|Life is constantly changing, right in front of our eyes. And sometimes we're not quite ready or happy with these changes; other times we might struggle or even refuse to accept these changes. Yet creating healthy changes in our lives can be highly beneficial for increasing our overall well-being, especially if we're feeling motivated to get started.
I am excited to share with you a guest article from a fellow blogger who has spent many years creating healthy changes in her own life and who now shares her wisdom with others about how to gain this motivation to successfully make positive changes and start living a happier and healthier life.
As always, I remind you that while I’ve spent the last 20 years focusing on and learning to ‘grow’ my own health, I’m not a medical doctor. What I’m sharing here is based on my own experiences and the things that I’ve learned from the real experts! Those are the researchers and doctors who’ve seen the actual patients, worked in the labs and write the medical reports that are sprinkled throughout these posts.
My goal is to motivate and help you find your best way to live a healthier and more peaceful life. I and Ageless at Sixty cannot be held liable for any resulting injury or adverse change in health status.
I also advise that any changes that might affect your health status be checked with your accredited physician. This would include changes to your exercise routines and any medications you might be taking or other supplements.
5 Tips to Changing Your Outlook On Life
Changing your outlook on life is not an easy thing to do. Changing any kind of habit isn’t easy. If you’ve ever tried to quit smoking, or lay off the snacks, or shed some pounds, well, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how hard any of that sort of thing can be. Good habits are inspirational, bad habits are a pain.
I also think it’s possible to habitually talk yourself into feeling awful or worse than you already do. Interestingly, the advertisers and marketers of the world take advantage of our susceptibility to hearing ‘directives’ repeatedly. We have closets full of unused stuff that is a testimony to how effectively it works. So there is that to keep in mind when you’re thinking again, about how crummy you feel today.
Now don’t get me wrong, depression is a real thing. I’ve dealt with it off and on myself and through it all, I played a continual negative refrain that I’m pretty sure added to and extended the years that my ‘Blue Period’ ground on. So yes, I think in retrospect, that it’s entirely possible that some of that was worsened by me telling myself over and over again, how terrible I felt. My own thoughts certainly changed my outlook on a daily basis and it wasn’t towards a more positive way of thinking.
Many times I even wondered whether or not I was feeling that way out of habit. But then I’d reassure myself that my anxiety/grief/depression was warranted by reminding myself that the world was still a cruel place or things were still going wrong and I still felt terrible and all of that was enough proof that my right to feel depressed was intact!
You are influenced by everything that you see, hear and think and say out loud. Every time that thought pops into your head and you accept it at face value, that idea is strengthened and it’s effect on your outlook grows. Like the individual threads in your life tapestry, they combine and present a picture that shows the world how you view it, your fellow life-travellers and all the things that go on in the world. With the addition of each new layer of threads, your own awareness of those negative feelings gets stronger. What’s worse, the likelihood of changing your outlook becomes less likely.
So just as corporate advertisers are banking on their ability to sway your opinions by injecting ‘ideas’ into your mind, you are marketing ideas to yourself daily. Unfortunately for you, if what you are selling yourself on is a negative perspective about life, you can reach a point where the load becomes unbearable. Sometimes you crack under the strain. But hopefully before you’ve gotten to that point, someone comes along and shows you that there is a way that changing your outlook becomes possible.
Now I’m not offering you escape from any of the very real issues or relationship or money problems that you may be facing right this moment. What I am suggesting is that when you have a habit of looking at everything from the most negative perspective possible, it is still possible to reprogram your brain and begin to lessen that hold on your happiness. And very often, one of the side benefits of that personal reprogramming can be a change in how you are able to address the other difficulties in your life.
1 Start each day by taking a few moments to think about the things in your life that bring a smile to your face.
What are you grateful for? In this instance, you are marketing ‘gratitude’ to your brain. So try to focus on five things each morning, that are positive in your life. Remember someone who loves you, recall a moment of sweet success, or cherish the memory of a smile that someone flashed you in passing. Or even something as simple as that fresh coffee that is wafting warmth and comforting smells from the cup in front of you. Remember, the process of changing your outlook now is all about gratitude for the small things that make up your life.
2 Find a hobby that excites you.
Something that sparks your interest and enthusiasm. You are trying to teach your brain to know what joy feels like by giving yourself the opportunity to experience it repeatedly. Those things that we enjoy, we do more so we feel joy more often, which colours our attitudes about life. This is the cycle that you want to make into a new habit. In my case, I started learning about blogging and the online entrepreneurial world. While the things that bring me the most mental anguish in this world are still going on and they still affect me deeply, at least I’m not thinking about them 24/7 anymore. And that has made it easier to move forward mentally in my day to day life.
3 Start looking at things from a different perspective if you’re really interested in changing your outlook on life.
When our kids were young, we got a couple of horses for them. The bay mare, always one to have a sensitive system, got sick one year from eating new spring grass and it seemed like we might end up euthanizing her to spare her more suffering. I remember sitting on the porch dwelling on that and dwelling on how terrible it was that I was facing that awful decision. I imagined making the decision to call the vet, I imagined calling the vet, I imagined the process that the vet would follow. I remember too, feeling overwhelmed and guilty for not having kept her safer….
But in the midst of all of that, a little thought came to my mind that I needed to start thinking about all the good times and the fun that we had together. I needed to do that if I wanted to find the strength and drive needed to take care of my girl and have any hope of getting her through her sickness. And it worked! Because I wasn’t letting my grief drain me emotionally and leaving me wallowing and feeling helpless, the energy required for the endless hours of care and support, was there when I needed it. So if changing your outlook on life is your goal, start by changing your perspective when you examine the details that make up your life. Find a perspective on it that gives you strength instead of tearing you down.
4 Think of all the things in the past that you worried about and then consider how many of those fears came true.
Now this for me, was a seriously big problem. Having two horses that were part of our family and my childhood dream, I worried continually about the possibility of not being able to find hay for them if I should lose my ‘hay guy’. Never mind that he never indicated that he was quitting farming. And never mind that there were other hay producers in our community, I still worried a lot about this. It took most of their long lives for me to finally realize how much time I’d wasted being afraid of something that never did come.
5 End each day by looking back on it and finding five things, however large or small, that were good.
Start with waking up in the morning after having slept safely all night. Remember, there are millions who would give anything to be in that position each morning. Food in your belly, a friend calling out of the blue and the great visit you had with him or her, someone remembering your birthday, the smell of that peony that’s blooming in the garden today... Life is filled with blessings, we just have to make a point of noticing them. And with that ‘noticing’, comes a natural and easy transition in changing your outlook about life which will result in an improvement in how you travel the road that you are on.
While I’m not an ‘expert’ in the accredited sense, after having spent 63 years working my way through life, I would say that I am an expert on living. I’m also an expert on feeling rotten and disconnected from joy for a great many years. But based on all of that experience, I’m hoping that something here rings a bell for you and will be the encouragement you need to start focusing on changing your outlook so that you can learn to find your joy again.
Love to you all and have a great day, wherever you are!
Other Articles About Change
I hoped you enjoyed this guest post shared by Debrah from Ageless At Sixty. Please show your appreciation by sharing this article or commenting your thoughts below. Thanks for reading!
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5/14/2018 10:32:46 am
Great article! I especially love tip number four.
5/22/2018 02:53:14 pm
Hi Connie! So true it can change so much to start looking at life or situations from a different perspective. Glad you enjoyed the post!
5/22/2018 02:52:18 pm
Hi Dan! Thanks for dropping by the blog. I'm glad you enjoyed the article. Let me know if you want to guest post again in the future, as well!
5/14/2018 12:44:08 pm
5/14/2018 02:40:41 pm
Thank you so much Gwen for your kind words. Volunteering is a great thing to do in lieu of a 'hobby'. To be doing something kind for someone else is the best 'attitude enhancer' I think. First of all you're helping someone who needs a lift up and secondly, it often helps put your own life in perspective doesn't it?
5/14/2018 02:44:10 pm
Just wanted to stop by and thank you Heather, for giving me an opportunity to speak to your subscribers. It was a wonderful experience because you helped 'push' me a little beyond my own personal comfort zone. And as a result, you've helped me grow! Thanks again and I'm enjoying being a subscriber also to your blog. Lots of great advice and philosophies to grow by.
5/22/2018 02:55:03 pm
Hi Debrah! You are so very welcome. I am grateful you were able to share with all of us your wisdom and experience for helping us grow and change in our own lives. It can feel great to step outside our comfort zone, hey? You're welcome to come back and be a guest on the blog again any time!
5/14/2018 04:26:32 pm
As always, i enjoy your posts.
5/22/2018 02:56:10 pm
Hi Joy! So glad you are enjoying the articles from the blog. I hope you are able to run with these tips which can help you to change your outlook on life. Take care!
5/14/2018 05:19:52 pm
Great reminders! It is always important to remember the little victories and blessings and keep a positive mindset. I needed these positive thoughts today.
5/22/2018 02:57:33 pm
Absolutely, Keri. It can be important to remember to celebrate the small stuff in life. I hope you're keeping up with these positive thoughts!
5/14/2018 05:25:11 pm
Having this attitude helped me go from a victim attitude to a grateful attitude. I’m much happier now.
5/22/2018 02:58:42 pm
I'm glad to hear you're feeling happier in the present moment, Mirley!
5/22/2018 03:00:36 pm
Hi Emma! So glad to hear that my blog resonates with you. I'd love to have you as a guest blogger as well if you're interested. Send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org if you get a chance!
5/22/2018 03:01:35 pm
That's a great reminder to be mindful of your thought process and how this can benefit your life overall. Thanks for your comment, Shelley!
5/22/2018 03:02:01 pm
Glad to hear this article was helpful for you!
5/22/2018 03:03:01 pm
That's great to hear that you have a strategy to help you through those tough days and keep positive. Thanks for stopping by, Nicole!
5/22/2018 03:03:52 pm
For sure! I have been focusing on having a digital detox at least one day each week. It has helped me to remember to take that step back and be grateful for the little things in life.
5/19/2018 03:05:04 pm
So much wonderful, life changing advice Heather! I adore this. Gratitude is so incredibly powerful! My father always told us growing up to choose to focus on positive thoughts first thing in the morning. He would tell us it builds the foundation to an awesome day. This made me think of that ♡. Thank you! Can't wait to share your article with him. I adore it ♡.
5/22/2018 03:07:30 pm
Thank you so much for sharing, Sara! That is incredible advice from your father to focus on those positive thoughts. And these positive and happy thoughts shine through you all the time, you are just so lovely! Thanks for stopping by the blog, Sara.
5/21/2018 11:22:33 am
Love these tips. It's very easy to get caught up in the habit of worrying about certain things (as you say, they rarely happen!) but also just getting your mind to consciously go down a different path each day (towards gratitude rather than worry for example) can be a life changer for most people. We are creatures of habit, and that isn't always a good thing!
5/22/2018 03:09:09 pm
So true, change can be tough especially when you feel comfortable with a particular habit, but I completely agree that creating small, positive changes in our lives can be such a game changer. Thanks for your comment, Mel!
7/26/2018 08:45:39 pm
This is absolutely beautiful. This whole post very much resonates with me because I also try to do the things that you mentioned and as a child, my parents had horses too. (Mine was an absolute klutz, but she was beautiful, loved her to pieces and she was my "best friend" for many years.) Your examples just resonated with me. Thank you for sharing these beautiful reminders. I am pinning this, and I might just re-read it for the 3rd time too. :)
3/15/2020 11:07:22 am
Thanks so much for your comment, Jennifer. I'm glad to hear Debrah's article resonated so much with you. I appreciate that you have shared the article, as well. All the best!
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