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How to Change Your Approach to a Problematic Life

Copy of Copy of Copy of I Forgot How To Feel Better

One of my main problems is that I’m inherently negative. It’s just my personality. While others will greet things with optimism despite endless disappointments, I veer toward the “cup half empty” philosophy. If I’m negative and end up being hurt by something, at least I expected it. At least I’m not even more disappointed.

I'm actually more like "glass totally empty." Courtesy photo.

I’m actually more like “glass totally empty.” (Courtesy photo.)

I’ve been reading a lot of MindBodyGreen.com lately, and this article piqued my interest. The author, David Zulberg, discusses how to change your attitude when you cannot change your circumstances. This resonated a lot with me. I can’t change my situation; I can’t fix my broken body. I can poke it with needles, fill it with drugs, ice it and heat it and soothe it, but I can’t fix the fundamental problems. I can, however, change my attitude. I can change how I view myself.

Yes: “I’m injured.” No: “I’m crippled.”

Yes: “Today is going to be a great day.” No: “I’m going to hurt all day long.”

Yes: “I’m in pain, and I will continue to live my life.” No: “This pain is an all-encompassing hell on earth. I would rather inhale a cactus.”

Being optimistic can have a great effect on health and well-being. As many publications have shown, having a positive disposition can greatly influence how you feel. Even a fake smile can bring about real feeling, so keeping a positive framework can really help those suffering from chronic pain and illness.

So what does David Zulberg suggest? Here are his five main bullet points:

1. Admit to yourself that you’re not happy.

2. Realize optimism is a choice. 

3. Use positive words.

4. Hang out with friends who have a happy vibe.

5. Say a daily affirmation.

Makes sense. I know that while I understand numbers 1 and 2, I’m not good about number 3 — I constantly want to set things on fire. Husband is happy except when he’s upset about my circumstances. I hang out with him. He makes me happy. My friends, when I feel good enough to see them, also make me happy. I’m good on number 4. I’d say my cat, Fattie, also has a happy vibe.

So number 5. I am going to create a daily affirmation right now. That affirmation is:

I am going to feel good today.

Additionally, I feel good today. 

Tracy Jordan would admonish me for using “good” instead of “well,” but I feel like “good” encompasses more of the emotion I want to foster. (“Superman does good. You doin’ well. You better study your grammar, son.”) I am going to say this affirmation every day, multiple times a day, even if I feel like garbage.

With hair like that, how could he ever feel lousy? (Courtesy photo.)

With hair like that, how could he ever feel lousy? (Courtesy photo.)

I am going to feel good today.

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7 Comments

  1. I enjoyed your post. I think numbers 2 and 3 are difficult for me as well. I try to write about the same sort of thing on my blog, I try to think positively. Ultimately, I am still not that good at it. I haven’t mastered happiness or knowing how to get there. I haven’t mastered overcoming negativity and utilizing positive affirmations. I guess, I hope that by writing positive stuff, it’ll eventually sink in. I know what the answer is, but remaining happy is something I find myself working on daily and more so than the average person. All we can do is exercise our positive attitude daily like you would a muscle, eventually it gets stronger and feeling positive hopefully gets easier with time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a constant reminder for all those who are perhaps refusing to change their almost routine of pessimism. I used to be so negative and I always reason out that I’m just being sensitive to my own emotions. But a time will come that you will just get tired of being locked inside your negative world. I did.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Going to Church: Changing Meds, the Mind-Body Connection, and Talk Therapy | Wear, Tear, & Care

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