Think Positive 30 Rotating Header Image

True Friends

No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow. – Alice Walker

Do you remember when you were a kid, some adult in your life telling you that you are judged by the company you keep?  Well, that was true, and it is also true that people tend to take on the characteristics of the people with whom they spend the most time.

I am blessed to have a plethora of wonderful people in my life, and these people all have different characteristics.  Some are incredibly happy-go-lucky, others are extremely driven, some are very athletic and physical, and some are more relaxed.  I have friends who are focused on money, and friends who barely get by, friends that are very analytical and friends who are more creative.  I also have friends who are incredibly happy and enjoy life, and friends who are angry at the world.

I’m sure when you look at your friends, you’ll find that the characteristics that make up your friends are equally as varied as the character traits that make up the wonderful person that is you!  It’s funny, when I spend time with my outdoorsy athletic friends, we usually do something outdoors, go figure.  And when I spend time with my more creative friends, we focus on more creative activities.

This is where it gets interesting.  When I spend time with my friends who are angry at the world, or who are chronically unhappy, I find myself being angry and unhappy too.  Those are not moods I wish to explore frequently, nor are they moods anybody should explore frequently. But do you want to avoid those friends and not hang out with them?  If you say yes, that is your choice, but I love all my friends and want to spend time with them.

Years ago, when I started Think Positive 30, I spent a lot of time on the platform LiveJournal.  It was a great platform for blogging, as well as bitching and complaining.  I swear nobody every posted cheerful thoughts, it was always what was going wrong in their life.  That’s not a bad thing.  It’s always good to get things out and not keep them bottled up inside.  However, when you spend all your free time reading how bummed, or angry or upset people are, it starts to wear on you.

My wonderful friend Patty decided she was going to post one positive thing each day in her LJ and I followed suit and that’s how Think Positive 30 was born.  You can do the same.  When you are spending time with people you know are kind of mopey or always complaining pregame some positivity.  Listen to some cheerful music or read or watch something that makes you feel good inside.

Recognize that it is not your job to change your friends or to fix them. You are responsible for yourself.  When you are hanging out and they are complaining because the rain ruined your beach day, agree, but point out that maybe the rain was needed, and come up with something different to do.  Just deflect their negative thinking and you’ll be better off. And make sure to schedule time with the happy, feel good friends too!

Excellence Takes Time

If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. – Colin Powell

 

I was thinking about excellence today.  When you set out to do something, you want to do it to the best of your ability.  But when you start doing something, your ability level is usually nowhere near excellence.  I decided to start knitting last year while we were out on remote learning.  I figured it would be nice to have something to do with my hands while I sat in endless zoom meetings and the kids had their cameras off.  Yeah remote teaching is SOOO fun.

Now I had some experience with knitting.  My Grams had taught me how to cast on, and do the knit stitch, and years later a friend showed me how to do the purl stitch.  So there I was, primed with “all my experience,” ready to go.  Pretty much I was going to go nowhere fast, so I did what everybody else does when they don’t know how to do something.  I googled it.  I found a very use friendly site called Sheep and Stitch and I watched a couple of YouTube tutorials they had posted and I was ready to go.  Bam, instant excellence, right?  WRONG!

I made a scarf for my daughter.  I was so proud of that scarf.  However, it wasn’t very good because I hadn’t developed good knitting habits yet.  My daughter uses the scarf to cover her eyes when she is snoozing in our big giant recliner in the living room.  It’s okay, I’m not offended, because it really wasn’t very good.  I then knit the same scarf for a friend and it was better, but it still wasn’t good.  I was still working on those little habits.

Then, I decided to get crazy and knit an infinity scarf for my daughter – a new pattern ladies and gentlemen, and a different style of knitting because I was knitting in the round.  So while parts of it were a little better because I was starting to develop those habits in the little matters, it was still pretty much a cluster.  And the one I made for my sister was even worse because I deviated from the pattern.  Pro tip, when you don’t know what you’re doing, don’t do that!

So it’s been almost a year since I started knitting.  Am I excellent?  Nope, not even close, and that’s okay.  I’m getting better.   I’m practicing, and I’m learning.  One huge thing I’m learning is that I should probably take an in person class at some point if this pandemic ever goes away.  YouTube is helpful, Sheep and Stitch is great, but I learn better in person.  But until I can take that class, I’m going to keep practicing the little things, like tension and reading patterns.  I will start to master these things and as I do, I will be one more step closer to excellence.  It’s not going to happen today, and it’s not going to happen tomorrow, and that’s okay.  And if I never become a master knitter, that’s okay too, because in the end, what matters is that I am having fun.  Excellence is great, but it means nothing if you aren’t enjoying what you do!

How to Reduce Financial Stress and Become a Healthier You

How to Reduce Financial Stress and Become a Healthier You

If you’re struggling with money problems, your mental and physical health might be struggling too.

Maybe you know what’s necessary to improve your financial circumstances but lack the means to get started, or maybe you’re unsure if there’s a path forward at all. Either way, constant worrying about your budget leads to significant stress that can affect the proper functioning of your mind and body.

To make wellness a priority, it’s important to address your financial concerns as well as the resulting impact on your health. To help you tackle the consequences of your financial strain, we’re here to explain the impact of money troubles and how you can get to a better place — in terms of both your health and your wallet.

Health Consequences of Financial Stress

Those with financial worries tend to experience a wide range of harmful effects on their health. Since money is always on your mind, you might deal with one or more of these mental health struggles:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Low Self-Esteem
  • Memory Loss

 

The impact of financial stress on your mental health also can affect your body. Here are some common consequences for your physical health:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Headaches
  • Sleep Problems
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Weight Gain
  • Medical Care Avoidance

Getting to a Better Place

Whether you’re undergoing financial stress, health problems, or a combination of both, it can feel overwhelming to work on getting better. However, we’ve broken down some ways you can combat all your struggles at once:

  • Meditation: Meditating can be a powerful healing tool for those dealing with mental health problems.
  • Positive Affirmations: Thinking positively is crucial for everyone, especially for those experiencing depression. Browse through these affirmations for messages to tell yourself.
  • Professional Help: For medical, financial, and mental health advice, seeking guidance from a professional can make a significant difference.
  • Balanced Diet: Eating well can help both the mind and body perform at their best.
  • Manifestation: To attract financial abundance, you might want to try manifesting your desires.
  • Consistent Sleep Patterns: Sleeping for at least six hours per night and going to bed at consistent times can help you feel better and accomplish more during the day.
  • Reflection: Devoting time to critical self-reflection might make it easier to identify issues with your habits or ways of thinking.
  • Motivation: Once you know your financial and health objectives, devising a clear plan and taking small steps to achieve it can help you stay motivated and reach your goals.

Reducing your financial stress can be challenging. Not only does it involve working on the money problems, but it also requires working on yourself. When you’re feeling the weight of financial worries keeping you down, just remember that you have the power to get back on track.

Once Upon a Time, In a Galaxy Far, Far Away

Well not Once Upon a Time, but Once Before Covid, and not in a Galaxy Far, Far Away, but in my own personal galaxy, I came up with an idea.  I had been working, kind of sort of, on a young adult novel, when I was struck by an idea.  I wanted to write a companion book to my book Thinking Positive: Take the Journey into Positivity.  Then covid struck and my life was turned upside down.  I foolishly thought, as a teacher who was now working from home, that I would have PLENTY of time to write.  I was wrong, so, so wrong.   I worked more hours than I could ever imagine recreating curriculum, and reaching out to kids trying to help, begging them to do work and just making sure they were okay.  Summer brought more of the same.  Things changed a little bit in the fall.  We were still remote, but it was more structured, and I found that I did have more time, but something had happened.  It was a not good something.  I started listening to the voices in my head.  You know those voices, the ones that tell you your too fat, or stupid, or ugly, or what you just said or did was foolish.  THOSE voices.  Gotta say, I’m not a fan of those guys.  Anyhow, those voices were telling me I was wasting my time, that nobody wanted to read anything I was writing, and that I couldn’t write.  Well, I’m actually not going to disagree with those statements.  But you know what?  I didn’t write my book for anybody else I wrote it for ME!  If people liked it, that was great, but I never once in a million years thought I  was going to sell a million copies.  But I started listening to the voices and they convinced me that I couldn’t do it.  That I couldn’t write.  Logically, I know that is not true.  I can write, I may not write well, but I can write, and I have 39 short stories, and novel length works to my pseudonym – and what’s more, people actually like them.

My new companion to my Thinking Positive book was going so well when I started.  I was literally flying through it – and then I got to the chapter on re-framing your thoughts, and I could not write that chapter.  At all.  It wasn’t writers block, it was worse.  It was that pesky voice in my head, it kept droning on, louder and louder, and it talked over any writing related thoughts I was having.  And it was ironic because I should have been re-framing those very loud thoughts and used it to my advantage.  And honestly, that realization just came to me this weekend, along with a few others which may be blog topics for another day.  My point in all this rambling is those negative voices in our heads only have power if we listen to them.  As hard as it is, and I KNOW it’s hard, you have to be louder than them.  When they start, tell them to stop.  Seriously, say stop in a loud firm voice, or clear, or let go.  I’m going to try and work on my book tomorrow, and when those voices start telling me  I can’t, I’m going to tell them I can, because I can, and so can you.

How to Make Your Wellness a Priority 

 

After a grueling year finding our way through the pandemic, things are slowly but surely returning to some sense of normalcy. But with all the stress that we experienced from COVID-19, you may have found it tough to keep up with your normal healthy habits and routines. If you feel like your wellness has taken a seat on the back burner, you aren’t alone—and it’s never too late to pick up where you left off!

 

If the thought of returning to your pre-pandemic habits and routines makes you want to crawl into bed and hide, don’t fret. With the help of the right tools and strategies, you can remove the overwhelm and ease your way back into the process.

Assess Your Wellbeing

Before you can make any concrete goals, it’s important to take some time to assess where you are now and what areas of life you’d most like to focus on. Maybe your sleep hygiene flew out the window, or you stopped taking your daily walks. Wherever you currently stand, what matters is you analyze what parts of your life matter most to you.

 

You might find that your list of goals is miles long and there’s a lot you want to tackle. While there’s nothing wrong with that, an important step to setting achievable goals is narrowing down your priorities to only the most important items, and leaving the rest for another time. If you try to go after too much at once, you could end up stretched beyond capacity and ultimately burn out quickly. To avoid this, try honing in on just three to five goals that are the most important to your wellbeing.

Be Kind to Yourself

Getting back to our goals after taking a long break can be challenging, and this is especially true when it comes to returning to our pre-pandemic lives after so much disruption. A critical part of the process is to remember to give yourself grace and kindness along the way. It can be easy to feel frustrated or discouraged if we aren’t exactly where we want to be. You might feel shame, frustration, or fear of whether or not you can measure up. That’s natural! That said, you don’t want to let these feelings debilitate you from getting back on track.

 

To combat this, make it a point to speak lovingly to yourself at all times, and to remember that so much of your ability and confidence to achieve your goals is a direct result of how you think about yourself and support yourself along the way. Avoid falling into the trap of speaking negatively to yourself or doubting capability, and instead try to be your own biggest cheerleader. It might feel tough at first, but the more you practice, the more natural it will become!

Track Your Progress

It can be tough to reach our goals if we don’t track them in some way. One tracking method called visualization can do wonders for your motivation and commitment to the process. When you visually track your goals, you’re able to apply structure and clarity to your efforts. This helps you stay on track, see how far you’ve come, and give you a source of encouragement when you’re feeling down.

 

While the thought of getting back to your own health and wellness after a long period of time can feel overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. If you remember to give yourself grace and keep in mind the fact that you deserve to feel your best, you will be better equipped to show up for yourself day in and day out. And to help you get started with visual goal tracking, these printable habit trackers are the perfect way to get going with your goals.

 

Remember, it’s never too late to make yourself a priority!

Click on the picture to download your own copy of the Wellness Wheel

Gratitude Rocks – Help Spread the Message

Have you ever seen the cute, hand painted rocks with inspirational messages outside?  People are encouraged to pick up a rock that speaks to them.  Well those rocks have to come from somewhere, right?  They do, people make them and leave them in places for other people to find. I’m here to ask a favor if you are a crafty individual who paints rocks like this.  On the ones I make, I add the url to Think Positive 30 – www.thinkpositive30.com.  Why?  My goal is to spread positivity wherever I can – to share the message that I deliver here daily.  If you do decorate rocks like this and leave them out and about for others to find, would you consider adding the url to Think Positive 30 every once in a while.  With your help, we can spread the message of positivity and positive thinking farther than ever!

I Manifested one of my Biggest Dreams

A few years ago, I manifested something.  I am a huge believer in the Law of Attraction, I have vision boards, and I truly believe in the concept of Ask, Believe, Receive.  One of my huge dreams/goals/vision board items was to be a published author.  Now here’s the thing, the law of attraction wasn’t going to write a book for me, edit it, design a cover and submit it for publication.  And I think that’s an important thing to remember.   If you want to manifest a healthy body – you are still the one that is going to have to eat better and exercise.  The Law of Attraction will maybe be bringing you the will power to do it.

So as I said, one of my biggest life dreams was to write a book and I did it.  The Law of Attraction helped me to find my muse.  Led me to and editor, helped me find someone to do the kindle formatting and helped me upload it to Amazon Direct Publishing and voila – book on kindle.

In the interim, I took a couple of writing classes and that brought me other options.  I learned about an amazing resource called Draft 2 Digital.   By using Draft 2 Digital, I was able to upload my book to sites other than Amazon, including Barnes and Noble, Apple, and Kobo.  Am I raking in the bucks?  No of course not, and that’s okay.  Fulfilling a dream isn’t necessarily about getting rich.

I will be honest, I have since started two other books, one was a companion to my original book, Thinking Positive:  Take the Journey into Positivity . That book is almost a third of the way done on the first draft. The other is a work of fiction, and several chapters are written. I was making steady progress on both, when covid happened.

Now most people would think that being forced to stay home would mean plenty of time to write.  Oh how I wish that were true.  I’m a teacher so last spring was spent trying to figure out how to teach online and worse, trying to figure out how to make kids want to learn online.   That was hard and literally sucked the life out of me and every other teacher I know!  I spent my summer participating in trainings to learn how to be a better teacher both online and off and then boom, we were back in school.  First we were remote, then teachers were in school and kids were home, then we were remote.  Then we were back and some kids were back.  Then we were remote, then we were back and slowly phasing kids in for hybrid learning.   Now we are back in hybrid model, a group of kids in  on Monday/Tuesday, Wednesday is remote for all, and a different group of kids in Thursday/Friday.  It is EXHAUSTING and leaves very little time for anything else, least of all, writing.

A friend of mine who is not a fan of the Law of Attraction  felt that this lack of writing for me was proof that the Law of Attraction was nothing but bull.  But to me, it’s the exact opposite because my ideas are still there, and the desire is still there, and best of all, the time will be there, when the time is right.

Hold fast to your dreams.  Ask the universe for what you want, and believe it will happen – and most important, be open to the different ways it CAN happen.

How to Reach Your Life Goals the Right Way

How to Reach Your Life Goals the Right Way

Sierra Powell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image Source: Pexels.com

If you’re trying to achieve important goals in life, it’s important to devise a plan that works for your personality and takes both your motivations and fears into account. While the “right” path may look different for everyone, you have to set your goals with a clear end result in mind find ways to stay encouraged along your journey. Here are a few helpful tips to consider.

Give Your Goals a Time Limit

When you’re trying to achieve specific milestones, you need to give yourself a realistic timeframe to complete the task. If you simply have the desire to do something, you may always be waiting for the right time to “get around to it.” If your goal involves something that you truly desire, you may be reluctant to set a time limit due to fear of not accomplishing your objectives. Don’t let procrastination stop you from doing the things you’ve always wanted to do. Give yourself a time limit for completing all your goals to help you organize your time and stay on schedule.

Search for Relevant Resources

Once you have a goal in mind and have designated a time limit for reaching your goal, you have to search for resources that will help get where you want to go. For instance, if you live in the Riverside area and are looking to purchase a home, you can get information on VA loan limits in Riverside if you are a veteran. If you’re a student and you need to purchase a new car, contact dealerships to ask about student discounts. If your goal involves you receiving certification or additional education, your employer may be able to provide you with contact information for schools or companies that offer the training you seek. You may have to do some research or set up some appointments with professionals in your area who have achieved the goals you’re aspiring to accomplish. Having the right people and organizations on your side can make your goals tangible and keep you from being discouraged easily.

Learn How to Manage Your Stress

Even though you may feel motivated and positive about your goals, there will be times when the process will be difficult. You won’t always have countless hours of free time to meet your objectives and you’ll have to work about family obligations, work, or school. This means managing your stress is of the utmost importance. You can incorporate things like meditation, yoga, or spending quality time with a loved one into your goal so you can maintain a positive mindset. When you’re upset, stressed, or anxious, you’re less likely to make calculated moves that can lead to your success.

Stress management also reminds you to prioritize your health. If you have an important goal to reach, you don’t want to be too exhausted to enjoy your personal victory. While you’re working hard, you need to be reminded that getting enough rest, eating well, and enriching your relationships will help you form healthy habits that will make your accomplishment even more rewarding.

These suggestions may require a variety of actions on your part depending on what your goals are. You’ll also have to take your current daily schedule and family obligations into account so you’ll know how much time you can devote to your goals each day. It’s also important to reward yourself along the way. Even though the path to success can be daunting at times, you’ll get the push you need to keep moving forward if you take the time to celebrate how far you’ve come. Remember that small victories can lead to big achievements.

 

44 Positive Affirmations for Depression to Inspire Change

Originally posted at ECounsiling.com

44 Positive Affirmations for Depression to Inspire Change

MS Broudy, Ph.D
November 12, 2020

Have you ever given yourself a pep talk? You may not have realized it, but you were practicing a form of positive affirmation. Coping with depression can be discouraging and debilitating. Vocalizing certain phrases about yourself can provide a much-needed lift and motivate you toward positive change. Affirmations are a simple and useful tool that can help with depressive symptoms.

Reciting positive affirmations for depression

What Is a Positive Affirmation?

A positive affirmation is a self-statement that emphasizes your strengths, values, and favorable qualities. According to cognitive theory, depression is caused by distorted negative beliefs. Positive affirmations can be used to counter negative perceptions and bolster confidence in your abilities. For instance, you can replace the thought, “Nobody will ever love me” with the affirmation “I am worthy of love.” Many people who use affirmations recommend standing in front of a mirror as they repeat specific phrases to themselves, but you can perform them anywhere you feel is comfortable and effective. For increased success, it is suggested you practice your affirmations at least twice daily.

Do Affirmations Work?

Positive affirmations have been associated with multiple factors related to the reduction of depressive symptoms. Self-affirmation has been shown to activate parts of the brain that are associated with positive self-valuation. There is also evidence that suggests that affirmation increases the neural pathways related to a person’s reward centers, which undeniably boosts your mood. Further, an affirmation can serve as a protector against stressful situations that threaten your well-being. It can also help motivate people toward healthy behavior, such as eating fruits and vegetables. Maybe most importantly, the use of affirmation has been directly linked to feelings of optimism and happiness.

Keep in mind, however, the effectiveness of positive affirmations depends on their content. You need to be able to believe in what you are saying for them to be helpful. If you tell yourself something you know is not true or is unlikely to occur, it probably won’t help.

For example, if you keep saying to yourself that you look like a supermodel or are as musically talented as Adele, you are less likely to be able to convince yourself. In addition, the above research concludes that personally relevant affirmations appear more effective. Therefore, the more specific the affirmation is to your life, the better. Finally, affirmations that focus on the future seem to be most powerful. As a result, emphasizing behavior or outcomes that you can work toward will make them more productive. It may be useful to think of an affirmation as an active roadmap for positive thoughts and behavior.

Affirmations for Coping with Depression

There are literally millions of possible affirmations. Here are 44 you can use that are specifically geared for dealing with depressive symptoms:

While the above affirmations are suitable for numerous situations, one of the strengths of using affirmation is that it can be tailored to fit any area in which you are struggling. For example, if you are lacking confidence in whether you will do well on a work presentation you could affirm “I am prepared for today’s presentation and I will be successful.” Again, the more specific an affirmation is to your particular situation, the more it will resonate with you and produce positive results. Fortunately, affirmations can be made as distinct as necessary and easily changed to fit a particular circumstance.

Positive Affirmation as Part of a Depression Busting Package

Practicing affirmations daily is a useful tool in the fight against depression. It can improve self-image, reduce stress, increase healthy behavior, and boost mood. It is especially effective if the affirmations are personally relevant, realistic, and future-oriented. In addition, creating and performing an affirmation is a relatively simple process that only takes a few minutes.

It should be noted, however, that affirmations are not suitable as a lone treatment for depression. Clinical depression is a serious psychological disorder that often requires professional intervention. Affirmation is most effectively used as part of a treatment protocol that may also include psychotherapy, online counseling, medication, and positive lifestyle changes. While some steps for dealing with depression can be initiated independently, such as reciting positive affirmations, the most significant improvements typically result from working with a trained professionals.

MS Broudy, Ph.D

MS Broudy is a psychologist, writer, and consultant. He has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and a master’s degree in Social Psychology. He has spent over 20 years providing therapy and assessment services for a diverse set of clients. MS specializes in writing about mental health, parenting, and wellness. He has his own blog, mentalspokes.com, where he writes about psychological issues.

Being Positive in 2020

If there was ever a year that was the antithesis of thinking positive, it would be 2020.  Dealing with covid-19 is hard.  People are dying from this, and that’s tragic.  You would think during this horrible time, we’d all come together and support one another, but that isn’t happening, and for me, that is why this year is all about negativity.

I spend a lot of time on Facebook, probably too much time if we’re being totally honest, and what I see posted there breaks my heart.  Here in the states, I’ve seen an election tear a country apart.  Prior to that, I saw a president that did not reflect any of the values I believe in.  I’ve seen people belittle one another over their political choices.  I’ve seen friendships end, and I’ve even seen families torn apart.

I’ve seen people belittle one another over the wearing of masks, and amazingly, I’ve seen people complain that some groups of people are working from home.  On a personal front, I’ve seen parents saying the most horrible things about teachers, blaming the fact that schools are closed on teachers.  News flash…teachers don’t have that power.

I feel bruised and battered and beaten down on a daily basis, and I know I’m not alone.  So many of us are feeling this way.  People losing jobs left and right and there isn’t enough money to survive, let alone celebrate the upcoming holiday.

It is this time, more than any other we need to dig down and find that scrap of positivity and focus on it.  Think positive thoughts, spread some joy.  When you encounter a hateful post, or worse, a hateful person, walk away.  Don’t bring negativity like that into your life.  Do what you have to do to pull yourself out of the pool of negativity that has been 2020.  You can make a difference and spread some positivity in this world  – everyone can.

Smile more, lend a helping hand when you can, and remember this has been a horrible year for pretty much everyone, but if we pull together, we can make it a little bit better.

Web Counters Free Hit Counters
eXTReMe Tracker