Over the past few years, I have been making it a priority to have a good feeling life. My long dedication has paid off in wonderful ways, because most of my days now are pleasant, peaceful, and just plain good. The absolute best way I have found to maintain a good feeling life is through appreciation.
Being thankful and/or grateful is similar to this. In fact, the very first positive change I made in my incredibly bad feeling life was to write down three things I was thankful for every day. Eventually, I realized my thankfulness had turned to gratitude, and now I simply call it appreciation.
The word appreciation might have a small distinction between thankfulness and gratitude, but it’s an important one, because appreciation has a far bigger good feeling attached to it (just try it and see for yourself). When I appreciate, there’s not even a tiny amount of bad feeling or obligation attached to what I’m feeling. It just feels good.
Another thing I have found is that consistency is vital to building a good feeling life. I can instantly lift any bad feelings by spending fifteen solid minutes really appreciating something or someone in my life. After that fifteen minutes, I can feel my mood lift, and as a result, the rest of my day becomes so much better. But then what about the next day? Or what if something or someone comes along and completely ruins that good feeling high? Yep, I find more things to appreciate.
Did you know that our thought processes are what make our existence the way it is? If our thoughts are constantly on the negative, then these are the things that will continue to show up in our lives. We are inviting these kinds of circumstances to be active participants in everything we do. However, if we turn those negative thoughts into positive thoughts with positive outcomes, then we start seeing a change in the sort of events that happen around us.
This isn’t easy to do—to retrain the mind in how it thinks. Many of us have been programmed to the negative slant for most of our lives. Adjusting to a different way takes time, practice, and patience. The key to retraining the mind is to be persistent with making it happen, and be self-compassionate when the inevitable backwards slip happens.
I do think that slipping backwards is part of the retraining though. This slip back into negative ways helps us become more aware of how our thoughts work. To recognize the kind of patterns that need to be addressed. So don’t stress too much about getting it right. Our own individual right way will reveal itself as we continue to retrain the negative mind.
Here are some ways to help retrain your negative mind…
It took a few false starts for me to finally get this blog post to say what I wanted it to say. This being the first official post of the series, I wanted to make sure it was truly the right words. The fact is there is a whole lot to say, but which are the right words? And there in lies my problem. When I get like this, not much get done.
Second-guessing myself has been something I’ve done a whole lot in my life. Sometimes it got so bad, I stayed stuck in one place for a very long time. It was too hard to make a decision and stick with it, because I never could be confident enough to step out and keep stepping outward. It seemed easier to stay in one place.
It’s not, however. Stuck is stuck and that means nothing new or anything truly meaningful will happen. Only the same stuff over and over. Dreams fly by, and they are just that–dreams. They never become real. And discontent grows to the point where there’s no hope for the future. Day after day goes by, and it feels like a prison. You don’t need to die to go to hell–you are already there.
Yes, we can and do create our own hells. It happens everyday. The worst part is you never know when it starts. One day you are okay and then you realize nothing is okay. Or maybe nothing ever was okay.
But one thing I’ve learned is that life is what you make of it. You want a happy life, then imagine yourself in that happy life. And not just every once in awhile–imagine it all the time. Be specific about what you want. Know what you even want. Don’t think about all the obstacles standing in the way. Those don’t really matter. It’s a way of stuck thinking. If you truly want something bad enough, you are going to get it, and nothing will stop you.
My life has gone through some major changes over the last few months and this will probably continue for awhile. These changes have been good ones, but they have drastically changed how I think and approach life. I now have a deeper understanding of myself, and the world around me. One of the things I understand is how much this world needs healing. There is not a single one of us who can heal the world, but if we each do a small part then major change can occur.
I have decided that I can do a few things to help the healing process, and part of that is by creating a new blog series that I will be posting on once a month. I hope to do twice a month at some point, but I have a lot going on in my life right now and only feel comfortable committing to one a month for now.
This series is geared at giving myself a place to speak up and share some of the things I have learned as I have grown and expanded over the last few months. But it will also be a place others can come to speak their truths as well.