I was looking again at a NYTimes article about turning negative thinkers into positive ones.  I liked that the article not only described the benefits of positive emotions, and the hazards of negative emotions, but then discussed strategies to foster positive thinking.

Negative thinking can affect the amygdyla, which can increase health problems.  Positive thinking can help heart rate, blood pressure, blood glucose levels, and other biolological effects, in addition to psychological effects of a can-do attitude.

Not in the article, sometimes we need to not read too much negativity, and avoid too much interaction with negative, pessimistic people, because they drag you down without helping to find a light at the end of the tunnel.  Then it's time to skip  that link, or read something else.   Sometimes we can't help but look at a train wreck, but it's usually better, to seek other excitement.  That includes our own thoughts - sometimes venting has a place, but sometimes the more negative things we express, the worse we can feel.  Sometimes, gallows humor has a place, but sometimes we have to actively re-route our thoughts to a happier place.

I have been through many challenges and hardships in my own life, and have also had successes that I could not have expected.  There has been much grief, and loneliness, and much comaraderie, friendship, and sometimes love.   It's hard to see the positive during tragedies and oppression, and bad events, but sometimes we can light a light and start to see things differently, and start working again on a better life. 

We only live once.  Life is short, and there is much tragedy.  There can also be much joy. 

"When you go home, fill the house with joy so that the light of it will stream out the windows and doors and illuminate even the darkness. It is just as easy that way as any in the world."

- Robert Green Ingersoll

and my favorite, always,

Happiness is the only good. The time to be happy is now. The place to be happy is here. The way to be happy is to make others so.”

- Robert Green Ingersoll

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You do a great job of giving background material that helps to make sense of what is going on now. This crazy, tipsy-topsy world changes right before our eye. Much of what happens is beyond our control. Getting up in the morning can be hard, especially if we sit on the gloomy side of the teeter totter. 

I want to be realistic about what is happening and why, however, I want to spend the rest of my days happy, seeing flowers, birds, rabbits, even if they are eating plants that I put out there. The deer take a nice nibble out of trees and gardens, but I love them so much I am willing to plant for them. I haven't been out in the greenhouse since July 27 and Larry tells me it is a jungle again, even after my severe pruning of leaves from the tomato plants. The tomatoes he brings into the kitchen are delicious. Larry can't find the potatoes, so who knows what they will look like.

I don't know how old you are, Michael, but I do everything I can to find wonder around me. It is hard sometimes, especially as you recover from your lost marriage. Still, you survive and you have spirit. Join in finding the wonderful things around us. 

I don't know what happened to my reply. Maybe it is floating around in the ether and looking for a landing place. 

It's not here!  I would love to see another try!

My replies:

1) don't make it to the page when I exit the page without clicking the "Add Reply" button, and

2) leave the page when I click the 'x' in the upper right corner and then consent.

"looking for a landing place."  Thanks for the laugh Joan.

Michael, you are a realist, you know the background story of so many things and you teach us as you respond and in your posts. You have a great gift and you willingly share that information with us. I think you enjoy being able to contribute to a conversation, and I enjoy reading your input. You experienced what many others have and you know from where they come. The other person feels affirmed, knowing that at least one other person understands. That seems optimistic to me. 

Daniel, perfection! We are happy, content, confident of our position. And, we have our problems to overcome, just as everyone else. We don't have superhuman powers, we have powers of realism. 

A benefit of being happy, is it really annoys the hell out of people who prefer to see you suffer.

Yeah, but if I'm wanting others to be unhappy, I'm not happy.

You are right again. And if I want to be happy, I make others happy. 

I wouldn't take it that far, Joan. Those others have to want to be happy.

I am not responsible for whether other people are happy or not, but I do know it is suicide to live with a negative person. 

I like Laura's style, she wakes up with a happy greeting to everyone, finds something good about everyone, which keeps me on my toes because I am a world-class judge. When a problem or conflict occurs, she used active listening to hear the other person, speaks her mind and clearly and non-judgmentally as she can, and then looks for ways to solve the situation with input from others and critical thinking to find a solution that all can work with. 

A good example is how she uses her work crews. She knows the skills of each employee, she knows what they don't like. She spells out the project describing what she wants the end product to be. She breaks the tasks according to function: some are good at planning,  some at physical labor, some are good at keeping inventory, others at writing. There are times when people need to be able to cross-over to another task and they do it willingly. She keeps the team working as a team, not as individuals working on their projects. She keeps them focused on the end result. When the task completes, all celebrate!

Good one Daniel.

A lot of religious people are that way.  They especially want to see atheists suffer.  Perhaps because they’re suffering with cognitive dissidence, along with shame, guilt, and fear.



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