There are some people who seem to always see the positive aspects of life. They are the ones who first notice the shapes in the clouds, the birds singing and the wildflowers on the side of the road. They are also the ones who can make something good come out of a bad situation. While it may seem false and insincere at first, you can train yourself to start being more positive. Your change in attitude will allow you to make each day more enjoyable so that your life is more fulfilling. Here are some tips that will help you to make a habit out of being positive.
There are certain tricks you can use to make your body feel as though it is happy and positive even when you are feeling sad, angry or frustrated. Smiling is one of these tricks because it can immediately prompt your body to relax and feel happier. You can keep your smile to yourself as you are driving or working, but you may find it to be even more beneficial if you smile at others. Their return smiles will boost your mood and your confidence.
Your thought patterns will not change overnight, and you need to be patient as you slowly abandon your typical negative thoughts. If you notice that you are judging others or criticizing yourself, stop and replace the negativity with two positive thoughts. You will notice that your negative thoughts are gradually appearing less often.
Surround Yourself With Positive People
If you are always spending time with people who are grumpy, you will start to take on their negative perspectives on life. While you don’t need to cut ties with these people completely, you should limit your time with them. Focus on surrounding yourself with people who are positive thinkers. Their sunny disposition will be contagious, and you will be uplifted with each conversation.
If you spend too much time focusing on yourself and your needs, you will forget that there are others who are suffering. This can cause you to magnify the negative aspects of your life, which can lead to negative thought patterns. Rather than concentrating on yourself, spend some time helping others. Whether you volunteer at a shelter or visit a sick friend, you will notice that your spirits are lifted as you show kindness to someone else. Your positive thoughts will get even more of a boost if you try to show kindness to others at least once a day.
It is very easy to feel swamped by all of the problems that you face each day, but you shouldn’t let those rule your life. By making a habit of thinking positively, you can handle those problems while keeping a genuine smile on your face.
Life can be difficult, and there have probably been times when it seems as though you have had nothing but bad luck. While it is easy to tell yourself to move on and get past your frustrations, it is much harder to actually do so. You may get caught up in your disappointment and start feeling a great deal of self-pity. If you would like to learn how to overcome these negative feelings and move forward with your life, follow these strategies.
Improve One Thing
While you may be tempted to undergo a major life overhaul, it might be more productive to focus on improving one thing at a time. Whether you want to get fit, find another job or meet new friends, you should choose one goal and start working toward it. If that still seems a bit overwhelming, focus on a small goal that you know you can accomplish, such as cleaning your room or tidying up your desk. You’ll reap the emotional rewards of a job well done, which may motivate you to tackle something larger.
The more time you spend focusing on the negative experiences of your life, the more time you dwell on yourself. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, spend some time helping others. By looking outward and assisting those in need, you will start to understand that everyone faces difficulties. You will also be so busy helping others that you won’t have as much time to dwell on the negative aspects of your life.
Make a List
If you are determined to spend time focusing on the bad things that have happened to you, then do it. Tell yourself that you are going to dredge up all of the things that have gone wrong and think about them. While this may make the situation worse, it may also help you realize that you have many things for which you should be grateful. You may also want to balance it with a list of the
good things that have happened in your life, and you may find that the negatives aren’t so overwhelming after all.
While it may seem as though some people have an easy life with little or no problems, you need to remember that everyone faces trouble at some time. In many cases, these people simply dust themselves off and move forward. These tips may help you to do the same so that you can start seeing all of the wonderful things that are happening in your life.
Forgiveness is a tricky thing. Even after you have said that you have forgiven someone for the wrongs they committed against you, you may still find yourself harboring anger, resentment and even hatred. These negative emotions can damage your relationship with the other person, and they may affect your overall health. In order to truly forgive someone, you must find a way to let go of your hurt and start living in peace once again.
Be Willing to Give and Receive Forgiveness
When you decide to forgive someone, you should recognize that you have probably done something that has hurt him in the past. It doesn’t matter how big or how small the action was, and you shouldn’t compare it to the hurt that he has caused you. However, it is important to ask forgiveness at the same time that you give it. When he apologizes for his actions, you should admit that
you have not been perfect and that you need his forgiveness in addition to providing your own.
Talk About It
When someone asks you for your forgiveness, then you need to talk about the situation so that you can both express all of your thoughts and feelings about what happened. This will prevent you from storing up negative thoughts and energy that may harm your relationship. When you are both calm and focused, sit down and talk about the event and how you feel. Make sure that you listen carefully to the other person, and you should both take care to be attentive. This should help you to feel as though the situation is finished and in the past, which will allow you both to move forward.
Learn from the Experience
While the experience may have been extremely painful, you need to take time to reflect on it so that you can learn from it and become a better person. If you are still harboring negative feelings about the other person, then you won’t be able to benefit from the opportunity of learning a valuable lesson. However, once you have truly forgiven someone, you will feel as though you have gained insight that will help you be a better person and live a happier life.
It can be difficult to offer forgiveness to someone who has hurt you or angered you, but both of you will benefit if you accept an apology. It may help you strengthen your relationship with the other person, but it will also help you to live a happier and more fulfilling life.
A grief coach works with anyone suffering from a loss, large or small. Grief is a normal human reaction to change, and we all experience it much more frequently than we may realize. Unfortunately, we aren’t taught to deal with grief, we’re taught to suppress it. From our earliest years, we’re told to tough it out, to avoid being “crybabies”, to distract ourselves with activity, and to hide our grief from others. A grief coach works with clients to discover the old ideas like those that might prevent the full experience and acceptance of loss so that healing can finally occur.
Why would someone hire a grief coach?
Good question! Coaches usually select the niche because of their own experiences of grief and loss. However, we don’t presume that we know what a client is feeling. In fact, even with identical losses, we can only know what we felt, and it will not be the same as someone else experiences because each relationship is unique. A psychologist or counselor can also work with grief, and that route is a viable alternative. Where coaching differs is in its duration and its direction. Therapy or counseling is usually a longer term approach to emotional pain. Coaches readily refer clients to therapists and counselors when they see that coaching simply isn’t enough to meet a client’s needs. In most cases, though, individuals who are ready to start living again after loss are good candidates for coaching; and the results are seen in short order. A question I ask my clients is, “What would you like your life to look like going forward?” Then we work toward that goal.
How is grief coaching different from other kinds of coaching?
All coaching clients typically want to make changes in their lives to improve quality and satisfaction. However, a grief client is suffering and may have lost the ability to define quality and satisfaction. That means that a lot of tissues and handkerchiefs get used up in the coaching process for grief, and the coach has to be ready and willing to maintain a safe space for those emotions. Grief coaches can relate to the suffering because we’ve had our own, but we don’t get caught up in a client’s pain. We are willing to listen and ask questions that probe that ache and allow it to drain. The agenda belongs to the client, as in all coaching; but in grief coaching we always have to remember that the goal is peace and completion, not just an aspirin for the pain.
Why did you become a grief coach?
I didn’t start out to be a grief coach, but as I neared the completion of my training, I realized that it was my own losses that made me want to be a coach in the first place. That was when I knew that whatever other coaching I might do, I really wanted to work with clients who needed a safe place to learn how to come to terms with their losses. My father died in December of 2001 and my younger son in January 2003. My son’s death was the real catalyst, but loss is cumulative, so the back-to-back losses left me reeling. Approaching the 6th anniversary of my son’s death, I discovered that I still had some pain to resolve, and so I worked with a grief coach. After that, there was no question in my mind about what kind of coaching I wanted to do.
It isn’t only bereavement that results in grief. We grieve over being rejected by someone we’re attracted to, over moving to a new town, over losing a job, failing a test, suffering financial set backs, and on, and on. This is a normal part of life, but we’ve been socialized to think of it as isolated experiences. The same skills apply in handling large losses as in small ones. The trouble is, we’ve been taught to ignore small losses and pretend they didn’t happen. When we try to use the same logic on major losses, we wind up in an emotional nightmare. My own experience suggests that grief underlies many, if not all, of our emotional issues. And that, of course, means that helping someone learn to handle their loss equips them with skills to live their lives more fully. That’s what a coach wants for any client.
What is unique about your coaching practice?
I’m a survivor and I remind my clients that if I can do it, so can they. I absolutely know that they can deal with their losses, and I help them notice the old, useless thought patterns they carry forward from the past and challenge them to find alternatives that are more appropriate in the here and now. If we discover an old loss along the way, we deal with it; but the real focus is on forward momentum. I try to help clients learn that pain and suffering aren’t the same thing. Pain is nature’s way of saying, “Pay attention!” Suffering is something we impose on ourselves in response to pain.
I fractured my shoulder a couple of years ago. It was very painful, but the actual suffering was from fear of falling again, from helplessness, from not knowing how long it might take to heal or what the long-term consequences might be. I dealt with it by beginning physical therapy as soon as I could, by using the arm as much as possible without causing further damage, by figuring out how to dress myself and get into and out of the restraints one-armed, and I took practical precautions like using a trekking pole when I took a walk. I asked friends for help when I needed it, and I hired someone to feed my cats and clean my house while I recovered. I addressed the real, practical issues and discovered that the emotional issues evaporated because I didn’t get trapped in them. My question to myself was always, “What else can I do to deal with this right now?”
Who is your ideal client?
Everyone experiences grief, but my ideal client is a mature adult, 30 and above, who is dealing with a loss of any kind. I enjoy clients who are ready to put joy back into their lives. And that also means clients who are themselves dying or facing a possibly lethal illness. Life is a juicy, messy experience, so we can’t limit ourselves to the tidy parts.
When is it time for a person to start seeing a grief coach?
Whenever they feel overwhelmed and ready to do something about it. Some losses sneak up on us, such as when we’re dumped by a romantic partner. Others, we see coming, like the long illness of a dying parent. It isn’t necessary for the loss to have already happened to be a good time to start looking for help. Proactive grief, as in the case of the dying parent, is painful and debilitating too.