Being diagnosed with a visual impairment is bad enough, but then discovering all those things which once you took for granted now being too difficult for you to do can push you over the edge. Losing much of your sight gives you every reason to be negative. Your world has been turned upside down, your future restricted.
I’ll hold my hands up. Initially, and for at least a year, my visual impairment brought my life crashing down. It got to me in every way. I was at such a low point. Close to depression, I was susceptible to ill health, and boy did I go through the gambit, one ailment after another. I am absolutely convinced much of what I’ve been through was a result of the negativity I held on to in my mind.
“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Winston Churchill
Life changed dramatically since I refound my positivity. It was within me all along but I chose not to use it. Now I am constantly striving to see the positive in every aspect of my life. But it’s not always easy. My life—and all of our lives—is filled with challenges that make it very difficult to be positive sometimes, but positive we must be.
It isn’t easy to remain positive when negativity surrounds you, but remember that you have full control over your choices.
Choosing to be positive has helped me to make the best of whatever situation I’m in—really does make even the most challenging situations easier to bear. Staying positive in negative situations has also been invaluable in leading a healthy lifestyle.
In every situation, there is something good. Most of the time it’s not obvious. We have to look. And sometimes we have to look hard. Not being able to see well, being unwell for so long, has shown me what really is of importance to me, who I love, who I can depend on, and what I believe in that I want and can shout from the rooftop, well as long as someone’s holding my hand so I don’t fall off.
Even for someone like me, who thinks about and writes about positivity on an almost daily basis, having a positive attitude is not always easy. Now, when I’m faced with a difficult or challenging situation, I think to myself, “What is good about this?” No matter how terrible the situation might seem, I always can find something good if I take the time to think about it.
Be part of a positive support group.
I went to a meeting of the Blind Life group in Durham a week or two ago, and it was obvious how much strength each of the members were gaining from each other. It demonstrated clearly how important it is to be part of a group, of likeminded people, to help each other through difficult times.
Think of what you’re grateful for.
Even in the worst of times, most of us realize that we still have things in our lives for which we are grateful. On a daily basis I give myself 10 minutes to think of all the things that I am grateful for, my life, children, grandchildren, roof over my head, my ability to inspire and motivate others, waking up every morning.
Retrain your mind.
I’ve just started the JuiceMaster Detox so as to clear my body of all toxins. I do this every 12 weeks and is something everyone would gain great health benefits from because toxic overload is behind so many chronic modern illnesses. Your mind needs something similar. You need to spend time practicing the power of positive thinking where as a negative thought comes into your mind immediately replace it with a positive one. I discuss this in a blog written way back in 2011 https://www.healthylifestylesliving.com/liberate-the-mind/personal-development/how-to-change-your-life-in-a-week/.
No escaping exercise.
Exercise has physical as well as mental and emotional benefits. Getting out there and moving around will keep your body in better shape, it releases those natural endorphins in our brains that make us feel better.
Accept what has changed.
Losing your ability to see can be very difficult to accept. The loss of vision is initially devastating. Many of us are resistant to changes in our lives. What we must do is learn to accept that happens. We can’t ignore facts. What has happened, happened. Accept it and try to make it better? Possibly. Or maybe this is the chance to make a change for yourself and look for what opportunities you can now explore. When we can accept change, learn from it, and become all the better for experiencing it, change is no longer our enemy. It becomes our teacher.
I’m going to take this opportunity of sharing with you The Serenity Prayer.
God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.
Be a shining light.
Be the positivity you want to see in the world. Lead by example. You can’t always save the world, but you can make the world a better place by practicing what you preach – by becoming self-aware, tapping into your compassion, and protecting your positive space.
Focus on solutions.
Focus on the next positive step. Spend your energy on moving forward toward a positive resolution.
Concentrate on today.
Too often, we carry around things from our past that hurt us – regrets, shame, anger, pain, etc. Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Don’t let these negative points from the past rob your present happiness. You had to live though these things in the past, and although unfortunate, they can’t be changed. But if the only place they live today is in your mind, then let go, move on, and be happy. You can decide right now that negative experiences from your past will not predict your future.
Let go and move on when you must.
If all else fails, remove yourself from the wrong situations and relationships. Some people are like dark clouds; when they disappear, it’s a brighter day. Know when it’s time to let go. Letting go of negative people doesn’t mean you hate them, it just means that you care about your own wellbeing. Every time you subtract negative from your life, you make room for more positive.
My final suggestion is to ask you, instead of shouting at your monitor or mobile phone, claiming I don’t understand your circumstances, things weren’t as bad for me as they were for you, and instead just reflect, ask yourself, would letting more positivity into your life through your thoughts, make things better for you or worse. I hope you see how much benefit you’ll enjoy if you allow yourself to look for the positive in life.
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I choose to be surrounded with people who have positive outlook so that when problems arise, I can be with those who can make my burden lighter.