Keep a DIARY of Thanks

I found this exercise in a book on Zen living; it’s one of my favorites. Just take a notebook and start writing down the things you’re grateful for. Start with the obvious and work from there.  Easy, huh?

Be grateful for having food, water and a roof above your head. Simple, right? If you woke up at 5 A.M. and can’t go back to sleep, be grateful for getting to see the sunrise. If you’re facing a challenge, be grateful for the opportunity to learn from it.  I can’t help but learn something new all the time.

You don’t have to write every day, but make sure you open your journal at least once a week. It can be very easy to indulge in self-pity, blame, and anger, but appreciating what you have will help you stay positive.

Things Get Better

When you’re struggling, grieving, or suffering from heartache… the pain can feel unbearable. Even in everyday life, the weight of a little things can be heavy indeed.

But always remember the Proverb: “This too shall pass.” Your negative feelings won’t last forever. I have learned from experience that there really is a light at the end of every tunnel. It might not happen today or tomorrow, but you’ll feel better eventually.

When you understand and accept the tumultuous nature of life, it’s a lot easier to stay calm and relaxed – even in the hardest of times.

Mental List of Awesomeness

Having healthy self-esteem keeps anxiety at bay, improves personal relationships and encourages optimism. If you don’t appreciate yourself enough – or are feeling down – try making a mental list of “awesome” stuff you’ve done recently.

“Went for a jog/ walk instead of watching TV”; “helped a friend”; “made an excellent presentation at work.” etc. etc.  Make a written list if you want and don’t be modest!

You’ll find that, as you go over your good/healthy actions (which also are A-W-E-S-O-M-E) and choices, you start to feel great about yourself. It’s hard not to when you remind yourself how amazing you are! Hey, if we’re not going to cheer ourselves on… then who?

What’s The Worst That Could Happen?

It’s easy to become worried over the little things: the human mind can blow things way, way out of proportion. I personally am guilty of that. To stop that from happening, always ask yourself: what’s the worst that could happen?

Chances are, “The worst” isn’t that bad. You’ll still be fine if you don’t ace tomorrow’s presentation/ test. You may get into an argument with your significant other, but usually there’s a meeting of the minds and things actually improve in the relationship. You get the idea.

Sure, it would be better if things went according to plan, but sometimes they don’t. When you’re no longer afraid of any outcome, you can focus on having fun and getting things done. Don’t wind yourself up for no reason!

Reach Out and Help Someone

We live in a culture that encourages self-centeredness. Even our buzzwords:  self-help, self-promotion, self-esteem – reflect our obsession. But if you want to feel great… then try giving to someone else!

Donate a few dollars to charity; it can change someone’s life. Pick up trash on your walk at home or on the beach; it’s respect for Nature and fellow Man… and everyone wins. Call a long spoken to friend/ relative, if even for a few minutes, it will make his/her week. Buy food for a local Food Bank.

Simple, simple things mean so much.

It takes very little to help someone out. When you make a big difference with just a few minutes – or dollars – you’ll always remember how important and amazing you are. And with an attitude like that, it’s hard to be anything but positive!

The Wisdom that comes with being young !

Have you ever thought about making a difference? I do all the time and wonder if I can even make a small dent. Yesterday, God gave me a straightforward answer. In its parable form, I share it with you now. Once upon a time, there was a woman, who I shall merely call “Hope,” who loved to go to the ocean to think about her current writing project. Hope also loved to walk along the sandy, pooled shore before she began her day’s work. One day, as she was walking along this familiar shore, she looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a fine tuned, young athlete. She smiled to herself at the thought of someone who would dance in the early clouds of this day and she walked faster to catch up with them. As she got closer, she noticed that the figure was that of a teen girl and that what she was doing was not dancing at all. The young woman was reaching down into the sand, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean. With each hurl she smiled brightly. The woman writer came closer still and called out to the youth. “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?  You look so free and happy.” The girl paused, looked up, and replied, “Throwing a Sand Dollar back into the deeper waters of the ocean!” “The ocean sands seem to have so many this time of year,” the woman said in reply. “Do you think you will make any difference?” To this, the girl replied, “The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.” Upon hearing this, the woman writer commented, “But, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are Sand Dollars all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!” At this, the girl, who I will simply call “Faith,” bent down, picked up yet another Sand Dollar and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, she said, “It made a difference for that one.” With that sound wisdom, may all of us continue to try to make a difference.