There are a variety of expressions that we use to describe one who has been blessed, or who seeks to increase their odds of positive gain. As luck would have it, lucky day, good luck and one most recently used in March, luck of the Irish, are just a few of the many ways we show that we believe positive circumstances are random . Being lucky suggests that blessings happen by chance, and are not a result of human action. But can we increase the odds that we will incur blessings and experience positivity in our lives?
Being able to think positively is not only a great way to cope with stress, anxiety, depression and addiction, it also allows us to keep our minds open to a greater variety of options and solutions as we face stressors and major life changes. Death, financial struggle and illness are things all of us will face at some time or another in our lives. By engaging in positive thought while working through these obstacles, we will help increase our chances of not only surviving the stressor, but also being able to learn from the experience to help ourselves and others at different times in life.
While facing a major life change, people who use positive thinking often recall additional times in their lives when they were able to get through an issue thought to be difficult. Being able to draw strength and confidence from past instances can help when currently facing a difficult situation. We reflect on our ability to problem-solve, cope and work through stressors, in other words we build on past successes. Knowing that we were able to successfully work through a situation also helps promote positive self-esteem.
Positive thinkers might also set realistic, smaller goals, even when striving toward a larger goal. Setting smaller goals can help us keep positive expectations. If our goals are too large and seem unattainable, we might find ourselves engaging in negative thinking, or believing that we are not capable of success. In order to be consistent with our efforts, we must believe that we are able to achieve and succeed in our goals.
Think back to a time in your life when you experienced happiness. What were you doing? Who were you with? What did you take from the experience? Hopefully, by just reflecting on that thought you were able to have a positive reaction. Reflecting on happy times, funny stories or times of success and achievement can also be a way to think positively. Looking at photo albums and talking to elders in your family can be a great way to remember.
Luck won’t always be on our side, but if we work hard to think positively we can choose our own path to happiness. Looking to the bright side is not a terrible way to face stress, but sometimes it can be difficult, especially when it seems there is no way out. Positive thinking can help us find a way out, find a way up and promote long-term success. Don’t wait for a lucky day, build a happy life.
Amy Caldwell is the case manager for Community First Solutions’ UPLIFT program. UPLIFT is an in-home counseling services to combat depression and anxiety commonly experienced by over 2 million older adults each year. The short term program includes 15 to 20 sessions with a licensed therapist who will either visit clients’ homes or a location of their choice. There is minimal to no charge for Butler County adults over the age of fifty and are no forms associated with it. Simply call (513) 868-5128 and we will quickly connect you or someone you love with a counselor.