Have you ever wondered how some people who seem to have all kinds of bad things happen to them still maintain a positive outlook on life while others who may have very little wrong in their lives are always depressed and constantly speak negativity? As a coach working with my clients to create radiant health, I often find that bringing a perspective of “whole person health” is necessary to move my clients forward in releasing excess weight and embracing a life-giving plan for their health. And part of that whole person health is in understanding why seeing life through the “eyes of faith” is critical to maintaining not only emotional and spiritual health, but also in maintaining strong physical health.
There are many explanations from the experts as to what may be the cause for these negative attitudes we see in people, but those explanations are usually “outside” of the person. Outside of her control and her ability to change. That sounds good and it certainly takes the burden off of us to make any changes in our lives. But is our outlook really out of our control or can we determine how we respond to life’s challenges? Don’t we have spiritual weapons that have been freely given to us to use to battle pessimism, negativity, and wrong thinking? The Bible promises we do and that is great news indeed!
A negative outlook is typically the result of one or more of these characteristics:
- Negativity and pessimism are just plain habit. Because of wrong influences in your life, you have allowed negative thinking and pessimism to become habits that affect every part of your life.
- A continuous expectation that bad things will happen to you which in turn seems to attract more bad things into your life
- An ungrateful attitude
- The spiritual law of sowing and reaping which includes attitudes. If one constantly looks at life in a negative way, never showing gratefulness, always speaking negatively about life, about people, about situations, that is typically what one reaps.
This isn’t in any way meant to minimize a person’s pain and suffering by telling her to just “speak positive things”. That’s the last thing someone needs to hear when she is hurting deeply and in despair about a situation in her life. But what I am saying is that even in the deepest pain, there is hope. Corrie Ten Boom, the woman who was imprisoned in a concentration camp for hiding Jews during Hitler’s reign, made this comment after spending that time in the concentration camp; “there is no pit so deep, that Jesus is not deeper still”. Her attitude while in that concentration camp was one of believing that she served a God who is “more than enough”, even in those horrendous circumstances. She was actually a beacon of light and hope for the other women in the concentration camp and became their “spiritual mother”. She gave the others hope and a sense of peace in the midst of their circumstances. Her faith changed the atmosphere of that concentration camp for all of those women, and even for some of the guards. Her attitude brought light to a place of utter darkness.
If you want to cultivate a positive attitude in your life, follow these steps over the next month and watch what happens.
- Notice your speech. Really listen to yourself. How do you sound? Do only negative things come out of your mouth?
- Each day find at least one thing for which to be grateful. It may be something as small as seeing a pretty wildflower along the road. But no matter how bad things are for you right now, be grateful about at least one thing each day.
- Express that gratefulness out loud to God.
- Minimize the outside negative influences that you allow into your life. The news, negative people, etc.
- Meditate on Bible verses that express the goodness of God.
Creating a positive, healthy outlook takes some work, especially if you’re a person who has developed the habit of seeing only the negative in life. But if you are willing to put a little time and effort into your attitude, you can actually change those negative habits into habits that will bring you much joy and a much better way to live your life.
All of us want to be healthy, and sometimes the place to start isn’t by stepping onto a scale, but instead it’s in looking into your heart, listening to what comes out of your mouth, and “losing” the habit of negativity.
Here’s to hope,