Friday, September 9, 2011

3 Steps To Keeping a Positive Attitude During Troubling Times

Why do we create our own stress so often?  As if trying to be healthy, pay the bills, and discipline your kids isn't hard enough...why do we watch news media that can make us feel down.  Where I live in the northeast we have seen so many crazy things going on; earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding, and remembering 9/11 and the news is covering all the horrific stories.
The human psyche is pretty amazing when you think about it.  For some reason we find "entertainment" in hearing about tragedy and turmoil (usually because we like to hear about the an outcome that is triumphant or that there are lessons learned). But what we sometimes forget is that we are dragging ourselves through negativity which can be harmful to our health and well being.  The same thing can be said for 'that friend' who gossips a lot (and can be very interesting at times) but listening to the gossip makes you feel sorry for the people she's talking about.  So, what can we do to avoid these kind of situations and keep ourselves from bad mood or even worse depression, anxiety, or sleepless nights?

1.  RECOGNITION- The first step is recognizing that certain situations are making you feel uncomfortable or you may leave the situation in a bad mood. 
2.  BOUNDARIES- Setting boundaries is very important.  You are in complete control of your life.  If a situation is making you feel uncomfortable than it may be necessary to address it in an assertive but direct manner.  Although it is sometimes very difficult, there are always time when we need to have difficult conversations with people in our lives (particularly ones we care most about)
3.  REPLACEMENT BEHAVIORS- Instead of vowing not to ever hang out with someone you find negative, start to find people that you find to be more positive and make more time for them.  Also, instead of watching the news, take a walk or read a magazine.

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