By Marlo Sollitto, AgingCare.com contributing editor
Are you a “glass half empty” or a “glass half full kind of person?” Unexpected, unpleasant circumstances and difficult people are a fact of life that we canít control. But we can control how we handle the situation. Here are some tips for looking at the “glass half-full” to improve your mood, and lead a happier life.
1. Face Fear Head On
It is the unfamiliarity of uncharted waters which causes us the most distress. If we choose to constantly fight change, we will struggle our entire lives. We need to find a way to embrace these changes or at the least accept them. Hope is something we create. It’s not something that magically appears from an outside source. We each have within us the capacity to generate and nurture hope.
2. Focus on the Love You Have to Give
People seek and enter relationships wanting to be loved. And being loved is one of the best experiences in life. But do you love yourself? This is crucial, because you can’t expect others to love and respect you if you don’t love and respect yourself. Loving another person, and all the giving and caring that go along with loving, can be more fulfilling than being loved. Focusing on the love that you have to give will change every relationship in your life.
3. Find Peace Among the Chaos
Find your own personal space. Every one needs some alone time. Make time to be alone with your thoughts and refresh your spirit. If you can’t take the time to leave the house, find your own space within the home. Use the office, the den, the back porchÖeven the basement and turn it into your own personal retreat. Use your time – even if it’s only 15 a minutes a day – to relax, practice your deep breathing, meditate – whatever works for you.
4. Be Happy for No Reason
Play and be happy even if you don’t feel like it. You can be happy wherever you are. Do something silly: Put on some music and dance in circles until you’re dizzy. Make faces to your kids or in the mirror. In other words, do something that makes you smile. The purpose of our lives is to be happy. However, you are only as happy as you make up your mind to be. You control your happiness; no one else does.
Breathing is a no-brainer, right? Most of the time, because we aren’t aware of the breaths we take, we breathe very shallowly. Consciously focusing on your breathing and taking deep breaths can relieve stress and increase relaxation immediately. It’s very easy to do. Here’s how: Sit back. Place one hand on the abdomen and one hand on the lower ribs. Practice filling up those areas with air. In other words, take a breath that starts in your abdomen and works its way up your body. Control your breathing by breathing in for 3 to 5 seconds, hold for the same amount of time and exhale then exhale the air out through your mouth slowly. Do this for 3 minutes and you will feel the stress melt away.