Is Your Glass Half Full or Half Empty? How to Stay Positive Even in Dark Times

Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.
~ Thomas Jefferson

Are you a glass half empty kind of person? You know the type. He or she is always sharing more than you want to hear about their latest physical ailment, relationship woes, or how unfair life has been to them. You want to be nice, and help in some way, but after a while you realize their negativity is bringing you down.

Staying positive can be a huge help in our self care journeys. I know it’s hard sometimes, but those are the times you most need to be positive. A tool I use to stay positive is an attitude of gratitude.

I really need to be a glass half full person today. I’ve come down with a really bad cold and can’t go on a trip that has been planned for months. I’ve gone the dark route of telling myself this is all my fault. I shouldn’t have done so much the previous two weeks, traveling to a choir conference one weekend and conducting a Fuzzy Red Socks Retreat on another. I shouldn’t have eaten so much sugar or I should have gotten more rest. I’m supposed to be the queen of self care. How could I let myself get so sick at such an important time?

It’s at times like this I need to be as positive as possible. Going down the rabbit hole of negative mind chatter will only make me sicker.

“If you concentrate on what you have, you’ll always have more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you’ll never have enough.” – Lewis Howes

So I go to my gratitude journal and start writing. I may be sick, but I’m grateful it’s only a bad cold, I caught it before it turned into pneumonia. I am grateful for modern meds and that I can use them. I am grateful I have an amazing support system like my husband who has been cooking dinner, grocery shopping and doing laundry so I can stay in bed and rest. I am grateful for my friends and family who have been checking in with me and asking if I need anything.

By the time I write down everything I am grateful for, I have stopped being so hard on myself and I am literally smiling. And don’t just say these things, write them down. The power of the written word cannot be underestimated.

If the gratitude process is hard to get started, begin by asking yourself, “What could I be grateful for?”, and see if the ideas start to flow. This is a mindset habit that is recommended by Tony Robbins in his book, Awaken the Giant Within.

“When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears.” – Tony Robbins

Recent Studies show that feeling and expressing gratitude leads to better physical health as well. Paul Mills, a Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, conducted studies that looked at the role of gratitude on heart health.

Among other things, he found that participants who kept a journal most days of the week, writing about 2-3 things they were grateful for (everything from appreciating their children to travel and good food), had reduced levels of inflammation and improved heart rhythm compared to people who did not write in a journal. And the journal-keepers also showed a decreased risk of heart disease after only 2 months of this new routine!

I’m sure my energy will return, my congestion will go away and my coughing fits will abate. I know I will soon get back to normal. And as a glass half full kind of gal, I’m feeling better already.

For more ideas on how to cultivate an attitude of gratitude go to Huffington Post.

Find out more about Tony Robbins at Tony Robbins.

For more ideas on how to self-care go to Fuzzy Red Socks