Positivity Post https://positivitypost.com News about Positive Thinking, simplifying life, reducing stress, inspiration, personal growth, personal finance and happiness. Mon, 24 Jun 2019 12:03:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.0.4 Promise Yourself https://positivitypost.com/promise-yourself/ Mon, 24 Jun 2019 09:01:51 +0000 https://positivitypost.com/?p=14671 https://www.facebook.com/Positivity-Post-850385048367345/President Franklin D. Roosevelt is remembered for many great achievements. During a very difficult time in this country and indeed, the world, FDR used his power of optimism to raise the hopes of millions of people. For that, we should all be grateful.

“Faced with the Great Depression and World War II, Franklin D. Roosevelt, nicknamed “FDR,” guided America through its greatest domestic crisis, with the exception of the Civil War, and its greatest foreign crisis. Roosevelt’s combination of confidence, optimism, and political savvy—all of which came together in the experimental economic and social programs of the “New Deal”—helped bring about the beginnings of a national recovery.

Under Roosevelt’s leadership, the United States emerged from World War II as the world’s foremost economic, political, and military power. FDR’s contributions to domestic life during his presidency were just as vital. While his “New Deal” did not end the Great Depression, Roosevelt’s leadership gave Americans hope and confidence in their darkest hours and fundamentally reshaped the relationship between the federal government and the American people.”  – William E. Leuchtenburg, Professor Emeritus of History, University of North Carolina

In his first inaugural address, FDR famously said:

“So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is…fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and of vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. And I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt was a remarkable leader because he was an optimist and, he was a diplomat. He was able to unify the American people through words and deeds that were centered around confidence-building, optimism and a general sense of faith and positivity. Regardless of political ideology, even his staunchest critics had to admit that he was the breath of fresh air the world so desperately needed.

This really isn’t about FDR, per se. What this is about, is a need for all of us — Americans and people of all national identities — to shake-off the shackles of negativity and once again embrace positivity. To let go of anger, fear, jealousy, greed and hubris, and in their place, let hope, faith, optimism and peace take root.

I recently read a beautiful piece by Christopher D. Larson called “Promise Yourself” and it so inspired me, I wanted to share it with our readers. When reading these sage words, let them sink in — absorb them and really think about them with a sense of purpose.

“Promise Yourself

To be so strong that nothing
can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity
to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel
that there is something in them
To look at the sunny side of everything
and make your optimism come true.

To think only the best, to work only for the best,
and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others
as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past
and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times
and give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself
that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear,
and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world,
not in loud words but great deeds.
To live in faith that the whole world is on your side
so long as you are true to the best that is in you.”
Christian D. Larson, Your Forces and How to Use Them

Today, promise yourself to be the best person you can be. Promise yourself to be happy, positive, kind, grateful and filled with hope.

 

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The Wooden Bowl https://positivitypost.com/the-wooden-bowl/ https://positivitypost.com/the-wooden-bowl/#comments Mon, 17 Jun 2019 09:01:14 +0000 https://positivitypost.com/?p=14651 https://www.facebook.com/Positivity-Post-850385048367345/We reap what we sow. That is a very powerful truth, but one we often forget. If we sow bad seeds, we reap a bitter, unpalatable crop. Knowing this, why do we so often fall into the same old trap of sowing harmful seeds?

I love stories with a moral because so often, the message of the story reveals itself as an epiphany. Its not that we didn’t necessarily know the message to begin with, but we may have forgotten it or suppressed it — this is particularly true in our modern, stressful world. The story of “The Wooden Bowl” is one of those stories with a powerful message. After you’ve read the moral of the story below, remind yourself daily of what is really, truly important in life.

The Wooden Bowl

A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year-old grandson. The old man’s hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered. The family ate together at the table.  But the elderly grandfather’s shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth.

The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess. “We must do something about father,” said the son. “I’ve had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor.”  So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner. Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl!  When the family glanced in Grandfather’s direction, sometimes he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food.

The four-year-old watched it all in silence.

One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, “What are you making?”  Just as sweetly, the boy responded, “Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mama to eat your food in when I grow up.” The four-year-old smiled and went back to work.

The words so struck the parents so that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done.

That evening the husband took Grandfather’s hand and gently led him back to the family table. For the remainder of his day, he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.

Moral: You reap what you sow. Regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life. Always respect, care for and love them.

– Author unknown

This is a valuable reminder that we need to treat others as we want to be treated. Life can be challenging and with daily stresses, sometimes the slightest inconvenience at home can make us snap and lash out. We’re only human after all, and stress can make us react in a way that just creates more negativity. That is why we need to practice daily mindfulness —  we have to consciously remind ourselves not to let the little things bother us and we need to cherish what and who we have.

“More smiling, less worrying. More compassion, less judgment. More blessed, less stressed. More love, less hate.” Roy T. Bennett

“The truth is that stress doesn’t come from your boss, your kids, your spouse, traffic jams, health challenges, or other circumstances. It comes from your thoughts about these circumstances.”  ― Andrew J. Bernstein

]]> https://positivitypost.com/the-wooden-bowl/feed/ 1 Just Try Not to Laugh at this Funny Cat Compilation Video https://positivitypost.com/just-try-not-to-laugh-at-this-funny-cat-compilation-video/ https://positivitypost.com/just-try-not-to-laugh-at-this-funny-cat-compilation-video/#comments Mon, 10 Jun 2019 09:01:06 +0000 https://positivitypost.com/?p=14577 https://www.facebook.com/Positivity-Post-850385048367345/Happy Monday!  Okay, so most of us really don’t love Monday. But our attitude at the start of the week, can greatly influence our mood for the rest of the week. With that in mind, this hilarious Cat compilation video can get you in the right mind-set.

Animals can be one of the greatest sources for positivity and this video doesn’t dissappoint. Have your volume up a bit and enjoy!

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Do You Build a Bridge or a Fence? https://positivitypost.com/do-you-build-bridge-or-fence/ https://positivitypost.com/do-you-build-bridge-or-fence/#comments Mon, 03 Jun 2019 09:01:31 +0000 https://positivitypost.com/?p=14614 https://www.facebook.com/Positivity-Post-850385048367345/So often in life, we build a fence, rather than a bridge. When faced with conflict, sometimes the easiest response is to close ourselves off — to put up a defensive barrier instead of a gesture of peace and reconciliation. When we do this, who does it hurt more?

The following short story is so simple in its message and the message certainly isn’t new, yet we continue to ignore it. As you read the story, think about a time when you may have built a fence, instead of a bridge.

Once upon a time two brothers, who lived on adjoining farms, fell into conflict. It was the first serious rift in 40 years of farming side-by-side, sharing machinery and trading labor and goods as needed, without a conflict.

Then the long collaboration fell apart. It began with a small misunderstanding and it grew into a major difference, and finally, it exploded into an exchange of bitter words followed by weeks of silence.

One morning there was a knock on the older brother’s door. He opened it to find a man with a carpenter’s tool box.

“I’m looking for a few days’ work, he said. “Perhaps you would have a few small jobs here and there I could help with?”

“Yes, said the older brother. “I do have a job for you. Look across the creek at that farm. That’s my neighbor — in fact, it’s my younger brother. Last week there was a meadow between us and he took his bulldozer to the river’s levee and now, there is a creek between us. Well, he may have done this to spite me, but I’ll do him one better.”

“See that pile of lumber by the barn? I want you to build me a fence — an 8-foot fence, so I won’t need to see his place or his face anymore.”

The carpenter said, “I think I understand the situation. Show me the nails and the post-hole digger and I’ll be able to do a job that pleases you.”

The older brother had to go to town, so he helped the carpenter get the materials ready and then he was off for the day.

The carpenter worked hard all that day measuring, sawing, nailing. About sunset, when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just finished his job.

The farmer’s eyes opened wide and his jaw dropped. There was no fence there at all — it was a bridge…a bridge that stretched from one side of the creek to the other! It was a fine piece of work, handrails and all — suddenly, the neighbor, his younger brother, was coming toward them with his arms outstretched — “You are quite a fellow to build this bridge after all I’ve said and done!” he exclaimed.

The two brothers stood at each end of the bridge, and then came to meet in the middle, taking each other’s hand. They turned to see the carpenter hoist his toolbox onto his shoulder.

“No, wait! Stay a few days. I’ve a lot of other projects for you,” said the older brother.

“I’d love to stay on,” the carpenter said, “but I have many more bridges to build.

– Author Unknown

“A bridge can still be built, while the bitter waters are flowing beneath.”           – Anthony Liccione

Rather than tearing down and destroying, we need to build and repair. When we harbor anger or resentment, we do more harm to ourselves than we do to the person we’re angry with. Having a heart filled with love leads to true happiness —forgiveness, peace and understanding are the direct result of that personal happiness.

“Our lack of forgiveness makes us hate, and our lack of compassion makes us hard-hearted. Pride in our hearts makes us resentful and keeps our memory in a constant whirlwind of passion and self-pity.”  – Mother Angelica

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When the State of the World Brings Us Down https://positivitypost.com/when-the-state-of-the-world-brings-us-down/ https://positivitypost.com/when-the-state-of-the-world-brings-us-down/#comments Tue, 28 May 2019 09:01:25 +0000 https://positivitypost.com/?p=14599 https://www.facebook.com/Positivity-Post-850385048367345/“I don’t think I’m going to make it.” These are the upsetting words an elderly friend uttered to me the other day. Her words were chilling and knowing her as I do, very unexpected. My friend seemed beaten down and I was extremely concerned.

What were behind her words? A frustration that she just can’t shake. The world is really getting to her, just as it is to millions of people. My friend is in her 80’s and she lives alone. As with many people who don’t get out as much as they used to, TV has become her companion and in particular, the news. Concerned, I asked what she meant and she told me that she just can’t understand what is happening to the world…”to people,” she added. “Everything is just so crazy these days and it just seems to get worse. People aren’t like they used to be. I don’t understand them anymore.”

We talked about what she was feeling and what emerged was an unsettling reality for so many people around the world.

The news is getting to me

The news, she said, was not just depressing, but was almost surreal — almost like it wasn’t real, because it has become so absurd. “People are shouting at each other and every story is blown out of proportion. Years ago, they just reported the news exactly as it happened. Now I don’t know if what I’m watching is real, or if the loudmouth on my TV is embellishing it.”

What is happening to people?

My friend is totally unable to explain the Kardashians — “Why would anyone want to keep up with them? Who are they? Why are they rich and famous? What have they contributed to the world?” Admittedly, on this one, I could not help, as I too am unable to explain the Kardashians or any reality “star” for that matter. Her aggravation is warranted. What is happening to people? Why are we all shouting each other down? How is that people with no discernible talent, other than having made a sex tape, can become to absurdly famous and obscenely rich? What have they contributed to the world?  The truth is…nothing.  

She is also dismayed because she said that even when she does find a quality program to watch, the good vibe is shattered by pharmaceutical commercials  — “Why is a woman holding the hand of her own bladder?” she asked. “Aren’t the Doctors supposed to prescribe these medications? Why are they wasting their time and money advertising them to us?”  She does have a point. These pharmaceutical commercials often talk about dreaded topics and even if you try to tune them out, that idea and notion, is still lingering in your mind. Is it any wonder people are so frazzled?

We’re not citizens anymore, we’re customers

My friend is also upset because her phone rings incessantly. “Who are these telemarketers that keep calling me day and night? I look at the screen and think it’s a neighbor, but when I answer, its just another scam call.” (I explained “spoofing” and robo-calling to her, which just upset her more, because she can’t understand how these illegal scams are allowed).

Even her mail and email is a source of stress, because all she gets these days are unsolicited offers and hysterical claims that she needs to click the link or a swat team will swarm her house — I jest, but for an elderly person who doesn’t get out as much, these endless scams really are an assault on all of us. “We’re not even seen as citizens anymore. We’re just customers to these companies and scammers. Take what they can get from us, that’s all that matters in this country these days,” she said. Can we deny that? All of us are experiencing this onslaught and it’s as if they have free reign to lie, cheat and steal to make their sales.  

I want to point out that this friend is not a stereotypical “old person.”  She is smart, active, engaged and sharp as a tack — there’s no moss growing under her feet. For her to be this upset was very telling, because she’s not “confused” or withering away. She’s upset because she has lived and witnessed and experienced war and all manner of events. Yet, something is different these days and she can’t quite put her finger on it.

“Things aren’t always easy, but you just have to keep going and don’t let the small stuff bog you down.” – Stella Maeve

Can any of us put our finger on it?

What my friend is feeling is real and she is far from alone in her anger/frustration. Quite frankly, I don’t think there are many who would, or even could deny that our world, particularly in the U.S., has become a barren landscape of commercialism. We are inundated with cold, stark commerce at every turn. Everything and everyone,  it seems, is for sale and the “take whatever you can” mentality is flourishing. We have become a commercial venture and the notion of to get rich no matter who you hurt is becoming the norm. Have a product to sell? Sell it to anyone you can, even if that means lying, cheating and stealing. Citizens? She’s right, because we’re not citizens — we’re customers. Companies are free to invade our privacy, track us, listen to us, call us, email us…it’s clear that our needs are unimportant and that those of the faceless corporate beast are paramount.

As for the news, as my friend said, it’s surreal. It may seem “normal” to younger people who haven’t known anything different, but let’s be honest and admit that the news has become very unsettling. Moreover, people’s reactions to the “news” has created a hate-filled, toxic environment. Worse, much of the “news” is hyped up and turned into more than it really is, because these 24 x 7 news networks have to fill the airwaves with something, don’t they? Boring just doesn’t keep viewers and it doesn’t get clicks and since they rely on advertising, you better believe salacious, no matter how false, is their primary objective.

Is she right though?

What is happening to the world? Have people gone mad? These are legitimate questions, because more and more people are asking them, so that means yes, something is happening here. And that means that my friend is astute and clearly aware that things have gone a bit haywire.

I suggested that my friend watch less TV news and instead, read the paper or read it online. I urged her to just throw away her junk mail, delete her scam emails and just ignore the scam telemarketing calls.  “Just don’t answer them or, just hang up,” I suggested. “I’ll try” she said, but the damage may be done.”

My friend said she fears for the world and in particular, the youngest generation. Now here’s the other kicker — this friend is one of the most optimistic people I know. She is normally cheery, loves people, cares for animals and always tries to see the brighter side in life. It is because that is how I’ve always known her to be that made me so concerned. 

After leaving her house, I went home and decided that I would start asking around and conduct my own, non-scientific poll. I asked many friends and acquaintances if they too felt the world seemed to be going mad. Do you know, that out of about 22 people I asked, 14 emphatically said “yes!” and  2 were more lukewarm about it, saying that things do seem “out of whack,” and they did say they no longer watch the news. That is 16 out of 22 people, so roughly 73% of those I asked.

So it’s all gone bad, has it?

The answer is of course, no. But, as any truly positive person will tell you, pretending that everything is normal in the world would be a mistake. We have much to fix and the only way broken things get repaired is if we face up to the problem, drag it into the light and make it better.

What can we do?

I’m happy to say that my friend is feeling much better. She no longer turns on the news first thing in the morning and instead, is once again getting the newspaper delivered. This, she said, lets her read the news without all the mania. She has also started to just delete the emails she doesn’t recognize, so no more opening up the invasive spam. She is still getting scam telemarketing calls, but has put herself on the “do not call” list — now, she lets it ring if she doesn’t know the caller and then checks her voicemail…if its a friend, family member or a truly legitimate call, they leave a message. But perhaps best of all, she reminded herself that she is one tough cookie. She is a positive person and she re-committed herself to being optimistic and not letting the rotten apples spoil the bunch.

So above all, what each of us can do is make a choice — a choice to nullify the invasive negativity. Cut it off. Ignore it. Challenge  and confront it. Quite simply, don’t let it into your life and if some does creep in, never, ever let it get you down.

“Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” – Harriet Beecher Stowe

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When Worry Stops Us from Living Our Life https://positivitypost.com/when-worry-stops-us-from-living-our-life/ https://positivitypost.com/when-worry-stops-us-from-living-our-life/#comments Mon, 20 May 2019 09:01:25 +0000 https://positivitypost.com/?p=14571 https://www.facebook.com/Positivity-Post-850385048367345/One of the most harmful habits we humans have is worry. No matter how much effort we make to be positive optimists, that nagging tendency to worry always seems to creep in. Is worrying normal though? Is it something we should even try to eliminate?

Well, for me, the short answer is yes, we should absolutely try to reduce worrying, even if we may never actually eliminate it completely.

Dr. Robert L. Leahy, PhD, the author of The Worry Cure: 7 Steps to Stop Worry From Stopping You, says that worrying can be a result of genetic factors, but also environmental ones as well:

“There is a genetic component,” he says. “There are also nurture or non-nurture factors. For example, people who come from divorced homes are 70% more likely to have generalized anxiety disorder — characterized by chronic anxiety, exaggerated worry, and tension.”

Overprotective parents tend to raise worriers as well, he says.

Psychologist and psychoanalyst Dr. Sandy Taub, PsyD concurs with Dr. Leahy: “There is probably is a biological component to chronic worry, but there is also an early environment component. The feeling of safety that ‘my mother will keep me safe’ should be internalized and grow along with you so that, for the most part, you feel secure. But if you had a mom who was not as available and not consistent, you can develop the mind-set that the world is not such a safe place. Divorce and overprotection can also gnaw away at a person’s feelings of internal safety and security.”Dr. Sandy Taub

So perhaps we should first realize that we may never be able to stop worrying, but that we certainly can reduce and control it.

“People worry because they think something bad will happen or could happen, so they activate a hypervigilant strategy of worry and think that ‘if I worry I can prevent this bad thing from happening or catch it early.’ Put another way: If you didn’t worry, things might get out of hand. The worrier’s credo is that if you can simply imagine something bad happening, it’s your responsibility to worry about it.” – Dr. Robert L. Leahy, PhD

So how much worrying is too much?

I think that’s the big question here. Personally, I have carried worry with me for most of my life. I wrestled with why I worried so much, because I had a good upbringing and I was raised with a sense of faith and confidence. So what was making me worry so much?  To this day, I have no idea. While I’ve gotten it more under control, I still do worry more than I want to and I believe it has more to do with thinking too much (but that’s another story). I think the real danger is when we build every worry into a nightmare scenario, because doing that does serious damage to our mental and physical health.

If we find ourselves always stressing and filled with anxiety, something needs to be done. Here are some suggestions on how to better control your worrying:

From Dr. Leahy:

No. 1: Make a list of your worries. Identify what you are worried about, says Leahy.

No. 2: Analyze the list. “Look at whether your worry is productive or unproductive. A productive worry is one that you can do something about right now.”

Dr. Leahy explains that a productive worry is one you can actually do something about — an action you can take to address the issue. An unproductive worry however, is one that you can’t actually do anything about —“It is more of a proliferation of ‘what ifs,’ over which you have no control and there is no productive action that will lead to a solution.”

No. 3: Bore yourself calm. “Repeat a feared thought over and over and it will become boring and will go away. Say it enough and it will lose its power.”

No 4: Stop the clock. “Worried people often have a sense of urgency. They think, ‘I need the answer right now and if I don’t get it then something terrible will happen.’ Look at the advantages and disadvantages of demanding such urgency. Rather than focus on the sense of urgency, instead focus on what you observe right now. Ask yourself, ‘What can I do in the present moment to make my life more pleasant or meaningful?’ You can either focus your mind on getting an answer right now or focus on improving the moment. The latter is the better strategy. Take a deep breath, read, or listen to music to stop the clock and curtail your anxiety.”

“Worry is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.” – Arthur Somers Roche

No. 5: Cry out loud. Dr. Leahy advices that we should let it out — cry if you need to. According to Dr. Leahy: “The emotional part of the brain — the amygdala — is suppressed when you worry,” Leahy explains. “The emotion kicks in later with gastrointestinal symptoms, fatigue or rapid heart rate. Use your emotions; don’t try to get rid of them because when you are crying or angry, you are not worried.”

I also like these suggestions…

No. 6: Talk it through. Dr. Leahy offers really fantastic guidance and that’s why I think talking your worries out is key. Talk to a family member, friend, Clergy or a qualified Therapist. Sometimes just speaking out loud about what worries you helps and hearing words of support or reason can help us get passed the chronic worrying. That is why a qualified Therapist is sometimes the route to go, because their knowledge and expertise can help us significantly reduce our worrying.

No. 7: Confront and stop your inner negative voice. Have you ever noticed that when you’re worrying, it tends to be these random, almost uncontrolled thoughts? You may find that when you have down time and don’t have something constructive to fill your time/mind, these nagging negative thoughts creep in. Within minutes, our mind is racing and rehearsing scenarios, anxiety rises and those creeping thoughts take over. We have to stop that voice.  When you sense it happening, snap out of it, confront it and banish it — re-focus your mind onto something positive. Firmly tell yourself “nope, not this time…I’m not going to even think about __________!”

“There is nothing that wastes the body like worry, and one who has any faith in God should be ashamed to worry about anything whatsoever.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Chronic worry is an awful feeling. It darkens our mood and zaps the joy. Try the suggestions above to see if they help, but as always, if you feel you need the help of a qualified professional, please seek one out so they can address the issue. Worry seems to be a natural part of our lives and while we may not be able to eliminate it completely, we clearly can reduce it dramatically.

 Learn more about Dr. Robert Leahy here.

“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.” – Marie Curie

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Americans Find Themselves Mired in Boredom https://positivitypost.com/americans-find-themselves-mired-in-boredom/ https://positivitypost.com/americans-find-themselves-mired-in-boredom/#comments Mon, 13 May 2019 11:20:34 +0000 https://positivitypost.com/?p=14554 https://www.facebook.com/Positivity-Post-850385048367345/Yawn…so bored. So very bored. As it turns out, it seems that lots of people are bored these days. A new study concludes that the average American experiences boredom 131 days out of the year. Why are we so bored?

Many Americans are bored for more than a third of each year — that’s an awful lot of bored days.

Researchers spearheading the study surveyed 2,000 Americans and they defined a “boring day,” as one in which there was no fun at all. That’s a bit depressing, isn’t it?

Survey participants cited cost, stress and general fatigue from work/life for the reasons they experience boredom. But could you ever imagine that apparently, we feel bored 131 days out of 365? I wonder what the average American does on those bored days? Odds are, they probably watch TV or surf social media — hardly good things to do with one’s down time and those activities probably make us feel even more frustrated.

I wonder if this boredom stems from a sense of burnout — burnout from work stress, the toxic political climate or perhaps just a general sense of frustration at what is supposed to pass for life these days?

When I was a kid, of course we had those days in which we felt like there was nothing to do. But, on those days, our parents made us get up and get outside or, they made sure we did something constructive with our time — read a good book, draw pictures, even help with chores. The point is, we had to do something, because parents knew that just sitting around made the boredom worse.

Today, I’m concerned that people don’t feel motivated to do anything when they’re bored. Surfing the net or binge watching some TV show on Netfilx has become the norm to combat boredom. Surely there  are far more beneficial and rewarding things we can do to chase away the boredom.

Here are just a few things you may want to try the next time you’re feeling bored:

First, acknowledge that boredom is a state-of-mind. Boredom is sort of like being stuck between a desire to do something, but seemingly unable to actually find something compelling to do. It’s a frustration we’ve all had, in which we sit there trying to think of something to do, but we become frustrated and just pooh-pooh every idea…in other words, there are lots of things to do, but out of crankiness, we shoot down every idea.

So…

Get creative:

Read a book. Can’t find one? Head over to your local Library and explore…that in itself will relieve boredom.

– Sketch, paint or just doodle. You don’t have to be a particularly talented artist…just have at it and let your imagination guide you. Or, you can also try a paint-by-numbers, because they are really fun!

– Color. Yes, they do make coloring books for adults and yes, they are loads of fun! 

– Cook or bake. Whip out the cookbooks and let your culinary skills flow. Trying out a new recipe is a fantastic way to conquer boredom. Plus, lots of times you realize that cooking/baking have always been your passion and it often leads to a very rewarding long-term hobby.

– Write a letter. Personally, I feel that its best to use pen and paper for this, but if that not your thing, type it out on your computer. Who should you write to? Anyone that you feel needs to hear from you. On days your bored, consider reading up on the positions of your elected representatives in government…let them know what you think and want by sending them a letter.

– Crafting. Knit. Crochet. Take and old box and decoupage it. Need some ideas? Try visiting DIY Everywhere — they’re  a fantastic source for craft/DIY ideas.

Get productive…

– Workout. Nothing gets rid of boredom faster than a good workout. Ride your bike, jog, go to the gym, go for a hike… get some exercise to burn off calories, stress and boredom.

– Get involved. Check out some charities you might like to help, or volunteer at your local hospital, animal shelter, etc.

– Clean! Yes, cleaning one’s home is a very therapeutic way to relieve boredom. Plus, once you’re finished, you have a very fulfilling sense of satisfaction that you made your home look better.

– De-clutter. This is a bit different than cleaning, because what you’re doing is getting rid of clutter — and clutter can be very bad for our mental health. Once you start to see some progress and you’ve streamlined, you’d be surprised at how good it makes one feel.

– Re-arrange a room. Ever thought that maybe your couch should be at more of an angle? Give it a try!

The options for what we can do to eliminate boredom are as many as we can think of. Boredom is a part of life and we all need those days in which we just relax and do little. But if we’re bored almost a third of the year, I think that means we need to do something about it. One thing to do is to prepare — come up with a list of things you can do when you’re feeling bored so that next time you are, you have a plan in place. Want to know what I did last time I was bored? I took a can of Beeswax polish and shined all the trim and molding in my house — not only did my house smell great afterwards, but it was brighter looking and…I basically got in a work-out by going all through my house!

 

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The Christian Corner: A Beginner’s Guide to Christianity https://positivitypost.com/the-christian-corner-a-beginners-guide-to-christianity/ https://positivitypost.com/the-christian-corner-a-beginners-guide-to-christianity/#comments Mon, 06 May 2019 09:01:09 +0000 https://positivitypost.com/?p=14422 https://www.facebook.com/Positivity-Post-850385048367345/I was chatting with a good friend last week and she said that she and her husband were struggling with how to best teach their children about their Christian faith. Their dilemma is that they want to teach them, but they also want them to be free to learn on their own.

As providence would have it, a resource on this very topic was recently sent to me and I was happy to share it with her. In my opinion, there is a big difference between “religion” as we know it and faith. My friends want to help their kids to make up their own mind — yes, they go to Church, but for them, their faith is wholly personal and they want to foster understanding of that faith within their own home and also allow their children to have the freedom to decide for themselves.

I’m happy to share the learning resource that was sent my way, in hopes that our Christian reader’s may find it beneficial. Entitled, “A Beginner’s Guide to Christianity,” I found it to be well written and in an easy-to-understand manner.

I feel passionate that faith is not something that can be taught, but rather, is something that can be nurtured, especially in the young. Faith must come from within and because my friends wish to let their children decide for themselves what they believe, this beginners guide is an excellent way to help get the seeds of curiosity flowing within them.

Read the full guide here.

 

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Americans are Stressed and Angry. Gee, No Surprise There. https://positivitypost.com/americans-are-stressed-and-angry-gee-no-surprise-there/ Mon, 29 Apr 2019 09:01:18 +0000 https://positivitypost.com/?p=14508 https://www.facebook.com/Positivity-Post-850385048367345/Americans, and indeed many people around the world are increasingly stressed. A recent gallup poll shows that stress, anger and negativity are on the rise, particularly in the United States. Does this surprise anyone?

While stress is of course nothing new, the level of anger is a very disturbing phenomenon. People aren’t just feeling frazzled…they’re feeling angry. What is causing this rise in stress levels and anger? Is it politics? Could it be modern technology? Perhaps the media is fueling this?

In my opinion, the answer is all three. There was a time when folks consumed their news by reading a newspaper or watching the evening news. Sure, there was bad news, but the big difference was that “back then,” one really could only vent about the news to their immediate family and friends — after all, can you imagine John Q. Public calling all of his friends to complain about the news after the 11pm broadcast? Hardly.

Today though, the internet and particularly social media, enables people to take to the web to rant and rave — throw 24 x 7 news into the mix and the combination is toxic. The problem with an endless “breaking news” cycle is that they need to fill the air time and this means sensationalizing everything — today, a story isn’t just a passing point of interest, because it needs to be built up into something more than it really is. Politics has of course given the news outlets endless opportunity for dramatizing and sensationalizing everything. Now, a politician smiles the wrong way and the news outlets turn it into controversy…mix in Facebook and Twitter and one has the recipe for toxic soup.

So, I personally think we’re stressed and more alarmingly, angry, because we’re being force-fed the ingredients to create the toxic soup.

Here are some salient snippets from the Gallup poll:

…WASHINGTON, D.C. — Even as their economy roared, more Americans were stressed, angry and worried last year than they have been at most points during the past decade. Asked about their feelings the previous day, the majority of Americans (55%) in 2018 said they had experienced stress during a lot of the day, nearly half (45%) said they felt worried a lot and more than one in five (22%) said they felt anger a lot…

Which Americans Are Most Stressed, Worried or Angry?

…Younger Americans between the ages of 15 and 49 are among the most stressed, worried and angry in the U.S. Roughly two in three of those younger than 50 said they experienced stress a lot, about half said they felt worried a lot and at least one in four or more felt anger a lot…

…The world took a negative turn in 2017, with global levels of stress, worry, sadness and pain hitting new highs. During a solid year of economic growth, the U.S. kept this negative trend going into 2018. Higher levels of stress, anger and worry nudged Americans’ overall Negative Experience Index to 35 — three points higher than any previous score to date…

Is it our own fault?

Quite frankly, to a degree it is. No one is forcing us to consume so much news. No one is making us obsess over politics. No one intimidates us into spending precious hours on Facebook or Twitter. And, no one coerces us into believing all the fake news that is being intentionally spread around cyberspace. So yeah, in short, I do think we’re all responsible for this increase in stress and anger. If folks stopped participating in this psychotic system of dysfunction, things would change.

What can we do?

Again, this is my opinion, but there are definitely things we can easily do to stop this madness. Here are just a few:

  • Don’t consume so much news. If there is a major story, then of course we should know about it, but that really should mean major. Try subscribing to a reputable news alert service so you’ll know when there’s something you should be aware of.
  • Leave CNN and the other 24  x 7 news channels off most of the time. Have a set time to watch them if you really must, but then that’s it…turn them off. Consider getting your news from newspapers or from your local evening news — reading the news is less stressful than listening to a talking head drone on and on and, local news programs tend to be less sensationalized.
  • Let go of obsession with politics. Seriously, Americans are becoming all-consumed with politics and it’s just not good. Let it go. If all you can talk about is politics, something is wrong. Our political system has always been one of some division — that’s the way it works. It’s not an all-or-nothing game and politics is about compromise, so trust me when I say, no one party is to blame for the problems, just as no one party will fix them. This is just the way it is, so learn to relax and if you really want to make a change, rather than venting on the internet, contact your elected Representative and exercise your right to be active in government. More people are coming to the conclusion that its not politics per se that is the problem, but rather, its the way the news media hypes and over-sensationalizes it that is the real issue.

“Television news is now entertainment, and the stories are being written by the people that have a special interest in them.”  – James Taylor

  • Stay off social media. Yeah, this could be a tough one for some people, but really, social media is a very big part of the problem —chiefly, that people abuse it by stirring the pot with lies and festering discourse with fake news that is 99% fiction and maybe 1% fact…if that.
  • Turn off the smartphones. Put down the tablet. Read a book. Read a magazine. Read the newspaper. I’m sorry, but if you’re constantly checking your smart devices outside of work, something is wrong.

“Beware the politically obsessed. They are often bright and interesting, but they have something missing in their natures; there is a hole, an empty place, and they use politics to fill it up. It leaves them somehow misshapen.” – Peggy Noonan

The frightening thing about stress and anger is that once it takes root, it’s very hard to get rid of. It’s like a weed that creeps in and kills the beautiful garden. Sadly, much of the causes of this stress and anger are self-inflicted. Sadder still is that most of us know this, but like addicts, continue down the same old path. So, how’s that working out for us?

Read the full Gallup 2019 Global Emotions Report.

Interact with the world’s emotions and see how countries compare.

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Personal Finance Roundup XII https://positivitypost.com/personal-finance-roundup-xii/ https://positivitypost.com/personal-finance-roundup-xii/#comments Mon, 22 Apr 2019 09:01:38 +0000 https://positivitypost.com/?p=14461 https://www.facebook.com/Positivity-Post-850385048367345/How did one woman make $1,200 in a season from a home gardening business? Why can’t college grads answer simple questions about money? What 3 cities will your retirement money last the longest? Find out the answers to these questions and a whole lot more.

In the latest post to our personal finance roundup series, we’ve found articles and information that will surely be of great interest and will help to answer these questions and many more.

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»»  Less than 25% of college graduates can answer 4 simple money questions

»»  Baby boomers commit the ‘7 deadly sins’ of retirement planning

»»  This Woman Made $1,200 in a Season With a Home Garden Business

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