Woke up yesterday morning, feeling hard done by after an unusually lousy sleepless night in anticipation of a meeting I wasn’t looking forward to very early that morning. Andy, my partner, attempted to add lightness to our conversation later that day, only to meet with snarling. Today I woke ready to challenge anyone who got in my way and, lo and behold, people got in my way!
And then the spiral began – the downward spiral, like feeding fuel to a fire. Not only is my day lousy but the world isn’t doing well either; there’s global warming very close to out of control, growing canyons between the rich and poor, hunger, injustice. And the guy down the street keeps taking my parking spot.
This is pessimism and makes me feel grouchy.
On the other hand, when I’m feeling optimistic I feel contented, joyful, positive. Optimism improves my immune system and prevents chronic disease. Gratitude leads to optimism – it is the doorway into that place of hopefulness. Grateful people are happier, more social, less stressed, and also less depressed.
As it happened, in the middle of a minor rant today, I overheard a guy enthusiastically and joyfully speak about how great he was feeling about the world right now, about how many opportunities he felt we all have. It really stopped me, and I laughed out loud.
Whew! Glad that personal dark cloud blew out!
Maryanne Nicholls is a Toronto based, certified Psychotherapist offering a balanced approach to mental health. Please visit www.thejoyofliving.co for information on her services, or contact her directly to find out how she can help you reclaim the joy of living.