How much of what we say to ourselves is negative? How does that impact us? Our family? Our children?
We all have our down times. Those moments, or days, when everything is dark. No matter what happens we see things negatively. Depression. Some of us look at the world through the eyes of doubt as a regular thing, the pessimist. “Well, Marc, one person's pessimist is another person's realist,” you might be tempted to say. But, I ask you, what impact does this life view have on your health? How does it impact your body? Can changing how you look at the world change your health?
There are several studies that tell us positivity, optimism, can improve the quality and longevity of our lives. Let's look at that a little.
Rather than just falling apart, positive outlooks enable people to overcome and persevere in the darkest of situations; optimists look at what they can do and do that. This is a lesson taught at military survival schools. Look for what you can do and focus on that. This is resilience. It also manifests in our immunity system.
If you can improve how you view the world and the circumstances you find yourself in, you can improve your body's immunity. These studies show those with positive emotions about how they are doing in important areas of their lives have better resistance to infections. Positivity actually strengthens our immune system while negativity weakens it. This is not a cure-all, but if it can help keep the flu away, it's worth smiling more.
You can handle stress better and outperform negative attitudes. How is that? By being able to look at the situation and seeing what went right and how to change what went wrong you can readjust what is being done and move forward.
Mark Divine, a former Navy SEAL writes, in his book The Way of the SEAL, described fast forward failure. Understand that failures happen. All the time. SEALS hit snags in every operation. Business leaders hit shags in every deal. None of those snags matter. What matters is how people deal with them. When the failure hits, these elites look at what went wrong and, rather than finding who to blame, they find the way to go forward and succeed. You will be better able to see the big picture and identify solutions as you move forward.
As you get better at doing this fast forward failure you will make better decisions under pressure. It takes practice. Positivity takes practice. As you practice you will also find that you have happier long-term relationships.
Optimism to positive self-esteem to success to optimism is a cycle of thought habit. It really does not matter which way you take the cycle, just so long as you take it and begin. It is a learned habit. Start with small things and small successes and work your way up, building confidence. Mark Divine, a former Navy SEAL writes, in his book The Way of the SEAL, that every night as SEAL candidates went to bed they were taught to focus on their successes from that day. In so doing, they built a wellspring of confidence to draw upon when things became tougher. …
Use this as a triangle of good mental health
Mark Divine in my house on a daily basis. They help me and my children.
Confidence to Achieve and Succeed
We need to have confidence in that we are supposed to be happy, that we deserve to enjoy and benefit from what we have worked for. Otherwise, we are living a life of drudgery, slogging from one day to the next. This is the embodiment of low self-esteem.
Low self-esteem leaves us vulnerable to negative thoughts and ideas such as not being good enough, self-distrust and leads to lower creativity and productivity. Those who live in this state, and I have been one, just go through the motions of life, doing what they have to do to get by. Just get by, nothing more.
High self-confidence brings empowerment, energy, motivation, the world is open and full of challenges and opportunities. Granted, these people are hard to handle until I have had some coffee in the morning, but it is better to be one than not.
Things Suck, Now What
Life has just kicked you in the jewels. I don't know what this looks like, but you do. Your challenges are yours. But, what can we do to get out of that ditch?
Focus on the Good
Not easy, believe me, I know how hard this is to do. Still it is extremely important. Remember some of those things that you are really grateful for when you are flying high? Yeah, those. Write some of them down. Look at that list of blessings and people that are all around you when you are in that dark place.
It is natural to focus on the negative. Ignoring problems does not make them go away; however, dwelling on them does not make solutions appear.
I am not going to lie to you, this is going to be difficult when you are down. But, it will also be well worth it. Perhaps there is a smell that you find particularly pleasant. Go find that. Scent is the most powerful memory stimulant. Find that scent and connect again to that happy memory and its joy.
Write a Daily Blessing Journal. Each day you write down a few things that made your day really great, or even just a few moments of it splendid. Something to refer back to when you need it.
Stop and do something that you really enjoy. Step away from the chaos, go to your favorite coffee shop or cafe, book nook, or whatever and indulge for 15 or 30 minutes. Take a few minutes to reset yourself.
Focus on someone else. No, I am not saying that you should stalk anyone! But, perhaps, you should focus on someone else and make sure that they are having a pleasant time. By taking the focus off of yourself and putting onto someone outside you change your thoughts. Your actions also bring about the release of feel good hormones in your brain. So, this is a double tap on the feel good actions.
Expressing gratitude. Just saying thank you and putting a smile on your face, even when you dont feel like it, will tell your brain that you must release something inside to change what you are feeling in your brain. The positive neurotransmitters, called serotonin, will be released in small amounts. Resulting in a slightly better mood.
Positive affirmations do work. As goofy as it sounds, they work and you should use them. In Napoleon Hill's book, Think and Grow Rich, these are part of his plan. They have been used for more than 100 years and are still in use today because they work.
Tigers, the most successful land hunter on the planet in the animal kingdom, has a kill rate of … 80%. Tigers, the deadliest land based killers, miss their meals 20 out of 100 times. 20 out of 100 times these 700+ pound magnificent beasts go hungry. Yet, they still go on. So will you.
Teach this to your children. Model this in your family and life. See how much healthier you will be for it.