Proven tips on how to be optimistic

Can we have a positive state of mind in all this chaos?

It seems like there is so much bad news.  The worldwide pandemic and all the political unrest in the United States are all over the news and social media. 

Here in Ontario, Canada the number of cases of Covid 19 is rising and we are in lockdown again.  

How do we cope?  Could we actually have a spirit of optimism?

When I was thinking about what I could write today that would be encouraging I realized that we don’t really need more information about the health topics of exercise and food choices that are the usual January posts

Today we need to think about our state of mind. 

Our state of mind will impact all the other areas of our health journey. 

If we don’t have the right mindset – the exercise won’t happen, food choices will be compromised, our outlook about our daily tasks is impacted, and our relationships suffer too.

How can we have a positive state of mind? 

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I have learned that when I take a few minutes every morning to think about things I am thankful for  – it changes my mind set in such a good way. 

I make a list of 10 things I am thankful for at breakfast time.  Give it a try!

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When I make a thankful list my focus is on what is good.  My focus is on what makes me happy and content. 

The items on my list are a mix of little things like, hot coffee, good sleep and sunshine. 

And bigger things like, my health, the ability to learn, the good choices my adult children are making.

On a good day it’s easy to quickly write down 10 things I am thankful for.  On a rough day the list may be slower in coming, but those are the days I need my thankful list the most.  It makes me think and gets my focus on what is good.

When I focus on what is good my state of mind is much more positive.

But I can’t be optimistic on my own power, especially when there is so much chaos.

As a follower of Jesus Christ my hope and optimism comes from His love for me.  I’ve been a follower of Jesus since I was a little girl.  Throughout my life I have felt His love for me and I have seen His hand at work. 

I remember when I was 7 years old and going to school frightened everyday.  I had a teacher who had a style of teaching that squelched my learning.  I remember crying and praying every night at bedtime.   It was just hard.  But during the second half of the year, that teacher had to take a leave of absence and a new teacher took her place. 

The new teacher had a completely different teaching style.  A teaching style that was just what I needed. You might think that was just coincidence but I know it was my prayer being answered. 

That’s when I really started to understand that Jesus did love me and that He cared about all the little details of my life. 

I’ve prayed ever since.  Knowing that God hears my prayers and that He cares about all the details of my life gives me hope.  That hope in Gods’ love gives me the positive state of mind.  That’s where my optimism comes from – from God!

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That doesn’t mean that life is always wonderful.

Even now as I write this I received the news that my niece’s husband, in the US, was just taken to the hospital by ambulance because of breathing problems related to the Covid 19 virus.  My niece also has the virus and they have a newborn baby. 

Whew!  It’s just hard stuff.  

To calm my anxious thoughts I am reminded of a devotional writing by Sarah Young, which I read this morning. 

Sarah says, “Bring your requests to God. Speak to God candidly, pour out your heart.  Then thank God for the answers that He has put into motion long before you can discern the results.  When your request comes to mind again, continue to thank God for the answers that are on the way.  If you keep stating your concerns to God, you will live in a state of tension.  When you thank God for how He is at work answering your prayers, your mind set becomes much more positive.  Thankful prayers keep your focus on God’s presence and His promises.”  Jesus Calling – Enjoying Peace in His Presence

If I pray when I am worried with a begging attitude that says, “God help! Oh please, Oh please, Oh please!” then the focus is on me and my problem.

But when I pray with a thankful attitude, “Oh God thank you for how You are at work!” then my focus is not on me and the problem but back on God! 

I can leave the problem with God.

This kind of prayer focus comes from Philippians 4:6.  “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” 

The thanksgiving comes during the prayer, often before He answers.

Jesus cares about all the details of your life too, my friend. 

He knows about your fears, your worries and your secret dreams. 

He loves you.  Yes, He loves you just as you are today. 

Whether today is an easy day or a rough day, keep a thankful attitude.    

Today’s little step to health:  Make a thankful list every morning to get your focus on what is good!  Pray with a thankful attitude.

Remember every little step makes a difference!

Dixie 

If this has been helpful for you , please share it with your friends.

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Come walk with me on the path of health and well being. Together we will navigate life. No diet. No program. Just real life struggles and successes! But believe this statement - Every little step makes a difference!

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