5 tips for Catholics to stay positive
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Do you - or someone you know - struggle with maintaining a positive attitude? Are people less inclined to spend time with you due to your poor attitude? Are you tired of wallowing in negativity? Try these simple tips to change the course of your life forever!
Stay positive by following five simple tips (WikiMedia Commons).
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Sometimes life isn't fair. Bad things happen to good people and there's nothing you can do about it - or is there?
Maintaining a positive attitude is primarily about perspective. Those with brighter outlooks tend to exhibit more positive attitudes, while those who only see the negative tend to reflect their circumstances in their words and behavior.
When you have only negative things to say and constantly complain about things outside your control - or worse, within your control - you create a toxic environment others notice and avoid.
Are you ready to change the atmosphere? Just follow these five simple tips to reach a positive attitude - and to keep it.
Stop holding grudges
Easier said than done, right?
The bottom line is when you hold a grudge, you literally hold negativity in your heart. When you refuse to let go of negative experiences and emotions, it is impossible to maintain a healthy, positive attitude.
There are several ways to let go of a grudge - the easiest is through forgiveness.
Remember, forgiving is not the same as forgetting. It is entirely possible to forgive someone for a past wrong and to move forward together - the question is how to let go.
Think about situations in which you were wronged and remember people change. So what if your sibling stole a love interest in the past? That relationship never would have lasted anyway. What's more important? Your sibling or an old flame who gave in to the advances of someone else?
Evaluate grudges logically, rather than emotionally, and suddenly forgiveness won't seem so inconceivable.
The next time your spouse does something to anger you, take a moment to ask God for help. Ask Him to help you communicate in a way that is both loving and calm.
Arguing definitely creates a negative environment and can lead to a poor attitude for the rest of the day. It can also lead to a grudge.
By praying, you are allowing God to intervene and help you calm down before speaking. This creates an opportunity for a meaningful conversation while increasing the odds of the other person reacting in kind.
Even if it is something minor - like stress from driving in traffic - praying for peace should be part of everyone's daily routine.
Nothing creates a more positive attitude than being thankful.
Perhaps you woke up on the wrong side of the bed - but at least you woke up and you have a bed.
Humans takes everything for granted - the trick is recognizing how very blessed you really are.
When your children won't stop screaming at each other, take a moment to collect yourself and thank God for blessing you with kids.
Calmly talking down screaming children not only provides a positive attitude for yourself, it also teaches your children how to respond to negative situations.
Thanking people in public also helps you maintain a positive attitude and can help others feel positive as well.
Thank your banker after they help you, thank your cashier. Thank the person who holds the door open for you and please remember to thank your server after they deliver your meal and bill.
You may think simple expressions of gratitude are standard, but a surprising number of people fail to thank people. It's very easy to do, all you need is two simple words: "Thank you."
Remaining positive isn't always easy - and remembering lists and tips definitely isn't easy when you're having a bad day.
Set a short-term goal for yourself. Perhaps your goal is walking the dog more often for one week or making lunch for your spouse to enjoy at work.
These small goals are tokens are your love and are expressions of thankfulness for having others in your life.
By making others happy, you make yourself happy - thus perpetuating an endless cycle of positive living.
For those of you who really struggle with positive thinking and actions, set a personal goal to think of one positive thing every day.
Concentrate on that one positive thing every time life throws you a lemon and, after some practice and time, you will realize things don't get to you the way they used to.
It is important to recognize that you are in control of your actions and are responsible for your reaction to certain events.
If someone angers or frustrates you, walk away. Tell them you need a minute and disengage. Use this opportunity to pray for a solution, think about the situation logically and come up with a positive response.
Thinking critically, rather than emotionally, leads to swift resolutions and shorter periods of negative thinking.
When we let negativity reign, we lose opportunities to better ourselves and those around us.
Rather than relying solely on prayers, take action to ensure the air is cleared and bad situations are swiftly dealt with.
If this means you need to immediately confront someone to discuss how to better interact, do it. If taking action means you spend time talking to God about the problems in your life - then actively find solutions to these problems by changing your perspective and forgiving others or yourself, then by all means do it!
God didn't create us to be stressed and angry. We are meant to enjoy the lives bestowed upon us - so have fun by searching for the silver lining and making time for a bit of introspection.
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