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FOMO (also known as the Fear Of Missing Out) is an all too real feeling, especially in this age of social media. People post pictures from their exciting nights out on the town all over Facebook and instagram. Your friends and associates tweet about how much they love their new job. With all of the status updates and snapchats it’s hard not to see how much everyone else is enjoying their lives. Anyone is able to paint a picture of themselves as this person who seems to have their life completely together, and when they do this, sometimes you can’t help but wonder if you’re missing out on something. You may start to think that you should be living a life that’s just as fun and exciting as the person who posts all of their envy-inducing pictures to instagram, but that’s their life positive thinker, not yours.

And the truth of the matter is that most of us only tend to share the good parts about our lives on social media. You hardly ever see anybody posting a picture of an outfit that they look just ok in. You rarely read a status update where somebody says that they kind of like the job that they’re at. And you can probably count on one hand the number of times you’ve been on one of your social media accounts and read about somebody having a mediocre weekend. You never see these kinds of things. What you just so happen to see is the exact opposite. Nobody wants to highlight their less than exciting lives, so the only time we feel the urge to share tidbits and snippets from our lives is when we have something great to share. And when you only see the good in somebody else’s life you also may start to think that they are only experiencing good things, but even that insta-famous guy or gal that you’re following has a life where things don’t go their way 100% of the time. Their life is not perfect even though it may seem like it is through their perfectly constructed life that they portray through social media.

It’s also quite possible that this life that they are displaying to the world may not actually be the life that they want to live. Just because somebody is smiling from ear to ear in their Facebook profile picture at some hot party in an upscale part of town doesn’t mean that they are enjoying that party as much as they are letting on. It’s very possible that they are, but it’s equally as possible that they are just putting on a show that their instagram followers and Facebook friends will like. Advancements in technology are a wonderful thing. With it, we are able to achieve things like life-saving medical procedures and ways to make our planet more sustainable, but with it we also have a few things that aren’t so great. Unfortunately, with this wave of connectedness that things like Instagram and Twitter bring us, we’ve started to move towards a world where are worth seems to hinge upon how many likes our photos get and how many re-tweets we receive. We want to be liked and our social media accounts make it possible for people to tell us that they like what we’re doing almost instantaneously, which can seem like a good thing. However when you don’t get that like that you’re craving, you may start to think a little bit less of yourself, but, believe it or not, you are more than just what you display on your social media accounts.

If you’re happy with where your life is at positive thinker, then forget about FOMO. You’re not missing out on anything because you’re living the life that you want to live. It may not be as glamorous or exciting as what other people portray, but as long as you’re out there doing what you love to do then that’s all that should really matter. True happiness comes when whatever is on the inside matches what is on the outside. If spending your Saturday nights curled up by the fireplace with your favorite novel is going to make you happy then do that. Don’t try and live a life that’s full of glamour and parties just so that other people can think that you have an amazing life. Being authentic to who you are is what you should aim for positive thinker. Don’t worry about what other people are doing; worry about what you’re doing, and try to live a life that you’re going to be happy with.

Remember, “Create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside.”

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When you buy a gift you don’t keep it for yourself. The purpose of purchasing a gift is to give it away to someone who will like it and appreciate it. So, when a loved one has a birthday or when Christmas or some other gift-giving holiday comes around we know exactly what to do. We go into store after store looking for the perfect gift to give to that perfect person. You know that loved one’s likes and dislikes and because of this you know exactly what he or she will want to receive on this special-gift giving day. And you know that when the day comes for you to give that gift away that the happiness etched across your loved one’s face will let you know that that gift that you bought was a perfect gift for that person.

Now, you did spend all of that time picking out the perfect gift, so if you wanted to keep the gift (I mean, you did buy it after all) you could. You could keep it, but you don’t. And the reason why you don’t keep your gift is because you know that you’re supposed to share it with that special person. It wouldn’t make sense for you to put in all of that effort in to finding a perfect gift for your loved one only to keep it for yourself, so you share your perfect gift instead.

The perfect gift.

That’s what we all search for at one point in time or another. We want to find our gift. But unlike with gift giving, we are trying to find the perfect gift for ourselves. We don’t want to go around life without having a gift, so we search and we search and we search until we find that thing that drives us…our gift…our passion. We fight until we find that reason for living that will actually make us happy to wake up in the morning and start on our days. Finding our gifts and talents and using them is what helps us to live a fulfilling life, but discovering those gifts isn’t necessarily easy for everyone. Some people know all of their lives what they are truly talented at, but for others, this journey comes as a bit of a struggle. If you have discovered your gifts positive thinker, then make sure to hold on to them and use them as you go on throughout your life, but if you haven’t figured out what your gift is then don’t give up just yet. If you’re having problems discovering what your gift is then try this on for size…

A friend once told me to not give up on finding my passion in life, and she was right. I told this friend that I wasn’t feeling very fulfilled with where my life was and she told me that it didn’t make sense to walk around this world feeling unfilled, so she gave me some advice that helped her to find her passion, and I encourage you to use it too if you’re having trouble finding yours. In order to find out her passion, she first set aside some time to really examine herself. And once she set aside some time, she used that time to compile a list. The list that she made had all of the things that she did in her life that genuinely made her feel good and happy about herself. And when she made this list, she didn’t leave off anything. No item was too small. So when you make your list positive thinker, make sure not to leave anything out either. If you feel good when you’re washing the dishes then write that down, and when you write it down try and think about what exactly it is about that thing on your list that makes you feel happy in the moment that you’re experiencing it. Is it getting to work with water? Is it the fact that you get to take something dirty and grimy and make it new again? Or perhaps it may be the fact that your mind gets to wander unchecked and free during this time, and that’s when you just so happen to be at your best. It doesn’t matter what the reason is, just write it down. Taking some time to hone in on what you truly like will help you to find your gift (or gifts). And as time passes and your list finally becomes complete, you’ll end up discovering what it is that will really make you feel fulfilled because ten times out of ten the things that you’re gifted at are the things that make you the happiest while you’re experiencing them. The information that you need to find your gift is inside of you, but bringing it out of you and writing it down allows it to all be right there in front of you at the same time instead of in individual pieces and snippets in your mind. You have a gift inside of you positive thinker, all of us do, but you just have to dig deep enough to find it.

And once you find your gift, you shouldn’t keep it to yourselves because, after all, it is a gift and gifts are meant to be shared. Once we find out what our gifts are, then it’s our job to make sure that we share it with others. Do you remember how your friend’s eyes lit up when you gave him or her the perfect birthday present? Well if you could pass on that same light in your loved one’s eyes to the people you encounter simply by sharing your gift, wouldn’t you want to do that? You could have the chance to spread a bit of happiness just by doing something that you love doing and that you were born to do. All you have to do is share it.

When you’re lucky enough to discover what your gifts are make sure to embrace them because our gifts were given to us so that they could be embraced and used. But also remember, you don’t get a gift for someone just so that you can keep it to yourself. You buy it so that you can share it. So, don’t keep your gifts to yourself positive thinker. They’re met to be shared.

And remember, “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”

Need a little pick me up? Dunn dunh dunh dunnn…Wally has arrived to save the day! Back from his adventures in You Tube land, he has found a wonderful jewel of a video made by a young lady full of inspirational thoughts and a great message.  The star of our chosen Video Pick for Good Vibes writes simple but powerful words of understanding.   The message…Sure, life has its ups and downs and twists and turns and sometimes back-handed face slaps, but everybody hurts, you are not alone, and why not smile anyway? You’ve got nothing to lose.  And if you’re feeling up to it, spread the love too!

Thanks for the motivation! You have helped us to remember that positivity helps us get through the hard times. Enjoy, positive thinkers!

 

A while back I was noticing this great trend of advertising that promoted positive lifestyle choices or keeping a positive outlook.  Most of that trend began when the world started to recognize economic strife and needed a little encouragement to get out and stimulate the sickly economy (i.e. convince consumers, with a big smile and a hug, to spend their hard-earned money on their products).

Regardless of the fact that the intent was to stimulate spending and not necessarily improve mental health, the sentiment and message was and still is, nice.  Because of that, we will continue to point out that type of advertising because they seem responsible and are meeting the needs of their public.  They are right.  Sometimes we do need a hug and a smile when we are going through  hardships, even when that hug and a smile is cloaking a hard sell.  And sometimes we just wanna buy stuff!  Hey, if it makes us happy… (but be responsible my fellow shop-a-holic sisters and brothers)

So, since I find the idea of what I call “happiness marketing” to be such a grand thing, I always notice it and think to share with all of you positive thinkers. I mean, what if you missed it? 😉

The most recent find has been these new Kaiser Permanente radio commercials.   They are just wonderful (as we gush, please note we here at Positivity Works! have no affiliation with any advertisers we mention. We just heart things sometimes).  The campaign focuses on well-being and are entitled “Thrive”.  Kaiser touts them as supporting the mind, body and spirit.  Each one spreads a positive message about mental and physical health in an engaging and educational way.

There is one about the healing and mood boosting powers of music and assigns you a “sonic prescription” for using music as self-care when you’re feeling down.  And the play therapist in me absolutely loves the one that tells you to “put the play back in your day” and how play (i.e. doing the things you love) can keep you young and healthy.

There is another about how happy people “tend to be happier” and they give us some statistics about it and great ideas too!  My favorite line…”Is it just me, or do happy people seem to get all the breaks?”  The ad seems to be making a point about self-fulfilling prophecies (mental health jargon) and the idea that if you believe that you can be happy and that things will go well for you, they will.  Love it.  (Did that blow your mind? Yes, we know.  Big thinking goes on here *insert smug smile*).

To check out the ads mentioned and get exposed to some great resources that benefit your overall health, click on the links below and check out the Kaiser Permanente Thrive website here.

Kaiser Ad – Thrive: Music Therapy

Kaiser Ad – Thrive: The Power of Play

Kaiser Ad – Thrive: Come on get Happy

Isn’t it strange how when one thing goes wrong, it feels like ten others follow? You get a flat tire, which causes you to be late for work, then you forget an appointment you had, then… Well, you get my point.  I could go on forever because that’s how these things work.  They go on forever if you let them.  I think these things, let’s call them disappointments, sneak up on you like a bad cold and they are always a shock and very unwelcome.  When they happen, you think, as a responsible person, that you should be prepared and then you reprimand yourself for not being psychic and preventing the problem in the first place.  Because, of course, you should have known. Right?

Well…not really.  Let’s think about it rationally in an effort to cut ourselves some slack.  When an incident, one of these disappointments, occurs, we immediately use all of our mental resources (and any other resources we have at the time, including financial) to cope with the shock to our routine. We do this because we instinctively do everything we can to get our lives back to the status quo, which is really the everyday routine that we are used to.   We like that routine because we are the experts at it.  We know what time we are supposed to get to work everyday, we know who we are going to see and we know how much of our mental and monetary resources we will need to use on a regular basis.

When that comfortable routine is sent off-course, we get stressed out.  Stress leads to mental and physical discomfort and then, guess what? You are not feeling as efficient and confident as you were prior to the commencement of the first disappointment.  Therefore, you are more likely to be susceptible to making small mistakes and doubting yourself.  In addition, those small mistakes feel really big when you’re feeling down.

If we let it, feeling down can become the new routine and that is how depressive symptoms can arrive and take a toll on you and your family.  It is hard to feel confident, successful, and positive when you expect everything to go wrong and if you expect things to go wrong, most likely they will.

A person’s thoughts are their greatest weapon in combating the disappointments in life.  You are what you think (and occasionally what you eat, ha ha).  I have always tried to instill a belief within myself and my clients that whatever we go through, we will get through it somehow and be stronger for it.  And you know what usually happens? We get through it and we are stronger for it because we lived it and we learned our lesson for the next time.

Living life has its ups and downs.  Sometimes it feels like it has more downs but if you really start to believe that there is no way up, then it will only get harder for you because it is likely that you will get what you expect. Positivity really does work in these instances because a positive mindset motivates you to believe that when life does give you lemons, you can make a really yummy glass of lemonade and share it with your loved ones once the lemons stop pelting you in the head.

Next time the first disappointment hits, please try the following: Believe it gets better. Enjoy your life. Smile big and give someone a hug. Do something that makes you laugh. Make plans to do something you used to enjoy and call it self-care, because you need it. Forgive yourself. We all make mistakes, but we don’t all rebound from them.  Rebound. And make some lemonade. Oh…and send me some, I do love me some lemonade. =)

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