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Fri Jun 3, 2016, 09:33 PM

Ways to regain a positive outlook on life. A far from comprehensive list.

Last edited Sun Jun 5, 2016, 05:05 PM - Edit history (4)

I was wondering what people do to find positivity or the strength to keep going on a daily basis.

I struggle mightily with seeing the bright side and figure this might be a challenging, fun exercise through which hopefully people can benefit.

Playing with my cat helps me on occasion.

So what do you do to take your mind off of things for a bit? (List will be updated as people chime in) Additionally, at some point the list may be re-organized to make it more user-friendly. If anyone has any input on a potentially reorganized list I'd be all ears. I was thinking perhaps listing them as indoor vs outdoor activities, or free vs paid activities, or things that can be done on a whim vs things that might take a bit more planning. So many options once a good list is built!

Not everything on the list will work for every individual, but a comprehensive list may help people find something that does work.

The list:

  • Interacting with loved ones, human or otherwise.
  • Interacting with people with whom you share a common interest
  • Interacting with strangers
  • Support groups (Hey, congrats, you're here)
  • Looking toward a spiritual higher power
  • Listening to uplifting music, or music that reminds you of a happier time.
  • Going to a park
  • Nature walks
  • Exercise
  • Hiking (essentially exercise + exploring)
  • Photography
  • Taking up an artistic endeavor such as painting, drawing, writing, etc. Doesn't matter if you're good at it as long as you're having fun with it.
  • Going to the library
  • Taking a day to explore the smaller, often overlooked venues around town (art galleries, museums. etc.)
  • Go to the zoo
  • Humming a catchy toe-tapping tune of your own design
  • Taking five minutes out of a busy day to just relax.
  • Helping people (through volunteerism or simply coming across random opportunities of people in need)
  • Stargazing
  • Gardening
  • Watching videos on youtube
  • Going to a movie
  • Going places where people are smiling or laughing (These sorts of things are contagious!)

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Reply Ways to regain a positive outlook on life. A far from comprehensive list. (Original post)
PoliticalMalcontent Jun 2016 OP
CaliforniaPeggy Jun 2016 #1
Tobin S. Jun 2016 #2
PoliticalMalcontent Jun 2016 #3
mopinko Jun 2016 #4
PoliticalMalcontent Jun 2016 #5
mopinko Jun 2016 #6
lovemydog Jun 2016 #7
mopinko Jun 2016 #8
lovemydog Jun 2016 #9

Response to PoliticalMalcontent (Original post)

Fri Jun 3, 2016, 09:48 PM

1. This is a great list, a very good place to start, my dear PoliticalMalcontent!

I find that interacting with people for any friendly reason, either in person or via the internet, helps boost my feelings.

Also, helping someone else feel better helps me as well as that person.

I look forward to seeing what other suggestions come in!

K&R

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Response to PoliticalMalcontent (Original post)

Sat Jun 4, 2016, 12:00 AM

2. In the same vein as volunteering and helping others...

When I have felt bad in the past or bad about myself, it was sometimes hard to see anything positive in my life and that heavy depression would basically immobilize me and make it very hard just to take care of myself let alone help other people.

But I have found that when I start feeling worthless if I just focus on a time when I did help someone it will start to make me feel better and get me moving in the right direction again. For example, I've saved two peoples' lives in my time. Thinking back on those two events makes me realize that I truly am a good person no matter what the inner demons have been telling me.

Along with mental illness often comes the idea that we are bad people, but that idea is often just a product of a brain that's not working properly. Keep that in mind when the hurtful inner dialogue gets going. Those feelings of low self worth are not an accurate reflection of who you truly are.

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Response to Tobin S. (Reply #2)

Sat Jun 4, 2016, 12:19 AM

3. That's a very astute observation.

Thanks for sharing.

It's amazing how much memories, both good and bad, can affect us later on in life. Hopefully steering toward better memories can help us out in the long term.

I'm so glad you brought that up.

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Response to PoliticalMalcontent (Original post)

Sat Jun 4, 2016, 07:21 PM

4. gardening and

one of the best things i have ever done is getting my bulldog certified for pet therapy.
i visit a hospice unit on friday afternoons.
you would think i am some kind of saint. people are so happy to see him. about half of the patients are non-responsive, but their families are very happy for the visit. it is a chance to talk about dogs and pets and not what they are going through.
the staff likes him, too. most days it is just smiles and fun, but when we are there at the end of a hard week, they do spend a little extra time w him.

one patient on my visit yesterday was so happy that he was there that she offered to buy me another dog as a bequest. she apparently had been looking for a good cause. she thought having biff there was such a great thing that she wanted to endow that.
pretty sure that is against the rules anyway, but i did think of a good dog related organization for her.

one day i arrived just as a man passed. his room was full of wailing family. as they slowly trickled out of the room they encountered us in the sitting area. they all reacted to him w smiles and questions. the widow ended up hanging on to him for most of an hour. she was really grateful to have him to hang onto until she got home to her own little dog.

lots of folks are missing their own dogs, even tho they are allowed to visit. sometimes they had already rehomed their dogs, or recently lost them. although it is against the rules for therapy dogs to give kisses, we do it anyway.

he is just such a happy chill dog that it is hard not to smile and be happy around him. he loves people, and is always ready to give kisses, or just lay on the floor and chill while i chat.
i know he helps me greatly, and it is really gratifying to share him.

it helps that this is a regularly scheduled thing. every once in a while i duff out, but knowing that people are expecting me helps to get me out of whatever bs if flying my way on any given friday.


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Response to mopinko (Reply #4)

Sun Jun 5, 2016, 05:01 PM

5. That sounds like a wonderful way to interact with the community.

Interesting how making another person's day better tends to make ours just a bit better as well. Thanks so much for sharing.

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Response to PoliticalMalcontent (Reply #5)

Sun Jun 5, 2016, 08:27 PM

6. same thing w my little farm, mostly

but a few haters have complicated that for me.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #4)

Mon Jun 6, 2016, 06:45 AM

7. How does one get a dog registered for pet therapy?

Thanks in advance mopinko.

Congratulations on your work with your bulldog. I love bulldogs!

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Response to lovemydog (Reply #7)

Mon Jun 6, 2016, 10:28 AM

8. there are a couple orgs that do it. he is w therapy dogs international.

we picked them because that is the one the hospital used. there was a local one, too.
it is kinda funny that these are little fiefdoms. you cant get more than one cert.

they have to take a basic canine good citizenship test, w a couple special things throw in that have to do w hospital environment, comfort around walkers and wheelchairs, no pawing because that might pull out an iv. basic sit, stay, down, heel, plus temperament and friendliness.
and of course pay a fee. i had to take a test on the rules, too.

a lot of places dont require certs. nursing homes mostly will just sort of eyeball the dog. hospitals are different.
i work w a hospice agency. i was volunteering before i got him certified. (i work w the one du'er mucifer works for.)

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Response to mopinko (Reply #8)

Mon Jun 6, 2016, 03:46 PM

9. Thanks very much!

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