August 7, 2016

A Positive Attitude: It's Possible for Everyone


Happiness. What is it? Can it only occur when everything goes our way? Or is it more complicated than a temporary, pleasant emotion?

My last article addressed the fact that our circumstances shouldn’t dictate our level of happiness. Financial success certainly doesn’t guarantee constant joy. Some prominent individuals are never satisfied; they always want more of everything. On the other hand, individuals who have much less income may be content and well-adjusted. It’s all a matter of attitude.

A positive mindset can take us far. However, my wise sister reminded me that some situations require stronger solutions than merely thinking positively.  She lists the following barriers to positivity:

We may need to fix a physical problem.
A happy attitude isn’t going to fix a broken foot, or any other medical problem, by itself. For instance, I am gluten intolerant, but I didn’t find that out until about nine years ago. I needed to start clearing the gluten out of my body before my thinking cleared up. Otherwise, there was no way I could really be peaceful and successful. My entire intestinal system was blocked up by the mess caused by eating gluten for so long.
Why is the intestinal system so important? It is known as “the second brain”.  It is completely connected to our mind. That’s why stress can immediately create ulcers and various digestive disorders. Workers in high-stress jobs, such as stock brokers, know all about this.
We may need to retrain our brain.
Obviously, stress and a poor diet aren’t the only factors affecting our way of thinking.  Here are some other possibilities:
Injury (including stroke)
Mental conditions
Negative environment/training
Chronic or temporary illness

What is the Solution?

The prescription for healing will vary with the problem. Professional intervention will be required in some cases, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Yet, everybody can benefit from looking to God for comfort and guidance as they find their own path to joy.

“Praise the Lord, my soul;
All my inmost being, praise his
holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul—
And forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagles.”—Psalm 103:1-5 (NIV)

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“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”—Psalm 147:3 (NIV)

My Conclusion

A cheerful attitude comes easier to some of us than others. It’s not a matter of snapping our fingers and saying, “Okay! I’m going to be happy now!”  It can be a difficult process. We may first need to take care of situations preventing us from moving forward.

In the meantime, the Lord will strengthen us during whatever pitfalls life throws in our path.  He won’t always make our challenges magically disappear because they help us to grow. However, He will help us to endure them.

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Please see more about overcoming challenges in my book, Accept No Trash Talk: Overcoming the Odds.


Are you eliminating the barriers to your happiness?