staying positive can seem like an uphill battle, but it's so very crucial for your physical, emotional and, yes, spiritual health.
So, how do you stay positive? What do you do to maintain that equanimity that will focus your mind and keep you on track?
Life I've written about before on this blog, your mind is a good place to start, and working (and playing) with your thoughts is a vital way to stay on target and not let your mind run away with your life.
Who Do You Talk To?
We are greatly influenced by who we spend time with and listen to, so examining the main influential voices in your life is an important practice on an ongoing basis.
Negativity will feed negativity, and if you're spending time with cynical people and filling your head with negative voices, there's no way that those voices won't impact your way of thinking.
When given the choice, who do you spend time with? Who do you like to talk to? Do you sit at the table of the cynical complainers or do you sit with the cheery optimists?
Realistically, life isn't always a bed of roses, but it's how we react to the thorns that get us through the night---and through the day after.
If your days are generally spent with those individuals who regularly rail against the injustices in their lives and gossiping about others, there's a definite downside to the time you're spending. And if your idea of a good time is focusing on what's wrong rather than what's right (or how to fix what's wrong), then there are plenty of other people who will eagerly buy you another round in order to keep you waxing negative, thus justifying and solidifying their own negative bias.
Of Diabetes and Discontent
I'm sure having a chronic disease like diabetes isn't always your idea of a good time. I'm also sure that there are always other diabetics who like nothing better than getting together with our diabetics and complaining about the downside of the condition.
It's totally fine (and actually healthy) to occasionally set aside some time to moan and complain about your disease, share your struggles with others, and hear that your concerns and worries are shared. It can help to know you're not alone.
On the other hand, it's also easy to get caught in that negative spiral and perpetually see the glass as half empty rather than half full and this is where you can run into trouble.
So, give yourself some time to complain, but let the time be limited, and counter those complaints with plans to do what you can to make things better. If you're hanging out with people who do nothing but complain, then you probably need to find a new crowd to talk to, a crowd who understands that complaints are self-limiting and need to be counter-balanced by positive action.
Like Monty Python Said
At the end of Monty Python's sacrilegious but hilarious film, "The Life of Brian", the characters sing "Always Look On the Bright Side of Life" as they're being crucified. While quite silly (and potentially offensive to some), the point is that one's circumstance is just that--a circumstance--and how we view it is often half the battle to changing it, or at least learning to live with it.
So, if you're struggling with your mind and the ways in which your viewpoint or thoughts are getting in the way of positive action, there are things you can change---both outwardly and inwardly---to improve the situation.
Stay on top of your mind and its tricks, and focus on the ways in which you can stay positive, even when the going gets tough.
If your glass half full or half empty? Sometimes it's only a matter of