Archive for the ‘Upbeat thinking’ Category

~ Liquid Sunshine ~by ViaMoi

I was reading a kindness newsletter from Help.Others.org earlier.  It reminds again of the importance of kindness.  It’s amazing how making someone else feel better makes you feel better too.

There are lots of ways to be kind. You can give a compliment, bake brownies, or offer to help with a task someone else struggles with.  You can do a chore for a friend or give a stranger a gift.  Hand out flowers, share a hug, or simply listen to someone who needs it.

A simple smile and hello go a long, long way. Just today there were some people at work who were sick.  They were tired, withdrawn and quiet because they didn’t feel good.  Just smiling at them and joking around lifted their moods for a while.  It couldn’t make the pain go away, but it helped them forget about it for a moment.

Niceness counts too.  Especially at work, where it is sometimes unexpected. Saying good morning, acknowledging help with a thank you, or giving praise for a good job, all increase positive feelings.  Sharing a smile, good news, and funny stories are all helpful to building good relationships at work.

Niceness is wonderful at home too.  Have you ever known someone who didn’t want to hear how much you love them? A kiss or hug when you walk in the door is welcoming.  Turning off the TV or muting the volume while you listen to your spouse shows them you care about them and how they feel.

Kindness and the power of being nice make the day so much more smoother and happier, it’s a wonder I don’t do it every day. On a really good day I can even make someone I don’t like happy.  On a bad day, helping a friend smile or feel cared for makes me feel needed, which gives me a reason to keep going.

So why don’t I always wear my rose-colored glasses?  I don’t know. Life gets in the way.  I get “busy.”  That terrible 4-letter word that means I stop paying attention to myself and those around me, and miss golden opportunities to make life better. But that’s why I’m sharing.  Today just reading about the kindness of strangers made me feel more optimistic.  Then I listened to a friend and gave out some smiles and compliments.  Soon my mood was much improved.  It was a subtle reminder of the power of kindness.  Niceness adds a bit more beauty and joy into the world.  And we could all use more of that.


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by elycefeliz

I know I’ve made mistakes, lots and lots of them. I’ve been rude, given the cold shoulder, let down a friend in need, and not lived up to my own expectations.  I’ve forgotten birthdays, skipped lunch and dinner invitations, and gotten so caught up in work that I’ve gone home tired, headachy and grouchy.

I’ve tried to become a writer, planned to open a store, and didn’t apply for better jobs when I had the chance.  I’ve not exercised, eaten far too much, and skipped cleaning the house when it needed it.

Isn’t it great?  Because all these mistakes mean I’m making progress. At least I’m working.  I’m doing something.  I have found so many things that don’t work for me over the past 20 years.  So I must be pretty darn close to figuring out the whole mystery of life.  (Well one can hope can’t they?)

A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.
Albert Einstein

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.
Thomas A. Edison

As every inventor knows, life is all about making mistakes –there would be no new inventions without them. Babies fall down more times than they stand, but they keep trying.  They know the goal is worth the effort – a whole new world awaits if they can just get it right.  Basketball players can miss half their shots and still win the game.  Even when you fail you can still succeed.

Don’t just look at your missteps and errors and not see the accomplishments, skills or lessons you’ve learned. Maybe you discovered you weren’t quite organized enough to run a business and you need to work on that first.  Perhaps you learned to arrive late like your best friend instead of wasting time waiting for her.  Maybe you saw that your passion for writing was not for a novel, but better suited to magazine articles, poems or some other shorter bits of material.

Making mistakes means making progress.  I forget this vital truth from time and time and need to remind myself.  There is relief in knowing that each blooper and blunders is just part of the journey.  The path you’re on may swerve in an unexpected direction – it’s up to you to decide which whether to keep going or not. It’s the adventure of life and we all live it.  Where will you’re adventure lead?

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Picture by thatbluepuppy

I’ve heard several blogs talking about picking a word of the year for your New Year’s resolution. I really like the idea, but last year I just couldn’t narrow down my choice to one.  This year I’ve got it – my word is FREEDOM.

Freedom to make mistakes.  Freedom to change my mind.  Freedom to be silly.  Freedom to do what I want to do. I tend to get way too caught up in doing what I “should” do.  Going to work, paying my bills, cooking, cleaning, and all that stuff.  Which is fine in it’s own way, but I spend more time on what I HAVE to do, instead of what I WANT to do.

I’m giving myself PERMISSION to have the freedom in my life that I envy in the lives of others.  The freedom to CHOOSE to make time for the things I’m missing out on.  Going on more trips, eating at new restaurants, learning new ways of making money so I can afford the things I want.

Freedom is allowing me to stop complaining about my life.  I’m free to find a new job that is more align with my passion.  I’m free to try dressing in a new way and even overhaul my whole wardrobe if I want to.  Lately I’ve been trying many new foods and finding that my taste buds have changed and I enjoy flavors I didn’t before.  Freedom allows me to say, “I’m different today than I was yesterday – and that’s WONDERFUL!”

My own inner critic was holding me back far more than any real-life criticism I received.  If a person told me I couldn’t do it, I’d just say – “Yeah right –watch me!.”  If I told myself I couldn’t do it, I was convinced that I was a smart person and I must know what I was talking about!  By focusing on FREEDOM, I know that I’m free to change my mind, try again, or completely revise my old ideas. This focus word is helping me put things into perspective.

So what is your word for the year?  And how does it help you?  Share your ideas with me.

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by Prozac74

While reading another blog that I love, I came across a theme that really resonates with me. It’s called “Rules that don’t exist.” I love this idea firstly because I have always been a bit weird.  I often enjoy things that friends or family dislike or aren’t interested in.  It could be liking music someone else hates, or my love reading – I can’t get enough of it.  Some friends hope that particular disease isn’t contagious

That’s why living by your own rules is so important. Another great blogger, Gretchen Rubin, talks about how what’s fun for other people may not be fun for you – and vice versa.  This is so important to recognize.  You can’t live your life by other people’s rules.

If you love foreign films, or playing video games, or doing sudoku, go right ahead and have fun!  If you love knitting, making homemade Christmas cards or fantasy football – go for it!  Do what YOU love.  Remember love is a matter of the heart. Just like no one can make you love a particular person, no one can make you love a particular thing either.

If you’re anything like me, you live the old adage “Joys shared are doubled, sorrows shared are halved.”  For me, it’s completely true.  Sometimes I feel my joy is diminished because the people around me don’t share my enthusiasm and interest.

It is an enormous relief to realize that while none of my friends like playing with toys – I love it!  I like movies that my husband hates.  It’s like a milkshake – some love strawberry or vanilla, but I love chocolate.  Living life by your own rules means enjoying your particular flavor of life.

That’s one of the beautiful things about the Internet.  There you can find comrades who enjoy EXACTLY the same things as you.  Even if you have to go to one site for Harry Potter fans, and another one for horror movie fans.  (Both of which I like.)

I was reading an article with a point of view I disagreed with today, and it made me feel guilty.  (I thought the article had a point.)  But then I realized, that even though I agree with some of the information, I didn’t agree with the main point.  And that’s TOTALLY OK.  My whole perspective shifted once I realized it’s okay to disagree.

So whatever rules you use to live your life, make them ones that work for you.  Look at the things that you think you should believe – that doing things for others is good for you, that you can’t stay out late on a work night, or that rollercoasters are fun.  Maybe so, but maybe that’s not true for you.  Create a life that makes sense for you, not someone else, even someone you admire. Go live life by YOUR RULES!

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Picture by Zanastardust

It’s something I’ve been fighting against lately.  That I am responsible for the conditions in my life.  There has been lots of things bothering me lately; noisy neighbors, work overload, traffic, weather, and an ever-growing to-do list.  When so many things are causing stress and headaches, it’s so easy (and somewhat comforting) to blame others.  Thinking things like “My company is too demanding and doesn’t understand my workload, my neighbors are inconsiderate and rude, or that driver is stupid and blind.”

The good news is that all those improvements you want to see in others, can begin with you. A good example that pops into my head is the dog training show The Dog Whisperer on National Geographic.  Have you seen when Cesar brings in a “good dog” to show the other dog how to behave?  Often the barking, jumping, wild dog will initially approach the new dog with this loud, aggressive attitude.  The good dog doesn’t like this and will turn away and go lay down away from the troublemaker.  It doesn’t take long before the troublemaker is calmly sitting down, watching every move the good dog makes.  Why?  Because all that boisterous, hyper troublemaker wants is attention.  Or exercise.  Or both.  It wants good dog to notice it and to interact.  When good dog ignores it, it learns it must change its behavior to get what it wants.

Years ago while reading self-help books I came across this wise advice “if you want to change those around you, first you must change yourself.” When we act in a different manner or with a new attitude, others see this and must decide how to respond.  They can keep on acting in the same way as before, but it will not get the same results.  It’s like a bully who finds that over the summer the kid he was pushing around has grown taller than him.  When one person changes, often so do the others.

Now of course just because you change does not mean the rest of the world suddenly becomes paradise.  But the good news is that we have a choice.  Instead of whining and complaining about how unfair everything is and how nobody does what you want, you can start saying “I’m glad that no one else has control over me.  They can’t make me miserable or unhappy unless I let them.” Then look for the positive in your situation.

Here is an example from me.  I don’t like my job right now.  There are many, many things I would change about it.  So yesterday I forced myself to make a list of the things that are good about it.  Here’s what I got:

  1. I work within 3 miles of my house so I save lots of money on gas.  (My old job was 20 miles each way.)
  2. My office allows a flex schedule, so I can come in early or stay late to make up time for doctors appointments and things.  Then I can use my vacation time strictly for vacations.
  3. My boss has a laid-back style.  She doesn’t watch over my shoulder or constantly correct me, but is there to help me if I need it.
  4. My office is convenient to shopping and restaurants.  I can go out to lunch or do shopping after work and save time since it’s right next to the office.
  5. I make a good steady paycheck and have health benefits.  Many people don’t right now.  Also, all the work I have to do means that for the next 6 months at least I know I have job security.

Now obviously this doesn’t change the things I don’t like about my job.  But surprisingly (to me at least), this list does help me feel better about being there.  I could still complain about things, but with no other job prospects in this tight economy, and people still losing their jobs, that doesn’t help me.  What makes my days there better is knowing that there are positive aspects to my job if I just bother to look for them.

I hope this reminder can be of use to you, like it was to me.  I was stuck in the blame game again – and I know better.  Recognizing our own power and using it to our advantage is a great help.  And we’ll feel better about our lives in the process.  Remember positive change starts with you.

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Picture by dezinerfolio

Daily living is hard.  Times are tough.  It’s a fact right now for many of us.  In the face of financial hardships many of us feel anxious, fearful and overwhelmed.  We all want to feel a return of hope, happiness, and most importantly – security.

One of the ways to brings ourselves closer to this goal is to focus on the good things we already have.  It’s so easy to list all the problems in the world, the newspapers and TV remind us every day.  But there are just as many positive things in our lives.

Here is a reminder of just a few of the good things we may overlook:

  • Having a loving spouse. If your spouse makes you laugh, helps with the chores or surprises you with unexpected gifts, consider yourself blessed.
  • Being healthy. Having a headache and feeling tired can add to our strain, but when compared with more serious conditions our complaints fall silent.
  • A nice home. This can mean many things; an organized home, a clean home, a warm and cheerful home or a sanctuary from the outside world.  If your home fulfills any of these you’re lucky.  If it fills them all you can celebrate.
  • Fun things. This could be cable TV, lots of books, dinner out, a movie, music, your pool, game systems like Xbox and PS3, etc.  How about your computer?  Things like Facebook, You Tube and other sites provide lots of entertainment.
  • Nice clothes. When we have plenty of money we may not notice this, but having clothes that are comfortable, in our favorite color or style brings lots of happiness.  Just think how much you enjoy your favorite pair of jeans, sneakers or PJ’s.
  • Your car. Have you given thought to your car lately?  Whether your car is old but dependable, or new and fast, a car that runs well and doesn’t need repairs is something to rejoice over these days.  (Trust me on this; I’m just happy mine hasn’t needed anything in a couple of months!)
  • Adorable pet. A soft cuddly friend who is always waiting for you with a wagging tail can be a real mood lifter on tough days.  Take a minute or two and play with your four-legged friend and you’ll both benefit.
  • Beautiful children. Don’t let stress stop you from enjoying your children.  Before playing with your kids stop and relax for a few minutes.  Let their laughter and silliness lighten your heart and bring a smile to your face.
  • Sunshine and moonlight. Stars sparkling overhead like diamonds on black velvet.  Golden sunlight gleaming on the blue water.  Nature is all around us, beautiful and free.

There’s lots more things to appreciate, but you get the idea.  Time is short.  Days pass by much too quickly.  There is as much joy, fun and happiness as there is misery, but it’s harder to find.  You have to look for it.  Don’t let the good moments pass you by.

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Picture  by netwalker

Lately I’ve been getting stuck over-working.  I don’t mean staying late and getting overtime.  I mean missing break-time, or becoming so immersed in work that I don’t leave my chair for 2 straight hours.

While my boss may like this activity on the surface, it is not beneficial to either me or her.  The simple fact is that most of us do better when we take breaks.  You see this at any pre-school or kindergarten.  Kids are told to take a break to play or rest, or simply to change from math and numbers to art and drawing.

This change of pace helps our mind learn better, and improves our concentration and focus.  You’ll notice this whenever you say to yourself “I’m really stuck on this project, I’m going to wait until to tomorrow to do this to get a fresh perspective.”  The next day, after a full night’s rest, you look at the problem again and suddenly see a solution where you thought there where none.

So how can you make the most of your mini-breaks?  One way is to vary the type of activity to your mood and energy level.  If you are feeling ill, you may want to skip the walk and just take a quiet 2 minutes to close your eyes and take a couple of refreshing deep breathes.

Here are a few mini-break ideas to get you started:

  1. Walk around the building. This is an often over-looked break.  When you are stressed-out, frustrated or simply tired, this is a great way to loosen up and unwind.   It helps un-kink your back, neck and shoulders.  The physical activity your blood moving and the effects can help aid your concentration for the next 2 hours or more.   And even if it’s cloudy the light is better outside than those harsh fluorescent lights.  As an added benefit if it’s a sunny day you will even get some free vitamin D.
  2. Quiet time. This is harder to do than the others, but is highly effective.  Some places to go for quiet are; the empty conference room, your car, an empty park bench outside, a vacant cubicle, and in a pinch, the bathroom stall.  Quiet time is most effective if you can close your eyes and take a couple of deep breaths without being disturbed.  You don’t have to be long – even 2 minutes will help, the key is simply some kind of reminder to do it.
  3. Internet break. Many of us are blocked from various Internet sites, but even work-related sites can sometimes be fun.  Look for jokes related to your industry, cartoons, pictures of babies, puppies or other cute animals, or a funny article about your coworkers.  You can find stress-relief articles on health sites, or simply go to a science web site and read about the latest, greatest technical inventions for an interesting change of pace.
  4. Stretch. Raising your hands above your head and reaching your toes 5 times in a row is a wonderful release for tension and muscle pain.  Often we don’t even realize we’re feeling achy until we get up.  And believe me, even if you have to do this at your desk, your body, and most likely your friends will thank you.  Even though you’ll feel exposed and vulnerable, wondering if people are noticing your belly, or your old shoes, you’ll be pleased to find they simply notice the pleasure you’re getting from stretching out your back, and soon enough they’ll be following suit.
  5. Music. Whether you like it loud or love to relax to quiet melodies, music is a great break.  It can invigorate you, especially if you sing along while taking a walk or working out.  You can use it to transport you to a tranquil oasis, where waterfalls quietly gurgle and birds sing in the trees.  Use your MP3 player to its full potential.  Listen at work, while in line, during a long car ride, or for 15 minutes after work.  Look for thing songs that really inspire you.
  6. Humor. Laughter is a great tool for relieving stress.  Keep a joke-a-day calendar, some funny one-liners, or a cartoon book like Peanuts or Dilbert.  Send funny pictures or tell the story about your dog in the snow.  Share your favorite silly commercial, your husband’s baby picture or whatever else strikes your fancy.  The smiles and happy memories will make you feel good and improve your day.

15 quick ideas to help you relax.

Great ways to relax at work.

Relaxify your workspace.

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