how to focus on good things

Rather Than Complaining Today, Think Of Everything That You're Grateful For

Praise yourself for what you've accomplished and smile about everything going right.

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Complaining is a hard habit to break. It doesn't take much effort and it actually has a pay off (in the short term). You get to feed your ego and ditch all responsibility for your own happiness, success, and well-being. Haven't had any luck finding a job? Complain. There must be something wrong with the hiring managers. Is there a long wait time at the restaurant you just got to? Complain. Obviously, the workers are too slow and incompetent. Got a speeding ticket on your way home? Complain. Clearly, that police officer has nothing else better to do with their life than badger you.

What happens when we complain, though, is that we weigh ourselves down with negativity, regret, and a general dissatisfaction with our lives. We harp on what we don't have, what we did wrong, or what others did wrong to us. We forget to think about everything that we do have, what we did right, and things that others have done to help us. Most importantly, we forget to be thankful. And truthfully, there is always something to be thankful for, especially when others have it much worse.

Haven't had any luck finding a job? That sucks, but at least you still have some money saved up. Long wait time at the restaurant you just got to? That sucks, but you and your friends can bond while you're waiting. Got a speeding ticket on your way home? That sucks, but at least you got home safely. It's okay to be sad, upset, hurt, or angry -- we shouldn't try to mask our emotions behind fake optimism; however, we should always try to see the good in our situations, not because we're playing 'misery Olympics' and since there are people dying of cancer, we should never be upset about what we face in our daily lives, but simply because being grateful feels good. It keeps us happy and helps us extend that same grace to others.

If you're feeling bitter today, think of South Sudan. According to Oxfam International, "This year's harvests [in South Sudan] will be poor or non-existent for many, this is an extremely worrying sign for the long dry months ahead. 4.8 million people — nearly half of the population — are facing extreme hunger." South Sudan has had a tough break since the onset of their civil war, which started in December 2013. More than 4 years of constant battle has destroyed their economy and threatened the lives of many, causing over 1 million South Sudanese people to flee the country, opting to go to neighboring countries such as Uganda and Ethiopia. In an article from Panntv, Nyabolli Chok, a local South Sudanese woman, reminisces about how she was unable to feed her three children, causing them to ultimately leave the country. "We were eating leaves off of trees," she cries.

Now, I don't know about you, but I think I'd rather have one hundred speeding tickets than to have to eat leaves off of trees. I don't know about you, but I'm pretty damn glad that the worst tragedy I've experienced this summer is having my study abroad plans fall through (long live the RU screw). When I think about the children in South Sudan that are hungry and in poverty, and the parents that feel like shit because they can't do anything to provide for their kids, I don't have it in me to complain. I don't have it in me to dwell on life's bumps and obstacles; because let's face it, we all have them, but we have the power to not let them control our thoughts and feelings.

If you're feeling bitter today, think of what you're grateful for. Praise yourself for what you've accomplished and smile about everything going right. And most of all, don't forget to help others.

If you'd like to support South Sudanese People, you can donate to a few organizations I trust, like Africare, American Refugee Committee, and International Rescue Committee.

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A list Of 15 Inspiring Words That Mean So Much

A single word can mean a lot.
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Positivity is so important in life. A lot of times we always go to quotes for empowerment but I have realized that just one word can be just as powerful. Here is a list of inspiring words.

1. Worthy

Realizing your self-worth is important. Self-worth can really make or break a persons personality. Always know that you are worthy of respect. And also, never compare yourself to others.

2. Courage

Be courageous in life. Life has so many opportunities so do not be scared to grasp any opportunity that comes your way. You have the ability to do anything you have your heart and mind set to do, even the things that frighten you.

3. Enough

When you are feeling down and feeling that nothing you do is ever good enough, know that you are more than enough. And yes there is always room for improvement but when it comes to my self-worth I always have to remind myself that I am enough.

4. Blessed

Be thankful. A lot of times we forget how blessed we are. We focus so much on stress and the bad things that are going on in our lives that we tend to forget all of the beautiful things we have in life.

5. Focus

Focus on your goals, focus on positive things, and focus on the ones you love. Do not focus on things that will keep you from not reaching your goals and people that do not have good intentions for your life.

6. Laugh

Laughing is one of the best forms of medicine. Life is truly better with laughter.

7. Warrior

Through the good and the bad you are a warrior. Be strong, soldier.

8. Seek

Seek new things. Allow yourself to grow in life. Do not just be stuck.

9. Faith

During the bad times, no matter the circumstances, have faith that everything will be all right.

10. Live

Start living because life is honestly way too short. Live life the way you want to live. Do not let anyone try to control you.

11. Enjoy

Enjoy everything that life has to offer. Enjoy even the littlest of things because, as I said before, life is short. And plus, there is no time to live life with regrets.

12. Believe

Believe in yourself and never stop. Believing in yourself brings so many blessings and opportunities in your life.

13. Serendipity

A lot of times we look for things to fill an empty void that we have. Usually what we are looking for comes when we are not looking at all. Your serendipity will come.

14. Create

Share your ideas with the world. Creativity brings change to your life. However you chose to use your creativity do not be scared to show your intelligence, talent, and passion.

15. Love

The world is already full of so much hate, so love unconditionally with all your heart.

Cover Image Credit: Tanveer Naseer

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Fight And Flight, How I Conquer My Emotional Battles

In times of high threat and peril, science says our innate response usually follows one of two paths: fight or flight.

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snele1
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Like almost any other concept related to humans, the idea of "fight or flight" boils down to either/or, one over the other, choice A or choice B. This seems logical, as science also says we can't actually multitask as humans. We may think we can manage multiple tasks simultaneously, but we're inevitably occupied by one thing at a time. Now, depending on each person, the response to any given situation might vary. Someone might feel courageous enough to stay and "fight," while someone else may deem it wiser to make like a bird and take "flight."

Regardless, this concept revolves around a definitive choice, a choice of just one response, not both.

While I agree with this concept as it is, I've come to think that, in some areas of life, we can manage both. We can fight, but we can also take flight. Although fight or flight generally refers to physical threats/obstacles, I think the fight and flight apply on an emotional/mental front.

This past weekend was quite a whirlwind, blowing my emotions in all kinds of directions, which is really what prompted me to think about my emotional response to the weekend as a whole. As a bit of important background, I'm not a crier by nature. I just don't cry in public/ in front of others. Don't get me wrong, I don't see anything wrong with crying in public. It's a perfectly human response. No book, movie, song, or the like has ever moved me to tears. (Well actually, the movie "The Last Song" with Miley Cyrus did cause a stream of tears, but that's literally one out of a decade.)

Enough about that for now, though, I'll make mention of it again later.

I think this past weekend's deluge was an unassuming foreboding of the flood of emotions that came pouring in on Sunday. The day began like any other Mother's Day, we opened gifts with my mother before heading to my aunt's for a family lunch. Only once we arrived, I was informed that my other aunt, who's like a second mom to me, lost her beloved Shih Tzu of 14 years, Coco. We all knew that Coco's time was likely limited, but it still seemed sudden. I was a bit rocked by the news, but ultimately knew she had given life a run for its money. After all, I like to joke that if I come back, it'd ideally be as a house dog.

Needless to say, the suddenness of it all wouldn't really hit me till later that afternoon.

Fast-forwarding to the evening, we decided visiting my other grandmother would be a nice gesture on Mother's Day. Although she was still out and about, my house-ridden grandfather was there, and so we decided it'd be nice to stay and visit with him. A bit more background, my grandfather was diagnosed with Alzheimer's a few years ago, so we've unfortunately watched him slowly decline since the diagnosis. As such, this is where things went on a steep downhill slide. We arrived mid-nap, which subsequently meant waking him from his nap to visit. In hindsight, it seemed like a very poor choice, as when he awoke he seemed completely disoriented and largely still asleep.

It was as if his eyes were awake, but most everything else about his body remained asleep.

We stayed only but 12 or 15 minutes, as it didn't prove useful to stick around any longer. Enter the flight of my emotions. I've known my grandfather wouldn't be the same every single time I visited. I've dreaded but prepared for the time when he wouldn't remember us, or wouldn't be able to communicate with us the same. As much as I thought I'd be unphased when it happened, I wasn't. At the time, I tried to shuffle through other thoughts. I tried to jump to the upcoming things for the week and what I needed to take care of next. I wanted my mind to float off till my emotions wouldn't be so strong.

That's where I believe the flight response happens for me. When I'm face to face with an emotion-laden experience, whether it's sadness, frustration, or whatever, I try to shift my thoughts away from what's stirring them up. My mind takes flight. Maybe, that's why I don't cry in public. I don't allow my mind to focus long enough to conjure up a physical response.

My mind never stays in flight for long, though. I wouldn't say I'm scared of the emotions, rather I just need them to calm down or settle before I can pick them apart. I tend to process my feelings internally, but they never go unchecked or un-analyzed. That's why, even though I typically don't show my emotions in public, my throat still tightens up and my eyes still become glassy behind closed doors.

Nevertheless, this is where the fight response shows up. Except, I wouldn't say this is so much a fight, even if the situation can be a sort of emotional battle. It's more of a coming-to-terms. I know that I can't outrun my feelings, and I don't ever intend to. At some point, I let them catch up to me, and then the sorting process can begin. It's usually not that tumultuous like a real fight would be, but it doesn't mean that the emotions don't present a challenge at times.

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