positive-webHere is what I am thinking. When living with pain how do we live in the day? How can we find the strength to face each day with a smile? How do we make sure we are moving forward each day?

These are all questions that I and others have at one point or another. So ask yourself this: Where do we find the answers? Who can we reach out to who will help us find the answers?

For some of us the answers come easy and we can hold on to and keep a positive outlook on life.
Even when we awake in pain we are able to find the inner strength to smile and be appreciative of another day that we are alive.

For others it does not come so easy, in fact, it is very hard. This may be someone who is new to this pain journey. They may not have found that inner strength yet. For some, realizing that this ongoing pain has stolen the life they once knew is too much to accept. You then have seasoned ones, who may have traveled far on their pain journey for ten years or more. Some have lost their way and forgot how to feel joy or be positive about life. Whatever the reason they may struggle with the presence of anger they feel at themselves, others and the world in general. They become bitter and can be unpleasant to be around.

We remember who we were before the pain, but now we must find who we are today. For many who are on this journey of pain, the sheer loss of our career or the business we built from the ground up is overwhelming beyond anything they have faced before. The pain did not only steal the career or business from us, it stole our identity, and it took our souls and left us blank and lost inside of ourselves.

Here is what I know. When we allow our pain to make us react in a negative way– consistently over time– we have lost and pain is the winner. The reason why is not important — it doesn’t matter how or why. What matters is finding a way to accept living with pain as a journey and move forward in life as we learn our lessons along the way. For if we do not accept and move forward, we are lost, alone, depressed and angry. For me, that is not a healthy way to wake up each day. I choose to be hopeful, joyful, appreciative, respectful and willing to take on the challenge of each day, EVERY day.

So here are some of my secrets that keep me upbeat:

  • Are we always going to be able to stay upbeat and positive? No —but by surrounding ourselves with others who are also striving to keep the positive energy flowing — we are empowering ourselves and helping each other. Not only that, it brings a sense of fun, celebration and adventure to our transformation to having a positive and happy outlook.
  • Find a quality support group (face to face, phone, online) as this can increase your odds for success.
  • Keep a “go-to” list of activities that bring you joy:
    • What music lifts your spirit?
    • What hobbies can you perform?
    • What movies or books make you laugh out loud?
    • What do you do as play? Ball toss with children, taking your dog for a short walk, watching your cat play on catnip, walking outside when the sun shines, having fresh flowers in the house, etc.
    • What favorite meal could you cook, order out or go out for to enjoy?
    • Have you gone through your old albums and looked at old photographs, recalled their memories, scanned or copied them and shared with friends who might enjoy?
    • What place could you volunteer which would bring you joy?
    • Have you tried writing a letter or picked up the phone to reach out to a long lost friend?
    • What favorite colors can you wear which would make you smile?

There is so much more to life if you choose to savor it. What works for you?

Positive thinking evokes more energy, more initiative and more happiness.
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