Positive Thoughts

“Make a game of finding something positive in every situation. Ninety-five percent of your emotions are determined by how you interpret events to yourself.”

Brian Tracy

One of the things I love about myself is that I have an inquisitive spirit. I don’t call myself nosy because I don’t have much of a desire to know other people’s personal business. I do, however, completely enjoy being presented with an “unknown” that is just calling to be explored. When I was in school one of the books I read was The Diary of Anne Frank. The story took place during the holocaust. Anne Frank wrote in her diary while she hid for two years with her family during the Nazi occupation in the Netherlands. Other than her father, her entire family died during this occupation. The story is tragic and sad and the families endured so many terrible and brutal things. I also see a story filled with bravery and tenacity from the Frank family because of their determination to do their best to survive in an unimaginable situation. I have spent many hours researching Anne Frank and the story that transpired beyond her diary. The story beyond what was written is what drives my desire to research and learn and there is no subject that is off limits for me.

The definition of a thought is the act of thinking. Our mind is constantly working and is filled with endless thoughts. What a perfect thing to research. It is crazy to think that the average human has 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day. Ninety-eight percent of them are the exact same thoughts we had the day before. Even more significant is that 80% of our thoughts are negative. For me, finding the positive in a negative situation can be difficult, especially when my emotions are involved. It is something I must continually practice and be intentional about. When I first became ill, if I were asked, “What is one positive thing about your illness?” my immediate response would be “Nothing.” My life was turned upside down and to me there wasn’t anything positive about it. With time though, I have experienced a change in my perspective toward my illness. In order for me to live beyond it, I need to find the positive in it.

I am 54 years old and have worked my entire life. Like many teenagers, my very first job was at McDonalds when I was sixteen years old and I have been in the workforce ever since. I was in the Air Force for a few years and then transitioned into civilian life. The majority of my career was in banking and I absolutely loved it. I worked with the same group of ladies for years and they were like family to me. I would consider myself quite a social person so I especially loved the interaction I had on a daily basis with my clients. Because of my health, my career ended a couple of years ago. I was no longer able to complete the daily tasks that were required for my job and I was eventually let go. I had never been fired before and it was devastating. I missed going to work every day and found being sick and at home to be extremely difficult. Being undiagnosed during this time just added to the depression I found myself sinking into.

Finding something positive in this was not easy, but I continued to focus on what was working in my life and what wasn’t. I continued to add the things into my day that worked and eliminated the things that didn’t and the result has been good. I actually have quite a few things in my life that are positive, and that I am thankful for as a result of my chronic illness. I love not having to set the alarm clock anymore. My day is entirely mine and I can fill it with whatever I want. I appreciate having the time to focus on the things that are important to me and I am continually looking for ways in which I am able to help and serve others. My husband and I walk together every day, I can enjoy cooking a meal without any time restraints and I can rest in the middle of the day if I need to. Being able to do all of these things in my day would be impossible if I were still working so I am thankful for the gift of time my chronic illness has given me.

Being positive is a choice that I must make every day. It reduces my stress and is much more peaceful than the alternative. Living with chronic illness is difficult and challenging. If changing my perspective from negative to positive can improve the quality of my days then achieving it is absolutely worth the effort.

Personal Reflection

Do you consider yourself a positive or negative person? Reflect on how these thoughts can affect your overall wellness.

Community Question

What is one aspect about your chronic illness that has impacted you in a positive way?

Please comment below

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