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AlmiraGulch

Book Recommendations Needed - How to Stop Being So Negative

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I'm not a negative person, generally speaking.  I tend toward "realism", which means I think things are pretty a-ok for the most part, things can always get worse, suck it up and move forward because it will pass.  That sort of thing.

 

Lately, though, I'm so nit-picky and focused on negativity that I'm even getting on my own nerves! 

 

Not sure why I'm in such a funk, but I really need to get out of it and boost my outlook.

 

Does anyone have any book recommendations for me?  There are about a million out there, and I can't tell what seems decent and what doesn't. 

 

I'm interested in a secular perspective only.

 

Thanks in advance!

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I enjoyed The Miracle Morning. It focuses a lot on a morning routine, but also positivity, and I've felt a lot happier since reading the book and starting this routine. And more productive.

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I enjoyed The Miracle Morning. It focuses a lot on a morning routine, but also positivity, and I've felt a lot happier since reading the book and starting this routine. And more productive.

 

You've seemed very happy since you started this new routine of yours (not that you seemed unhappy before), but I don't know if I'm willing to get up at 4:00 am!  :crying:

 

On the other hand, I imagine that's not the case for everyone; rather, I'd think that it means just having some time in the morning to yourself, whatever time that may be, and yours just happens to be at that unholy hour.  :laugh:

 

Thanks for the recommendation.  Perhaps I should just read the book and then I'll know for sure what it says! 

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I grew up in a negative family - if my grandmother couldn't find a black cloud on a sunny day, she'd make one up.  so, there was some automatic leaning that way.

 

I didn't use a book, but I did change my outlook.

 

gratitude journal - every day, one thing you are grateful for.  it can't be the "standard I'm grateful for" generic answer.  e.g. family, home, etc.  needs to be very specific, and worded positively.  (I'm grateful we had creamed spinach (which I really like) NOT I'm grateful we *didn't* have brussels sprouts).  It may be hard at first, but it will get easier as you learn to train your brain to be more optimistic.  once you are doing well with one "I'm grateful for" a day, increase to two, and then three.  continue until you feel you are being positive.

 

thank someone else for something they do/have done, everyday.  something specific - again, not the "standard/general and generic" answers.

 

humor - do not underestimate the potential impact of good clean humor on mental and emotional state.  even "I"m going to find the silver lining in this cloud if I have to wring it out myself!" could make me smile on my darkest days.

 

I have also found, nutritional state can have an impact on attitude, not sure exactly which nutrients it is, but can make a difference.

 

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Switch
The Happiness project

Both of these have been recommended on the hive which is why I got them.  

What I have found that worked for me to be more positive is to thoughtfully stop and look for the silver lining whenever I find myself complaining.  At the end of the day thinking of 3 good things that happened that day, some people journal them. I don't I just think about them and thank God for them.  When I find myself complaining even on here or fb etc I stop myself and post something positive.  I figure yes there is crappy stuff going on, yes they are worthy complaints but there are things worth praising and being grateful for too and those things should be acknowledged.  Lastly, I put on worship music.  It is hard to be negative about anything when you are singing along with songs of worship.  On my gloomiest moods I have specific songs I go for, but otherwise I just hit play all on my itunes and start singing.  

Oh and most importantly I nap if I have not had enough sleep (which I never do) even 20 minutes of rest at about 2pm keeps me more positive, because when I am tired (even when I don't realize I am) I am as cranky as a 2 year old without a nap.  I am not tantrumming etc but I have a darker perception of the world around me.  A short nap and suddenly my perceptions of what is going on is much lighter.

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I have also found, nutritional state can have an impact on attitude, not sure exactly which nutrients it is, but can make a difference.

 

B vitamins

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I don't know if this is the same type of negativity that you're referring to, but there's a book called A Complaint Free World. I had such low expectations for myself I didn't even try the challenge or read the book :laugh: I should probably read the book sometime...

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Not an obvious 'positive outlook' book but Mary Oliver's poetry generally helps me to shift the texture and quality of my perspective from insular and cramped to something with more breathing space and softness. Sometimes that kind of lateral move is all that's needed, the fact of knowing one can look on seemingly impersonal objects like trees and the color blue and geese and infuse them with specificity, with resonance. The world comes into vibrant movement and intimacy this way. It's not that negativity is left behind but rather it's given its place in the larger context of things. I'm thinking, too, of e.e. cummings's line, "so much depends on a red wheelbarrow glazed with rain beside the white chickens..."

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You've seemed very happy since you started this new routine of yours (not that you seemed unhappy before), but I don't know if I'm willing to get up at 4:00 am!  :crying:

 

On the other hand, I imagine that's not the case for everyone; rather, I'd think that it means just having some time in the morning to yourself, whatever time that may be, and yours just happens to be at that unholy hour.  :laugh:

 

Thanks for the recommendation.  Perhaps I should just read the book and then I'll know for sure what it says! 

 

Mine is just then because the kids are still asleep. You can do it whenever you wake up. Just, first thing. :)

 

gratitude journal - every day, one thing you are grateful for.  it can't be the "standard I'm grateful for" generic answer.  e.g. family, home, etc.  needs to be very specific, and worded positively.  (I'm grateful we had creamed spinach (which I really like) NOT I'm grateful we *didn't* have brussels sprouts).  It may be hard at first, but it will get easier as you learn to train your brain to be more optimistic.  once you are doing well with one "I'm grateful for" a day, increase to two, and then three.  continue until you feel you are being positive.

 

This is actually part of what I do during my journaling portion of the MM. I always write 3 things I'm grateful for. Every day. :)

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One of the books I took to college was a huge compendium of Reader's Digest jokes.  On sad days, I'd flip through it.  Laughter truly is a good medicine.

 

Regards,

Kareni

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B vitamins

 

a good b-complex is good (I use emerald labs b-healthy, yes there was a big difference between it and naturemade b from costco.  like a light switch difference), it was more than just b-vitamins, but I don't remember what the other ones were.

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Not an obvious 'positive outlook' book but Mary Oliver's poetry generally helps me to shift the texture and quality of my perspective from insular and cramped to something with more breathing space and softness. Sometimes that kind of lateral move is all that's needed, the fact of knowing one can look on seemingly impersonal objects like trees and the color blue and geese and infuse them with specificity, with resonance. The world comes into vibrant movement and intimacy this way. It's not that negativity is left behind but rather it's given its place in the larger context of things. I'm thinking, too, of e.e. cummings's line, "so much depends on a red wheelbarrow glazed with rain beside the white chickens..."

 

This.  I want this!  I feel like this when I'm at the beach, for example.  Every time.  There is something about the sight and sound and smell of the ocean that makes me content and serene and grateful and just really present.  

 

I have found myself just dwelling on the bad lately.  I can't seem to see around it, and I feel like I have a permanent scowl on my face.  This is really not in character for me.  

 

In addition to something of a more traditional "self-help", like I originally asked for and have received great recommendations about, this could be a great tool for me, too.  Thanks!

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"The Gifts of Imperfection"  - your guide to a wholehearted life - by Brene Brown. It's a quick read, I found it after someone (I'm pretty sure Joanne) mentioned her TED talks. The chapters cover - Cultivating: authenticity, self-compassion, resilient spirit, gratitude & joy, intuition, creativity, play & rest, calm & stillness, and meaningful work. I read it on a car trip with my husband, it was one of those books where you keep turning the radio off to say "ok, listen to this....". If you watch her TED talks, she writes very much the way she speaks - thought provoking and entertaining.

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I did read A Complaint-Free World and try the project. While the book won't win any prizes for literary quality, the project has merit and I appreciated the experience. I recommend it.

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Honestly, the thing that helps me almost more than anything is reading biographies about people who have been through far worse than I have.  Of course, they have to have a positive or hopeful ending, but there are plenty of them out there that do.  I was on a cycle of reading WWII memoirs some years ago...  There was a lot of sadness in them, but they were also very inspirational and really helped me count my blessings!

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Honestly, the thing that helps me almost more than anything is reading biographies about people who have been through far worse than I have.  Of course, they have to have a positive or hopeful ending, but there are plenty of them out there that do.  I was on a cycle of reading WWII memoirs some years ago...  There was a lot of sadness in them, but they were also very inspirational and really helped me count my blessings!

 

Except I don't feel like I'm bad off in the first place!  That's what's bugging me.  I have no idea why I feel so dissatisfied with every single stupid thing.  It's ridiculous, frankly.  

 

It's probably just a season I'm going through, but I wish it would hurry up and pass!  So annoying.  

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I enjoyed The Miracle Morning. It focuses a lot on a morning routine, but also positivity, and I've felt a lot happier since reading the book and starting this routine. And more productive.

 

I read this book and have practiced my routine since Dec. 26, 2013. I love it. I wake up at 6 and I am able to finish my routine plus many other things by 730 am. I am NOT a morning person, so I am so happy this is working for me.

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Outside...every day.

 

Find a comfy spot. Even in the dog days of summer, it is tolerable early morning and usually right before sundown.

 

Sit still. Notice things. Even in suburbia, nature is all around you. From the roly poly bugs to the cardinal building in the shrubbery, it's there.

 

Notice it.

 

Think about the beauty around you.

 

Give thanks.

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