1. Learning to Hope

    August 19, 2014

    Learn to Hope

    Hope and faith are powerful feelings of looking towards the future with an optimistic view. Medical science has recognized the importance of hope a long time ago. How many of us have heard of people facing life threatening illnesses like cancer beating the odds of survival based on their hope that they can make it?

    Hope is one of important concepts in Positive Psychology. Hope isn’t something you should rely on only when you’re in a crisis. Being hopeful that the future reserves better things is also an important motor in motivation and drive. Why work harder if you can’t believe you will do better tomorrow than today?

    If you are familiar with broaden-and-build model of positive emotions by Barbra Fredrickson, you might remember that building yourself up with positive emotions helps increase resilience in the face of crisis and also generates a cycle of positivity in your life, where you “attract” the positive towards you. It’s more or less like tuning into the positivity channel. Which doesn’t mean that no bad thing will happen to you, (we all know bad things happen to good people), but instead you will bounce back faster.


  2. How to Become an Optimist

    June 11, 2014

    How to Become an Optimist

    Positive Psychology research has brought to light research on the positive effects of being an optimistic. But it has yet to show us how we can be optimistic. Is optimism a life’s choice or is it a matter of personality? Can anyone be an optimistic or is it just for a few? And is not being an optimist a necessarily bad thing?

    Let’s hope we can answer some of these questions and more.

    What is Optimism?

    In the first place, it’s probably necessary to clarify what is optimism and who can qualify as an optimist. Optimism is not an unrealistic view of reality. It’s a positive mind-set where people choose to focus on what can go right instead of what can go wrong. Nonetheless, optimists can still see the bad things in a situation, but choose to ignore it.

    It is a personality trait but it is also a life attitude. Our as someone explained it to me one day, it’s all about the glasses you wear to analyze reality – are they programmed to see the good or the bad?


  3. Putting a Positive Spin on Views about Man and Nature

    June 2, 2014

    Putting a Positive Spin on Views about Man and Nature


    by Sue Chehrenegar

    In an earlier article about beauty and the meaning of life, I wrote about those people who work to protect the earth’s natural beauty. Some segments of the population applaud such efforts; others tend to laugh at talk about saving the earth.  This week, I spoke with a woman who had become discouraged by the stark division between environmentalists and those who show no interest in preserving the earth’s natural beauty, along with its resources.

    She believed that there ought to be a way of bringing those two groups together. Thus, she thought-up a way for introducing a sense of unity into what has become a very divisive issue. She has put a positive spin on that controversial topic by focusing on the fact that the typical person respects the God-given order of things. Hence, she has chosen to reach-out to the members of various faith groups.

    I liked her idea, as so I decided to read more about order in the environment. As I was reading, I discovered that her concept helped to highlight the reason that an environmentalist finds it relatively easy to introduce plenty of meaning into his or her life. The book which I have been reading was published way back in 1974, but it tackles a subject that is the focus of online discussions now, forty years later.

    I discovered that I had read and studied this particular book before. In fact, I had underlined the author’s definition of order. He had defined order as a condition in which things have been arranged with respect to their purpose. In other words, a consideration of purpose aids someone who must carry-out the act of putting a group of things in order Only by considering each object’s purpose can someone identify some sort of integrating principal, an element that shows how those various things are related.

    Now, according to the author, there are certain qualities that are related to order. The author mentions both clarity and beauty. A person with a strong religious faith has clarity regarding what is considered right and wrong. Hence, a religious person can appreciate the need for clarity, and, therefore, such a person ought to be able to understand why some people advocate for preservation of the environment.

    Once the author of this one book has presented his concept of clarity, he has turned to the concept of beauty. According to him, beauty can be categorized as the highest expression of order. The author speculates on why humans have such a love for beauty. He states that because life depends on order, those who become aware of its presence experience of sense of grandeur and majesty.

    Grandeur and majesty are words that are often used to describe our Creator. Hence, this one author’s observations on order and beauty have managed to shine a limelight on how religion might be used to put an end to the divisive nature of discussions about the environment. In other words, his words have helped to put a positive spin on any such discussion.

    As someone who writes an occasional piece for dreampositive.info, I admire any attempt to change a negative into a positive. I would also like to mention one particular website: www.edenkeeper.org. The woman who I talked with this past week added meaning to her life by creating that specific website. Now she invites others to contribute articles that focus on religious news, and how that news relates to preservation of the environment.

    I hope that those who read all the posted articles on that particular website will begin to understand the message that I have been re-reading this past week. Meanwhile, I am pleased to share the thoughts of some people I once knew, people who appreciate why a person would strive to have a meaningful life. I once enjoyed an evening in the home of the book’s author (Daniel Jordan), a man whose life ended much too soon. Dr. Daniel Jordan was one of the leaders of Bahai religion and was killed by an extremist in 1982 while he was visiting New York City.

    Dr. Jordan’s book dealt with so many significant subjects, that he asked a colleague to index all the information for him. The man who took-on that task (Geoffrey Marks) happens to be married by college roommate. Thanks to my roommate, I had a chance to meet Mr. Marks and lots of other people who have worked to make their lives more meaningful.

    Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/alicepopkorn/3704377275/


  4. Gratitude as a Coping Mechanism

    April 14, 2014

    Gratitude as a Coping Mechanism

    Gratitude is a powerful feeling. It makes us appreciate all the good we have in our lives and enjoy it for what it is, instead of craving for the next big thing. Which in turn will leave us constantly unsatisfied with our lives, because there will always be something more to crave for. Gratitude is a characteristic of people experiencing higher levels of well-being with known reports of 67% of grateful people experiencing gratitude “all the time” and up to 60% reporting that expressing gratitude “made them feel very happy” (Gallup: “Survey results on gratitude, adults and teenagers“). But can gratitude also function as a coping mechanism? Can it helps us deal with life’s biggest adversities and still flourish?

    Researchers Wood, Joseph and Linley set out to answer just that.

    Gratitude is correlated to happiness  and well-being

    Research done so far has shown that dispositional Gratitude has the highest correlations with life satisfaction and well-being. And consequently negative correlations with depression and envy. Which makes sense, if grateful people are focused on their achievements and value them, their sense of self-efficacy is higher and they will not envy what others have achieved that much.

    Others studies have shown that inducing gratitude during weeks in people has proven to have improvements on happiness, depression and even physical health (for a revision of studies check Wood, Joseph and Linley’s 2007 article).

    What seems to be in place here, is that not only gratitude is an important mechanism in well-being and optimism but it can also serve as a coping mechanism during stressful situations. Being grateful might actually help you deal in a more constructive way with stress and life’s adversities, making you flourish as a person.

    Gratitude is a Positive Emotion

    According to Fredrickson’s (1998, 2001) broaden-and-built model of positive emotions, positive emotions can serve as resources for building up resilience in people, as those positive emotions are stored to be used in stressful or threatening situations. But also, positive emotions are key aspects in pushing us towards an action. And given that, positive emotions helps push forward instead of holding us back.

    Gratitude seems to correlate to a higher social approach strategy, as studies have shown that grateful people are also likely to express extroversion, agreeableness, forgiveness and empathy. Which are important characteristics to consider in social interaction because they make others want to approach us.

    Grateful people see the world as a hospitable place, deemphasizing (not ignoring) the negative side of life which in turn may help them deal actively with problems they may encounter.

    But the question is: Do grateful people have more psychological resources?

    According to Wood, Joseph and Linley’s (2007) findings coping mechanisms mediate the relationship between stress and gratitude. But it also showed important differences between grateful people:

    1)      Grateful people tend to seek out emotional and instrumental social support as a coping mechanism, make use of positive reinterpretation and growth and planning

    2)      Grateful people used more positive coping mechanisms, like approaching problems instead of avoiding them

    Inversely, gratitude was negatively correlated with behavioral disengagement, self-blame, substance abuse and denial. Which can all be seen as negative coping mechanisms as they are meant to avoid problems and not fix them.

    This means that grateful people tend to use more positive strategies to deal with stress and their issues by reaching out to friends and family for support, which in turn helps decrease their levels of stress and depression and function as an active way to solve problems instead of avoiding them.

    Can being grateful be a good thing for you? It sure can. Not only because it increases your levels of well-being and life satisfaction but it can also help you cope with stress. Now the question remains: how can you be more grateful?


  5. Savoring and Living in the Present

    April 7, 2014

    Savoring and Living in the Present

    by Daniela Aneis


    It seems nowadays that everyone is either living fast-forward or in the future. We either rush through our weeks and months without thinking what would be the right course of action or we constantly dream of a better future and end up spending most of time longing for a future that will come. But what about living in the present?

    Sure having plans, being optimistic and hopeful is great, and will probably give you the right motivation to carry out your projects. But what about enjoying the present moment? Not letting life pass you by? I’m sure you wouldn’t want to look back and realize you wasted priceless moments of your present from being too focused on the future.

    I suggest you watch the film Click with Adam Sandler to get a sense of what I’m talking about.

    Why are we all so worried about the future?

    Most likely because we’re afraid of it. So we dwell on what will be and instead of what is. And isn’t it better to dream about the future than to sometimes face the harsh reality? It may feel better to run from the present but it’s certainly not the best to avoid living one’s own life.

    Carpe Diem not the same as Savoring

    The concept of Carpe Diem is often associated with hedonism – the search for meaningless pleasure – which is not quite the same as savoring. Savoring is intended to help you live in the moment, reaching awareness to what’s around you and re-connecting with your reality. And enjoying your life for what it is, not what it could be.

    How can I savor a little more?

    Try this exercise for a while: take 30 minutes of your time to freeze a moment in your head. Do you have children? Watch them play for a while, hear them laugh, see the joy in them, look at how big they are, feel your love for them. If you don’t have children, try doing the same with your spouse, your friends, your parents…

    Remember: tomorrow everything will be different, the same moment cannot be relived twice. Simply because you’ll also be different. The observer will see differently just because the experience cannot be interpreted in the same way.

    A few savoring strategies:

    Stop to enjoy. Make the conscious act to stop and look at something you’ve seen every day in a different way.  Look at your spouse, your children for a little while or just observe your garden for instance. Can you see time pass?

    Be thankful for what you got. Make a list of everything in your life you’re grateful for: people, family, friends, experiences, things. It may be hard to fill out the list the first couple times you do it, but try doing it for a week and suddenly it gets huge! What does this make for you? Focusing on the positive aspects of your life will help you fill your life with positivity.

    Spread love in your life. Have you noticed how small acts of kindness make huge changes in your life and the life of others? Try smiling or having a kind word for someone. Do you see the positive results? You’ve probably made someone’s day. And that person is more likely to repeat an act of kindness to someone else.

    Do something for yourself. Take some time off to do something you truly enjoy. If you can get some company, better. If not, being on your own is also a healthy way to spend time. It could be a long bath, a walk, doing some sport, reading bedtime stories to your children…

    Have you savored life recently?

    [From the editor: If you are interested in this topic I can also recommend you to read an excellent book of Eckhart Tolle “The Power of Now“]

    Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/63953851@N06/11524949976




  6. Positive Psychology: The AIM Concept

    March 30, 2014

    Positive Psychology: The AIM Concept

    Many people have tried mainstream methods, such as psychotropic medication and cognitive-behavioral therapy, to fight mental health conditions.  Some individuals who have suffered from depression, anxiety and other disorders have found that these conventional means of dealing do not always have satisfactory results.  Finding the right psychotropic medication can be a trial-and-error process; although some people are able to find relief with their first prescription, many others need to try multiple medications (often with negative side effects) before they find a medication or combination of medications that help them.  In terms of therapy, some people struggle to become comfortable discussing personal issues with someone, especially a stranger.  Other people may not be able to form a positive connection with a therapist, leading them to stop therapy and forgo searching for someone new (for fear the same thing will happen again).  For this and other reasons, people often turn to alternative means to find reprieve from their mental health ailments.


    One way in which you can utilize positive psychology is to AIM for a more positive life. AIM is an acronym for Attending, Interpreting and Memorizing.  Let’s talk about each of these in a bit more detail.


    Attending is something many of us fail to do, especially when it comes to the positive doings in our lives.  However, we are quick to beat ourselves up and put ourselves down when things go wrong; this is counterproductive to positive psychology.  In part, we are not to blame – we are bombarded with negative messages nearly every minute of every day – from co-workers, family members, the news and social media, to name just a few.  It’s no wonder we become programmed to only think about negativity.  But in order to find true happiness, we must break that cycle.  So the next time something good happens to you, revel in it, for at least a few minutes.  Awaken each day with a positive attitude by saying “Today is going to be a good day”.  The more you focus on the positive aspects of your life, the more it will become a lifelong (and excellent) habit to have.


    Interpreting the events in your life can have a huge impact on your attitude and outlook.  Take the following example – you are standing in a crowded room and someone bumps into you, causing you to spill the contents of your drink on your new shirt.  You can interpret this several different ways; negatively, in which you believe the person bumped into you on purpose, positively, in which the person bumped into you by accident due to the crowded room, or neutrally, as in things happen and it’s not a big deal.  If you think about it negatively, you are more likely to become angry and agitated, leading you to feel upset and probably have a bad time.  If you think about things in a positive or neutral way, you are more likely to feel fine about what just happened, realizing it was out of your control.  This leads to more optimistic feelings about the situation.  Try your best to interpret the actions in your life in a positive (or at the very least, neutral) light.


    Memorizing the positive events in your life gives you something to fall back to in times of need.  Some people have an amazing ability to create vivid mental pictures in their mind of positive times; others may need to make a conscience effort to remember the events.  Take photographs of special times in your life that you can go back to when you are feeling down.  If you enjoy reading about special events, try keeping a journal of important times in your life.  Read the journal on a regular basis to keep a positive influence in your life; you can also consult the journal when times get tough.


    By AIMing for a more positive life, you allow yourself to be more focused and optimistic, which can help you to overcome anxiety, depression and other mental health problems.  For some people, the power of positivity can be enough to overcome the oppression of mental illness.  For others, positive psychology can (and should) be used in conjunction with medication and/or therapy.  Only you know the best course of action for yourself, but a little (or a lot) of positivity never hurt anyone.

    Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/55236839@N00/3098125602


  7. Laughter as the Best Health Therapy

    February 16, 2014

    Laughter as the Best Health Therapy

    by Melisa Marzett

    Laughing is a perfect way to reduce or even relieve stress in our lives. It can help you to cope with a stressful lifestyle. It releases anxiety and changes your mood, but if you think that it change stressors, you’ll be disappointed. It’s not so. It changes only how we relate to that stressors. The idea of this theory is quite easy –we laugh more, so we stress less.

    Laughter binds people together and increases intimacy between them and simply makes happier. Specialists points out, that laughing makes also good physical changes in our body. It makes your immune system stronger, it diminishes your pain and protect you from negative emotions, stresses and depression.

    Today the life rhythm tends us to stop laughing, we stop doing anything emotional. Our laughter can be described as a natural and essential way of taking care of ourselves. The nature itself gave us the laughter so we can heal our minds and bodies. Some people just haven’t realized its importance in their lives.

    Nowadays people are mostly media-educated and they know a lot of information about depression. But mainly we use drugs, medicines, of even highly recommended shock treatment. But if you want some natural solution, if you don’t want to medicate your body with antidepressants this technique is for you.

    Laughing releases your anger. If you keep it inside, you become sick and nervous. Laughter will not change your problems, it can only change you so you can cope with them. It dissolves harmful emotions because you simply can’t feel anxious, sad or angry when you laugh. It helps you to relax, because it increases your energy and reduces stress. It allows you to see situations in a positive way, making a psychological distance between you and world’s negative.

    You must understand that it’s ok to feel as good as you can. It’s your life so why must you worry about the others’ opinion. Take it easy. You should cultivate the ability to take the life in a spirit of play. Just imagine that all that gloomy,serious and heavy things are dragging you down at the very bottom of the depression. Do you really want it?

    If somebody seeks out the humor in everyday life, he’ll find that. And also the other important fact that we are searching namely for positive people. Nobody will like uninspiring or moody person. And if you’re alone, it’s harder to cope, there’s nobody who can support you. But first you must change yourself. Try to encourage yourself by watching funny movies and TV programs. If you simply don’t find that funny and you can’t laugh, just fake it! Make sounds of laughter and move your body as you laugh. There’s no doubt that your mood will change.

    If you think that that’s stupid, mat be you can try Laughter Yoga. It includes four things: clapping in rhythm, breathing, stretching and laughter exercises. In this case laughter comes from your body, not mind. When you take part in such a workshop you get the release of endorphins and then you feel yourself much better.  This technique also keeps you fit. You get exercise, which tones your muscles and improves your breath.

    In the end, we’d like to offer you several tips according to this theme:

    1. Try to laugh for 5-10 minutes every morning.

    2. Seek out the humor in serious situations, even if it’s hard.

    3. Smile more, watch comedies, read funny stories.

    4. Surround yourself with flowers or with other things that can make you smile.

    5. Don’t stay home on weekends. Go to the cinema, meet your friends, sing, dance and enjoy your life!

    Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/boudewijnberends/6307186578/

  8. Benefits of Positive Attitude for Addiction Recovery

    February 8, 2014

    Benefits of Positive Attitude for Addiction Recovery

    by Emily Syane

    Recovering from any type of addiction, whether it’s drugs or alcohol, is a long process. An addict cannot simply change overnight, as the nature of addiction is that this is an impulse they cannot control. There have been many types of addiction treatments and therapies over the years and many are still in use today. However, all these treatments, therapies, and retreats would simply be useless if the addict himself simply is not interested in changing. A positive attitude is one of the most powerful weapons people looking to stop their addiction can have. A positive outlook allows them to carry on and stick to their treatments. While some people may think that this is all psychological mumbo-jumbo, a positive attitude towards one’s self, the treatment, and in general, the world, can make a big impact on treating addiction. Let’s take a look at the different ways such an outlook can benefit recovering addicts.

    Reduce Depression

    It’s common sense that if you have a positive attitude, you won’t be depressed, but for addicts, this can practically guarantee their recovery. People treating addicts have coined a term for people who are overly negative – “Stinking Thinking.” This can cause real, clinical depression, but is also very dangerous for people who are trying to get rid of an addiction. This happens when people are overly negative and become pessimistic about their future. This increases their chances of relapsing and even make people around them suffer. Even if they stop taking drugs or alcohol, they recovering addict might not be happy in sobriety and be driven to go back to old habits. And, when people are depressed, even the smallest things can set them off and send them back to the bottle.

    Boost Immune System

    Believe it or not, a positive attitude can actually boost the immune system. A study in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine showed that people who meditated and experienced happiness had a higher level of antibodies in their blood. This meant that people who had a positive attitude could potentially fight off infection better than those who do not.

    Positive Attitude

    Reduce Cardiovascular Disease

    Having a positive attitude can also have benefits to heart health. Various studies have shown that a positive attitude can generally benefit the body because this can lower the level of stress hormones and inflammations, which are good signs for better cardiovascular health.

    Increase Self Efficacy

    Self-efficacy, according to psychologists, is an individual’s belief that they have the ability to achieve their goal. Self-efficacy and positive thinking go hand-in-hand and help an individual achieve their goals. This means that people can reach their goals by simply thinking they can do it. Many people can help improve their self efficacy by accomplishing small goals, seeing other people achieve these goals, and even through therapy.

    Other Benefits…

    There are many other benefits people (in general) can get from simply having a more positive outlook on life. People who have a positive outlook are able to better handle stress and adversities in their lives. They can problem-solve and tend not to let the bad things that happen in their lives to bring them down. They have more energy to do more things in their lives. A positive attitude can help people live longer, as they experience little stress and as mention earlier, have a better immune system. In general, people who have a positive attitude are happier and make those around them happier as well.

    Recovering from an addiction is not an easy road. It is often painful and a lot of hard work. However, many people all over the world recover from their addiction, and in many of those cases, a positive attitude was not only necessary, but pivotal. Having a positive attitude is one of the best ways to recover from an addiction. It has many benefits, but in general, it can help prevent relapses and make recovering live happier lives in sobriety.

    Image Credit: www.flickr.com/photos/jackheart/5188367113

  9. Suffering: a Necessary Pathway to Personal Growth?

    February 4, 2014

    Suffering and personal growth

    by Daniela Aneis

    When confronted with painful situations in our lives, we often ask ourselves why. “Why is there so much suffering in the world? Why do bad things happen to good people? What have I done to deserve such suffering? What is the point of all this?” But have you ever stopped and wondered you might be asking the wrong questions?

    Although the advent of Positive Psychology has swift the focus of Psychology from psychopathology to what it is that makes the human being extraordinary – by focusing on positive emotions, optimism, resilience, sense of humor and so on – Positive Psychology does not discard the incredible power of suffering and the experience of negative emotions. It’s not about avoiding pain and suffering, it’s about finding out what makes people thrive and achieve personal growth despite suffering like everyone else. Are these people special and extraordinary? Yes, but you can be as well.

    Yes, but why suffer at all?

    You will probably be asking this question by now. That’s got to do with today’s society paradigm. You should be happy all the time, you should be successful and enjoying life to the fullest, you should be surrounded by friends and family and never have any problems because everything is alright all the time! Doesn’t this strike you as a silly idea? Aren’t we allowed to have problems, to feel sad and depressed occasionally? It’s not a crime to experience negative emotions. It’s actually healthy as long as you process them and channel your negative emotions in a constructive way. And this will allow you to grow as a human being and enjoy life to the fullest.

    Does suffering have a point?

    Yes, it does. So, the real question you should be asking is: “Can I find meaning in my suffering?” Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl, who was himself a survivor of the Holocaust, defended in his Logotherapy theory that what we should be seeking for meaning in our lives, whether it is through what we do, who we love or the attitude we take over inevitable suffering.

    Do you know what happens when you ignore your feelings and emotions? You keep sweeping the “emotional dirt” under the rug, until when one day it blows into your face and you’re forced to deal with it. Do you know when this happens? Often when people get sick or seriously depressed or anxious to the point they can’t lead a normal life. Emotional baggage will drag you down.

    How to deal with suffering in a constructive way:

    1. Take responsibility. Most of happens in your life, doesn’t just happen to you. It is a product of the choices you’ve made in life. So ask yourself this, how much percentage of everything that happens to you is your responsibility? Got your number? Good, let’s work on that and ignore what’s not yours.
    2. Deal with emotions. All (!) emotions. Feel sad, cry, yell, feel angry at the world, feel hopeful or happy, but don’t stop feeling. There are no good or bad emotions, just necessary ones. If a loved one passes away, aren’t you going to feel sad for as long as you need to heal from your loss?
    3. Don’t let others bully your emotions. Don’t feel guilty about it. If everyone else around you has bought the slogan “happiness is the way”, that doesn’t mean you can’t feel differently about it. Take time to heal. And then go out there again and face the world.
    4. Take action. Have you processed your emotions? Do you know now why you felt them? Can you change anything about it? Now is the time to take action. Search for a new job, go out and meet new people, try a new activity or sport.
    5. Let go of what you can’t fix. Is it a solvable or unsolvable problem? If the answer is unsolvable, then it already has a solution to it. And if you can’t fix it, let it go. Move on to something you can actually control and manage.

    By now you should have your answer, but if you still need a straight one, here it goes: Yes, suffering is a necessary pathway to personal growth. But it is your choice how to deal with your suffering. So tell me, is the glass half full or half empty?

    Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jstar/3185994119

  10. Breaking mental barriers with a positive outlook

    October 23, 2013

    Breaking mental barriers with a positive outlook

    by Dr. David Kulla

    We’ve all been there. We’ve all had times where we felt lost, weak, and ineffectual. It just seems like we can’t get going in the right direction. It’s tough to break through those mental barriers and allow ourselves to be the people we want to be. It can create vicious cycles of procrastination, submission, and even depression. But, there are ways to break through these mental barriers. Sometimes, it’s just as simple as pretending to have a more positive outlook. You would be surprised at quickly a drop of optimism turns into a deluge of positive emotions. Here are some tips for breaking through mental barriers with a positive outlook.

    Don’t waste time worrying. If you have a problem, there is either something you can do about it, or nothing you can do about it. Those are the only two options. Either you can fix it or you can’t, so why waste time and energy worrying? If you can fix it, do it. If you can’t, ignore it and move on. So many other things in life demand your time, energy, and attention. Useless worrying isn’t one of them.

    Celebrate small victories. Our lives are so full of inboxes, to-do lists, voicemails, etc. It’s easy to feel like we’ll never get everything done. This leads to analysis paralysis and second-guessing, which in turn lead to blown deadlines and more worry. Don’t let that happen to you. Allow yourself to feel good about accomplishments, no matter how small. You responded to an email. Good job! You’ve made a dent in your wall of work. Felt good, didn’t it? Let’s see if we can get that feeling, only better! Before you know it, you’ll have a full outbox and an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment.

    Picture where you want to be. A lot has been written about vision boards, Pinterest, and the power of images to inspire people. And it’s true. Pictures (even mental ones) can cause vague ideas or notions to coalesce into actions. Instead of fretting about paying off debts, picture yourself debt-free. What would that be like, what could you direct your energy toward instead? What good could you do with the extra money? This exercise will make you feel positive about yourself and your abilities, inspiring you to work hard and achieve your goals.

    Perfection is the enemy of the good. Sometimes, when we’re working on a project, we get bogged down in minute details and try to make sure every little thing is exactly as it should be. And, when it invariably is not perfect and needs more work, we start getting down on ourselves and our ability to finish. We’re not measuring up to our own impossible ideals. Step back for a moment and realize that nothing is ever perfect. There could always be more tweaks, more brushstrokes, more bells and whistles. However, we can quickly reach the point of diminishing returns. Spending one hour on a report will make it good. Spending two hours will only make it a little better than good. We spent twice the time and worry on only a marginal gain in quality. Try to allow yourself to be merely great, instead of absolutely perfect.

    Realize that others feel the same way you do. Too often we feel like the protagonist of a movie, where every event and decision is designed to impact us directly and every other person is there to help or hinder our journey. What we must realize is that everyone is on their own journey and they all have their own sets of worries, fears, and aspirations. Your boss isn’t giving you more work because she is mean; she recognizes your value and needs your help to meet her own responsibilities. Recognize your value and the value of others, and you will be on the way to being truly happy.

    Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nwardez/3353883167