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I've been sitting all day, hovering around my phone, waiting for a call that obviously isn't coming.  I can feel the tension in my neck and shoulders increase as the day comes to a close.  My mind is supplying me with a million absolutely horrible reasons for the failed call (lines are down, someone's sick, someone's upset)....a million different worse-case-scenarios that persistent voice in my head is eager to supply me with.  I feel achy, breaky, and not at all like Billy Ray Cyrus.

In one small corner of my mind, I can hear my Grandma Louise gently chiding me with her famous words: "Don't borrow trouble."  She toted that phrase out when things would go wrong, the  imagination would kick in, and viola!  Everything looked as bad as it possibly could.  It took me years to figure out that what she said was true, you don't need to listen to that persistent voice in your head that is all to ready and eager to supply you with nausea and sleepless nights.

The University of Pennsylvania is home to  the Authentic Happiness Project at their Positive Psychology Center.  Authentic Happiness is headed by Dr. Seligman, whose main mission has been the promotion of the field of Positive Psychology. This discipline includes the study of positive emotion, positive character traits, and positive institutions.

4 positive components  for handling the situations life hands us

1) Don't wait for the sword to drop.  Take purposeful action and undercut anxiety.  Deal directly with the source of potential problems, and then decide what course of action will work best for you.

2) Pool your resources.  Analyze your strengths and weaknesses.  You don't create problems all on your own, and you shouldn't have to resolve problems on your own.  Draw strength from those around you and realize that the whole is greater than the parts.

3) Get perspective.  Don't focus on the worse-case outcome of a situations.  You can acknowledge worse-case outcomes, but then envision best-case outcomes.  Look honestly at all likely outcomes, and you will find that most are probably going to end up somewhere in the middle.

4) Look for joy.  People who cultivate positive emotions generally deal with adversity better, while living longer and healthier lives, than do their pessimistic counterparts.  Look for those small moments of joy and happiness in your day.  Acknowledge them with gratitude, allow those good moments to  flavor the rest of your day.

Be healthy, be safe, take your WomenVitamins, and be blessed, Kersten

Related articles:

221-Positive Psychology

The Happiness Hypothesis

Posted in: Mind, Body, Spirit

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