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Ester Marsh column: The power of positivity

With the holidays right around the corner, what better than the gift of positivity!

In this day and time, many people have lost their way (or their mind). Shootings are rampant, we all know people who have died from drugs, and then the suicides… Turning on the news has been a huge challenge for me because all they cover is the bad stuff. I prefer to hear about all the great things that are going on.

That doesn’t mean I close my mind to the real world. It means that I have chosen to open my mind to the positive things that are going on right now. And let me tell you, there are plenty!

It’s easier for some people to look at a cup as being half full than others. Genetic makeup has a lot to do with it and the environment you grew up in. However, numerous studies have been done to prove that you can rewire your brain to think more positively. It doesn’t happen overnight, so don’t give up too soon.

“The mind is everything. What you think you become.”— Buddha

With us being “on” all the time, it’s hard to relax, especially our minds. We are connected via phones, computers, TVs, gaming, social media, etc., and it’s 24/7 if you let it.

Here are seven tips by www.powerofpositivity.com . I love this website. It doesn’t only have great studies posted how to change negative behaviors, it also has daily positive quotes if you like to receive them. Many people use them via social media to uplift themselves, their friends and family.

1. Embrace a positive lifestyle. Maybe sign up for daily uplifting quotes. Daily reading of the Bible. Express gratitude and when a negative thought enters your mind try to switch it out with a positive one. For example, instead of saying “Darn, it’s raining,” change it to “Thank goodness it’s raining. The plants and trees and pastures sure can use water today.”

2. Monitor self talk. If you continue having negative thoughts going through your brain, you truly will become a pessimist, or as I like to say, “Captain Cranky Pants.” And when you think positively, you will become an optimist. Or as I like to say, someone most people like to be around.

3. Visualize your goals and aspirations. Jack Canfield, world-renowned author of “Chicken Soup for the Soul,” states that daily practices of visualizing your dreams as already complete can drastically quicken your realization of your dreams. By the way I love his books!

4. Take action that supports your goal. You can think it but also do it! Watch your mouth but also your body language. Body language can tell so much more than what the mouth can say.

5. Know your purpose. Live life to the fullest. Many people are “lost” because they have lost their purpose in life. Finding it will help you find happiness. I know for me making someone else joyful and helping them find purpose gives me happiness.

6. Know that your brain can be changed. Don’t be a grump and think that your current situation is how it has to be. Many studies have been done showing that the brain can be “re-wired.” Much praise for the author Dr. Daniel Amen on his book “Change Your Brain, Change Your Mind.” This book might make a great Christmas gift for someone you know.

7. Know that anything is possible. My favorite Bible verse is Philippians 4:13, which says: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Many people will tell you your dream is impossible, it can’t be done, or you will fail. Live your dreams and at least try! Visualize success, be kind to the Earth, all mankind and all animals. Your hearts will be so full and your lives will be hopeful, successful, but most of all, happy.

The power of positivity — it truly can change your mind.

Happy holidays!

Ester H. Marsh is health and fitness director of J.F. Hurley Family YMCA.

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