Friday, October 17, 2014

Positive Mind, Positive Life

I'm reposting this from a blog I wrote for one of my fitness challenge groups, mostly as a reminder to myself.  The past few weeks I have been unmotivated, stressed out, and not my usual self.

The journey to a healthier life is as much about what you eat and how much you workout as it is about how you feel about yourself and how you approach life.  It can also be a challenging journey at times and staying positive can be the key to achieving the results you want and to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

I'm a firm believer that attitude is everything.  The way that we approach each day can have such a big effect on how that day turns out for us.  When we are negative, we see every situation in a negative light, looking for excuses instead of solutions.  When we are positive, we see every situation as an opportunity to grow, learn, and love.

It took me a long time to figure this out and a long time of living with a fairly negative attitude.  I made excuses, I was unhappy, and instead of changing my situation, I just let myself drift along.  So what changed?  I believe there are 3 main things that helped me change my outlook from glass half empty to glass half full.

1) Gratitude:  When you are grateful, you automatically focus on the positive things in your life and when you live each day with a grateful heart, you find even more positive things come your way. Try this: Spend a few minutes each morning or before you go to bed writing down 3-5 things that you are grateful for.  Do this at least once a week for a month.

2) Goals: Having goals to work toward allows me to stay on track, because I have a bigger purpose.  When I am working toward a goal, I know that I have to be in the right mindset on a daily basis in order to stay motivated and keep pushing myself.  Giving myself check-points and tracking my progress helps me keep a positive attitude even in the face of setbacks.  I can always look at how far I have come instead of dwelling on something negative.  Try this: Write down your short and long-term goals (related to family, fitness, career, or anything your heart desires).  Save your goals where you can see them daily.

3) Giving: Focusing on helping others instead of myself also keeps me positive.  When we help other people and do nice things for those we love, we receive feelings of happiness and satisfaction.  Try this: Do something nice for a friend, family member, or even a stranger. Buy them a coffee, write a sweet note just because, or invite them to lunch.

Overall, it takes a lot of self-awareness to live a positive and happy life.  You have to constantly check-in with yourself and evaluate how you are feeling in reaction to particular events, people, or places.  It may sound harsh, but keep the stuff that makes you happy and eliminate the stuff that stresses you out and makes you unhappy.

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