5 Ways to Improve Your Outlook- Dean - WI

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Published on January 26, 2015

5 Ways to Improve Your Outlook

Juggling family, work, friends and everything that comes in between can often leave us feeling a little down. Ready to look on the bright side of life? Practicing positive thinking can lead to health benefits, a longer life span and better overall well-being. Follow these simple tips and start changing your perspective today.

  1. Change Your Self-Talk: Self-talk is the stream of thoughts that runs through your head. Self-talk is automatic and it can be positive or negative. Negative thoughts often arise from using our emotions to misjudge situations, like blaming ourselves for being bad parents when our children misbehave. When you find yourself having a negative thought, stop and think about the thought itself. Why do you feel this way? Try to use logic and reason to think about the situation differently. For example, turn “I can’t do this” into “I can get these two things done today and the rest can wait for tomorrow.”

  2. Read a Book: Sometimes seeking out someone else’s perspective will help you find ways to alter your own. Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project is the story of one woman’s journey to discover the joy in life. Change your way of looking at the world with Garth Stein’s The Art of Racing in the Rain, which captures life’s ups and downs through the eyes of a dog. Someone else’s story (even an animal’s!) can provide you with fresh insight to change how you see your own life. 

  3. Be Present: While reminiscing on happy times can be rewarding, wallowing too much in the past will cause your present to slide away. Instead of thinking about how great things used to be, try to focus on the here and now. Take a scenic walk and notice the fresh air, the beautiful nature and the feel of the sun on your skin. Call up an old friend, spend time with your family or take a spontaneous trip. There is plenty to be grateful for right here and now.

  4. Embrace Imperfection: Identify areas of your life you want to work on, but recognize that some imperfections are okay. You might never look like a supermodel, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t feel good about yourself for exercising and eating well. It is important to strive to be better, but set realistic goals for yourself, and those around you, so you’re not always disappointed.

  5. Care for Another: To put your own good fortune into perspective, be there for someone in need. Volunteer at a food shelter or nursing home or become a Big Brother or Big Sister through the Boys & Girls Club. You could even adopt a pet, giving shelter to and caring for an animal that needs a family. Not only will you be doing something good for someone else, but giving has also been found to have positive effects on your mental and physical health.

How have you improved your outlook? Share your tips below!

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