Daily Prompt: At 76, I never stop celebrating. Even the bad stuff gets my applause. How do I manage that? Read on. But first a cartoon.
Research shows some of us born with upbeat souls while others get mired in the gloomy mud of life. Bad news for some, but here is good news for all: With practice everyone can become more optimistic. How? Read on.
Emotional Fitness Tips for nurturing optimism
Emotional Fitness Tip One: Practice gratitude all the time, always, forever, and for everything. How is that possible when you are howling with pain because you just stubbed your toe and broken it? When the howling stops, take a calming breath, and thank the pain for reminding you to be more careful. Works for stubbed toes easiest, but with practice also soothes the larger hurts of life.
Emotional Fitness Tip Two: Practicing gratitude can only start when the acute pain stops. Somethings have to wait a while before we can celebrate what is good. If you can put on an immediate happy face – good, celebrate that.
If you have to howl a while – bad, but life, so try to be a bit grateful you are alive enough to howl. Hard but one of the lessons of aging. Every day brings pain, but every day also with the pain comes more of this wonderful life.
Emotional Fitness Tip Three: Think about what matters and work out a philosophy of life that comforts. For many, religious faith serves that purpose. Faith and religion bless us, but only if its doctrines do not promote dividing people into the saved and damned. Some religions are so divisive the fanatics kill in the name of their God. If yours is of that kind, work very hard to counter the fanatics while being grateful for the good you find.
Emotional Fitness Tip Four: Think about what matters in terms of providing finding a useful explanation for why bad things happen and more often than not to good people. The religious have to think of this in terms of why prayers fail sometimes and miracles happen other times.
Emotional Fitness Tip Five: Reject personalizing most bad things. This is particularly important for people of faith. You are not the center of the universe.
Floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, and fires do not come to punish you or others for personal or even group sins. Hold yourself accountable for bad behavior and work to improve and expect the same of other people.
At the same time understand the limits of what you and others control. Free choice has a few limitations; luck is part of every person’s life equation: miracles happen but at life’s bidding, not yours.
Emotional Fitness Tip Six: Have a life-sustaining mission and set goals that align with that mission. Think of the mission for all as a charge to improve the universe. See Know Your Mission So You Can Reach Your Goals an Emotional Fitness Training eBook. Costs less than a Starbucks Latte and is more sustaining.
Say “Thank you” a hundred times a day. Thank inanimate objects, family, friends, strangers, pets, pain, and pleasure. Doing so is practicing gratitude and celebrating what is good about this life. As the Irish say, “Enough is a feast”, and I for one am grateful I have enough and more.
For all you do, thank you and if you think someone will enjoy this post, please share it. Doing so always helps me and hopefully some others.