Do you love summer?
Do you feel happier the way I do? Getting out into nature or perhaps looking forward to a long awaited vacation on your horizon? Like a carrot in front of you, it makes you smile in anticipation. It helps keep you focused on your work/play journey goals.
With no vacation planned this year, unless someone waves their magic wand and Amtrak tickets to Niagara Falls land on our laps, Ken and I will stay put and savor our life living on lovely Lake Michigan. Our ever-changing vistas are always a joyful pleasure.
When I was pondering about writing this blog. I perused new research, but no ideas generated a, “Goody, I will write about that!” response. I decided to ask myself, “What would be fun to write about? What might you appreciate and enjoy? What is some small take-away that might help you turn your kaleidoscope to colorful well-being and hearty happiness?”
Aha! The light bulb turned on. An enlightening LED moment!
I decided to dig down into my quarry of quotes. To resurrect those that touch my soul, give me hope, and guide me to goal-oriented action. To illuminate my positive growth. And sometimes, they help me to re-frame a challenging life situation. They also augment my ability to cope.
Hope and cope, a great recipe!
That idea necessitated me to round up my most recent notebook of coaching phrases, quotes, and prompts to myself. For years when I spy a cool, meaningful “I want to remember this one” moment, I write it down. Memory-makers, these writings treat me to important learning. They are truly motivational gifts I want to remember. Having one place for them makes that job easier. I know I could file them on the computer, and sometimes I do, but looking at the pretty paisley designs on my notebook’s cover makes me happy even before I open the book. Sentimental me.
Truth be known, if I have had a too challenging day, I hunt up that notebook for solace and inspiration. Like a trusted friend, it helps me accept the negative. I savor opening the pages. I know they will spur my awareness and salve my soul.
Next, I curiously explore ways to re-frame my story. To be real and authentic with myself. I know the story I am telling myself is a reaction to whatever happened to me to cause me hurt, chagrin or grief. I know after I have noticed my negativity, I label exactly all the negative emotions I am feeling. And it could be many popping up simultaneously.
On with my self-help journey, I employ action to accept myself with all my negative feelings, warts and all. I shrink them down in my mind until they look like little powerless dots. Then I let that negativity go bye-bye. I kindly put the labeled hurts in my hand and gently blow them away. Only then can my whole self move towards health and wellness.
Not that this ease-engendering heart, mind and body rescuer application is a quick fix. Sometimes it takes stubborn/obsessive me days or even longer to let that rope quit burning my hands. I know I need to let go, but that is now always easy, is it? But positivity works. It gifts you with love, and that is the name of the game we all want to play.
How about you? What do you do when life smacks a hammer down upon your unwelcoming head? The good news is when life deals you a hand you do not want to play, positive psychology coaching offers you wonderful remedies. It is fun, motivating, and doable well-being fertilizer to help your positivity grow.
What might you do to assuage your angst?
Perhaps treat yourself to calming loving-kindness meditations, a walk in nature, gardening, listening to music, dancing, playing a musical instrument, and inspirational reading. Talk to a support friend who reflects your strengths and supports you. Connections are imperative. Also, try looking what is going right in this moment. These activities help you feel integrated with your life and safe in your world. You can design, change or rearrange the set on your stage in life. It’s your choice how you want to play the scene right now. Heck, you can write a whole new play! You are the star as you mindfully embrace your new lines. You can save them in your own quote notebook!
Do you do that? Do you save or file away goodies that ignite your learning fires? Sayings that remind you of your well-being journey? Yes, it takes some gritty perseverancepassion and effort for long term goals to follow through when life gives you tacks in your chair. The good news is wisdom words you embrace are like a huge hug you give yourself. It’s also fascinating to see what triggers your fancy at any given moment. Be open to nuance. Smile when you read and recall a quote that plasters a grin upon your face.
Interesting! Another. “REALLY?” idea fired me up. The wisdom learning might be similar to a positive psychology Rorschach ink blot card. What do you see on a card depicting your life? What really matters? How are your purpose, meaning and values reflected is certain quotes or learning? How and why do they reflect who you really are? Your authenticity, vulnerability and wisdom collection tells your life story. How cool is that?
Here are a few of my “want to remember ramblings”.
Hope some resonate with you, too:
“There is a crack in everything…That’s where the light comes in.” Isaac Cohen
“I am a better person when I have less on my plate.” Elizabeth Gilbert
“Optimism build resilience.” Martin Seligman
“Five fundamental principles for meaningful living and personal growth.” Paul Wong
(And this is one big load of wisdom to ponder!):
Savor “4-7-8” breathing. Get comfortable with no distractions. This technique quiets your inner turbulence and obsessive thinking. It tames your inner fight or flight responses and decreases stress: Breathe in your nose for 4 seconds. Hold it for 7 seconds. Exhale your mouth for 8 seconds. Do this as long as you need. Great to help you initiate sleep. “It is the single best anti-anxiety method I’ve found.” Andrew Weil
4 ways to motivate yourself to accomplish your goals via “WOOP”, mental contrasting via implementation intervention. Gabrielle Oettingen:
- Wish for what I want to accomplish.
- Outcome I desire, I keep my eye on that ball.
- Obstacles that could get in my way of achieving what a set out to do/be.
- Plan to get done what I want and be accountable to take action to achieve my goal.
“Once you start making the effort ‘to wake yourself up’ – that is, be mindful in your activities – you suddenly start to appreciate life a lot more.” Robert Biswas-Diener
3-C’s to emotional hardiness to succeed per Maddi and Kobasa:
Commitment. People with psychological hardiness tend to have and hold a sense of purpose in what they do. Meaning is be part of their game. If they are on the sinking Titanic, they are working with purpose; if in a downsizing company, they are holding to purpose. Personally, this measure invites you to reach to your deeper values, which exist no matter what the context. If dignity, respect, honesty, love, or creativity (not to mention God) matter to you, you invoke these core values.
Control. If you have a sense there are things you can do, and focus in the domain of what you can do, rather than what’s outside your control, you will be more hardy and less painfully stressed.
Challenge. If you have hardiness, you enjoy challenge. You generally see yourself as capable of change and expect life around yourself to change. You don’t respond in the mode of my friend Charlie Ross’ line: “Change is great; you go first.”
Instead, mistakes are cause for learning, losses are preludes to winning, weaknesses create opportunities for you to grow better.
“Don’t let anyone rent space in your head unless they are a good tenant.” Author unknown
“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” Pablo Picasso
“Time management is a myth. Energy management and self-regulation are the key to goal attainment.” Author Unknown
“To focus on your strengths and look for the good. Ask yourself, “What is the best thing that’s happened to me so far today? What strengths did I notice?” Robyn Stratton-Berkesell
“Feelings are much like waves. We can’t stop them from coming, but we can choose which ones to surf.” Author Unknown
“Worry is a misuse of imagination.” Dan Zandra
“Be grateful. Thank everyone for everything.” Chris Peterson
Hope you enjoyed a few of my favorite “how to live the good life” meanderings.
Is that you I see heading out to map out a road rally to locate your treasure chest of positivity learning? How fun!
I would love to know some of your meaningful quotes or nuggets of wisdom.
I always love hearing from you.
Wishing you sunny days with love, meaning and purpose.
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