I think that we're all drawn to super positive people. The kind of people who always have a smile on their face. People who remain calm and cheerful even when it seems like the world is ending. I'm not sure where this magical power of positivity comes from but I totally admire the glass half full attitude. I wish that I could remain optimistic in the face of adversity but if I'm being totally honest, I struggle to remain grounded and happy when my world starts to collapse around me.
The more time that I spend around positive people, the more that I realize that positivity may be less of a genetic trait and more of a learned behavior. Positive people, in my opinion, are more grateful than people who have negative attitudes. They appreciate the big and the small things in life. They seem to live with the attitude that they may not have it all - but they have always have enough. You rarely see them going after the bigger and better things in life. They are content and grateful for everything they have.
I feel like it was so much easier to be positive and grateful when we were young. There were no bills to pay, errands to run or chores to be done, just friends to meet and sledding hills to be conquered. It's easy to be grateful for a day spend riding bikes with friends or exploring in the woods. I should be equally grateful for a day spent running from the post office to the grocery, cooking meals or weeding the garden. I have to remind myself what a blessing and a privilege it is to be healthy enough to be able to accomplish everything on my to-do list for the day.
So, I'm learning to be consciously grateful for everything that I have in my attempt to be a more positive person. I know that there are days when I will get upset, disheartened or frustrated but I'm still going to try and count my blessings even on those days. To be honest, most of my anxiety and negative attitude comes from the "what-ifs". Like a lot of you, a lot of my anxiety comes from worrying about what could potentially happen in the future. When I redirect my thoughts to the here and now, I tend to be more grateful for the things that I have right now.
I'm also my own worst critic. I find it hard to say positive things to myself. It's much easier to speak encouragement and gratefulness to a friend than it is to tell myself those same positive things. Speaking positive words to myself is totally unnatural and awkward but I feel like the "look on the bright side" attitude is worth striving for.
I've heard that if you smile while you're talking on the phone, it will make you seem happier and more positive to the person on the other end. Maybe there's something to that. The fake it till you make it strategy.
Eat all your vegetables. There are children in China who are starving and would be grateful for this food that you're wasting. I heard this from my parents and I told it to my kids. OK, so maybe it was a little dramatic but the fact is that there ARE starving children - all over the world and we do need to grateful for the food that we have. My goal was to get my kids to eat their veggies and to be grateful for them. My strategy didn't always get them to consume more vegetables but maybe it made them stop and think about gratefulness for just a moment. Don't worry, it won't take any extra convincing to get your kids to eat these broccoli fritters.
Drain on paper towels
Not sure I'll be able to smile through my next "woe is me" slump but I'll certainly try and count my blessings and be grateful even on the hard days.
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