When one is constantly bombarded by all forms of media hawking gruesome details of man’s inhumanity to man, and nature just doing its thing, like whipping up Super Typhoon Haiyan, it might be a little difficult to buoy up one’s optimism. The same goes for issues with family, friends, neighbors, and projects at work. You can’t wake up to find the world has changed overnight for your good efforts, but while you’re working at it, you can change your attitude. Here are a few things that work for me:

Instead of counting the things that went wrong today, stop. Count three things that went right. Can you go five? Ten would be nice. You can start by counting the fact that you woke up this morning. Woo-hoo!

Have I been through something like this before? How did I handle that situation? What did I learn from that experience? Can I take steps, even one, to avoid a repeat? Who is my go-to person for an unbiased, non-judgmental observation of this problem?

I know a dear lady who, being human, has low moments like each of us. When she finds herself drawn into negative words and thoughts, she closes her eyes and says, “Cancel, cancel, cancel!” That detours her mindset from the dead-end road of negativity.
My favorite is, “Peace. Be still.” I use it when doubt creeps in, when my mind races through all I have yet to do, or when people say or do thoughtless things. It keeps me from thinking or saying something I’ll rue.

Sometimes, getting it out helps you to analyze your feelings. Often, on reading the Opinion section of the paper, I can feel the pressure mount. Some idiot’s written a piece on politics or religion 180 degrees from my learned opinion, and boy, is he going to hear about it! That’s when I reach for my release valve: pencil and paper. Once it’s out, I put the page aside, and come back to it another time. While the venting may be cathartic, rarely is the result worth rewriting; so I feed it to the burning bowl, as done in New Year’s Eve services in many churches. Offer it up to the universe to settle!

*AND ALL OF THE ABOVE…with a bit of thought, can apply to your writing in some way.