… continued from previous post, “Thoughts“
If you have negative thoughts about your body, there is a good chance you have negative thoughts about other things too.
On Saturday mornings I teach three fitness classes in a row. When people look at my schedule they always say, “My, three classes in row, you must be tired after that!”, to which I would respond, “Yes I am so tired afterwards”. I’d arrive home, hand on my forehead, tired and grumpy, “I am so tired, I just taught three classes in a row! I really need to rest.” After having lunch I’d ask my family for some quiet so I could have a nap.
As I began to pay attention to what I was doing, what I was feeling and what I was thinking I started to notice that I actually wasn’t all that tired after my three classes. In fact, I felt energized and alert, what a complete surprise! I realized that I thought I should feel tired. Then when others would comment about how tired I should feel I agreed with them and this reinforced my decision to be tired. When I truly connected with what I was doing, what I was feeling and what I was thinking I realized I was not tired, I was energized. It completely changed my Saturdays! Now I come away from my classes ready to continue with my day. In fact, I sometimes come home to my family still in their pajamas puttering around the house! And when people ask, “Aren’t you tired after teaching three classes in a row?!”, I say, “Not at all, I feel great!”.
You feel what you think.
Negativity is a mind-set. Once you are in it is hard to stop. Negativity begets negativity, it is addictive. The more negative we are the more negative we want to be and the more we want to be around other negative people. If this sounds familiar, chances are you were brought up in “negative thinking” environment. It is what we are used to, we don’t know better, we learned it and we are passing it on – let’s break the cycle!
The first step is to become aware of the negativity and, for interest sake, see if you can figure out where it came from and what feeds it. Notice if you are negative, then notice who around you is negative, notice it in your friends, in your family, in your co-workers. Negative people hang out with negative people; we feed off each other. We love to talk about bad weather, how difficult life is, how hard every step is, how things never go our way, how lucky everyone else is and how unlucky we are. One of us tells some horror story and it quickly becomes a race to see who can up it. I know this because I was a negative person (still am sometimes when I slip up).
If you change the way you look at things,
the things you look at change.
It is hard to let go of negativity, especially if the people around you are negative too. If you are negative, chances are most of your friends and family are negative too. Once you decide you no longer want to be unhappy, once you decide that you want to focus on the positive things in life and feel good it becomes very hard to be around negative people. People do not want to let go of their negativity, they thrive on it, it’s a comfort zone. It’s not easy to let it go, but it is possible, it takes time, it takes patience and it takes persistence. You will find yourself sucked back into it when you are around negative people or you may just slip into it on your own when you are having a bad day. Just do your best, take one day at a time, one moment at a time and focus on the positive things in your life, the things you can do and not the things you cannot do. Focus on what you have instead of what you don’t have.
Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.
Happy Rambles is an email service that has changed my life. Every day they send an email asking, “What are you grateful for today?”, simply respond. I now find I spend my days looking for things to be grateful for. It was created by two guys in Ontario, “Why?”, their answer: “Happiness”. Well put.