When life keeps handing you lemons, you soon lose your ambition to turn those lemons into lemonade; and instead, you become immersed in feelings of bitterness. It is in these moments that one must hold on tightly to the perspective needed to turn a negative situation into a positive one. I have always envied people who have the spirit to keep fighting, even when the odds are stacked against them; despite their own emotional and physical pain, they seem to be able to rise above it and maintain a positive outlook. How do they do it?
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
The last couple of weeks, I have been quite introspective. Being negative, grouchy, and unbearable, has not gotten me any closer to feeling better physically or emotionally, so it might be time for a new approach. I read a quote recently about marriage that I could relate to my friendships. It went something like this: two wounded people do not make a whole. This really struck me. I always took the “misery loves company” saying to heart. But as I examined my relationships, being miserable with someone else who was also feeling miserable, just increased my miserableness (Is that even a word? HAHAHA). Through watching others in my life, I am now able to see myself, and how I might have “come off” to others all theses years. This helped me to realize that I don’t want to be that grouch-bucket person. I want to be the person who, more than not, rises above it!
It is definitely hard work to reprogram your thoughts into positives instead of negatives; however, I always try to keep in mind the following saying:
“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”
So you decided you needed to change your negative self-talk, now what?
Well, so far, I have been doing fairly well. I decided that if I was going to take this seriously, I also needed to start talking and spending time with people who encourage and lift me up. Of course there will be times that I am disappointed and thus, negative. But the 50/10 rule should help keep my negativity in check and keep me in the present. The 50/10 rule is a coping strategy used by people with terminal illness, or those who are overcome by tremendous grief. It states, that in an hour’s time, you must live in the moment for 50 out of the 60 minutes in the hour. The other 10 minutes are reserved for venting, feeling anxious, crying—-whatever negativity you have to release from your body, gets done in those 10 minutes. So, in every hour of the day, you have 50 minutes to live in the moment–striving for a positive state of mind, and 10 minutes to wallow, cry or whatever else you need to do to get the negativity out of your system.
Lastly, I decided to keep a Gratitude Journal. At the end of everyday, I am going to write at least 5 things that I am grateful for. This will help me be more aware of the good things happening in my life day-to-day. Here are some of the things I am grateful for all the time:
1. Lily’s voice (She sounds just like Bridge)
2. Watching Sofia learn and grow
3. That Jen includes me in Sofia’s “firsts,” since I might not get to experience those things with my own children
4. Laughing so hard with Holly that I can’t breathe
5. Having pets to snuggle and talk to when I am feeling sick or lonely
6. Mid-day and HeyTell talks with Bridge
7. Every moment left with my parents
8. Random videos of Miss Lily being Silly
9. Jen ~she is the closest I will ever come to having a sister
10. PINTEREST!!! HAHAHA
I’ll stop it there or I will go on and on!
Life is full of ups and downs. For some of us, it seems like it is just full of downs, and while you can’t control things like sickness, you can choose your attitude….you can choose how you are going to deal with your disappointment and pain. Just finding one positive in a pool of negatives is a great first start in changing the wiring of your brain! If negative self-talk is something that you struggle with, I challenge you to start implementing the 50/10 rule in your own life. Soon, your eyes will be spotting tons of things, in those 50 minutes, to be grateful for!