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Happy Positive Thinking Day!

How many times have you seen THAT person coming - the Negative Nancy - who, every time you talk to them, they bring so much discouragement with their words and it changes your whole outlook for the next little bit or even your whole day? How many times have YOU been that person? We've all been there. We've all had negativity pour out of us at some point. The important thing is that you don't stay there in that mindset. 

I struggle with anxiety and depression and I also identify with being an "empath". This means I pick up on what someone else is feeling and if I'm not careful, I end up with that feeling too. When you take anxiety and depression and mix it with someone else's feelings, especially negative ones, it can be a recipe for a slippery, downward slope. In order for me to keep a positive headspace, I have to be extra vigilant in guarding my heart. In Proverbs 4:23, it says "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." 

Since it is Positive Thinking Day, I'm sharing three practices that I have adopted in my daily life that have helped me have more positive thinking than negative. 

1. Identify what (or who) brings on your negative feelings.  I feel it's safe to say that everyone experiences patterns or triggers that bring on negative feelings. It's important to identify what those triggers and patterns are. It could even be a person you have a strained relationship with or have experienced trauma from that causes negative emotions to arise inside of you. If that is the case, figure out a way to easily identify what triggers you and put up a barricade in your mind against it. If it is a particular person, set up boundaries in that relationship that prevent that spiral from happening. I know, easier said than done, but when I started to become more aware of what caused negative feelings, I started to be able to nip it before those feelings encompassed my outlook. 

2. Don't engage in gossip. Matthew 18:15 says "If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over." I used to participate in gossip regularly and noticed it affected my mental outlook greatly. I started applying this biblical principal and I find that not participating in gossip has transform how I feel about people and certain situations. It's important to have someone you trust to talk to, so find 3 trusted people you can talk to about problems and work things out in a way that solves the issue instead of making that issue worse. 

3. Practice thankfulness/gratitude.  Psalm 9:1 says "I will give thanks to you, Lord with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds."  Even when things aren't good, it is so very important to give thanks for the things that are. This helps to change your perspective from doom and gloom to being extra grateful for what you do you have going well in your life. Whether you use a gratitude journal, or write a list to remind you -whatever helps you to remember the things in your life that you are grateful for - implement that into your daily routine.

Have a great Wednesday! I challenge you to keep it a positive one! 

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