Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Oct 19: Look Up, Step Up, Cheer Up!

This is something I heard in General Conference and LOVED!  I decided to make it my quote for the month and try to apply it to my life.  The idea is that when you are more positive and try a little harder, you will be happier.  For tonight I'll focus on part one of this concept: Look UP.  To me this has several meanings, such as looking to God- His love for us, his desires and plans for us, and what we are capable of with His help.  It could also mean to think with an eye toward the future, instead of being distracted or bogged down by present cares and circumstances.  It could also mean to be more positive, something I've been working on for a long time.  Here are some good suggestions I've found in my research:
1.) Accept that there are problems. (Ignoring them does not make them go away). 
2.) Make some small, achieveable goals.  (Where there are no goals, there is no progress, which can lead to negativity.)
3.) Count your blessings.  (The more you do this, the easier it gets to name more and more things, and you will be amazed at how many you can come up with.)
4.) Avoid negative influences.  (We can't control the attitudes of others in our lives, and it can seem like the more you try to be positive, the more negative others will seem.  But if you tell your friends, family, and co-workers what you're trying to accomplish, most will curb their negativity for you.)
5.) Surround yourself with positive images, colors, and music. (Yellow, orange, and pink are all happy-making colors, and I love listening to "On the Sunny Side of the Street" by Billie Holiday when I need a pick-me-up).
6.) Get involved in positive activities.  (Volunteering is the best way to gain a positive outlook, because you are focused on the needs of others instead of yourself.  Any wholesome group activity- sporty, artistic, intellectual, spiritual, etc. is good too.)
7.) Try new things.  (The more things you try, the better you'll know yourself and the richer your life will be, which leads to fulfillment.)
8.) Plan things that you can look forward to, follow through, and then document the occasion. (Studies show that the anticipation of an enjoyable event is often more intense than the event itself.  Following through with plans shows you that you have power to make things happen.  And documenting the event, by writing in a journal, taking pictures, or sharing the story with others is like reliving the experience.  It releases endorphines, making you feel positive again and again even though the event is past.)
9.) Realize that what you focus on becomes your reality.  (Thoughts become actions, which affect your circumstances.  Think negative, get more negative.  Think positive... you get it.)
10.) Last but not least... Make a commitment to be happy and remind yourself of it often.  (Happiness is not a destination we arrive at, it's a way of traveling.  It requires a conscious effort.)

Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence”  - Aristotle

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