"Think positively" and "the power of positive thinking" have become trademark slogans in our society. From self-help magazine articles to motivational speakers, it has become folklore wisdom -- fill your mind with positivity and you shall reap the mental health benefits.
If we are totally honest with ourselves, we will admit that it is often far easier to live with our discomforts and challenges than it is to initiate the mindfulness to become the conscious observer of our beliefs, thoughts and actions that may be supporting them.
As horrific as it was, my mental breakdown at 36 years old was actually also my breakthrough. It was an in-your-face wake-up call that forced me to realize that I was driving myself too hard, and for the wrong reasons.
Right now, it is too easy to slip into complaints about the government, the economy, and the prospects for world peace. When you find yourself in yet another discussion about the ills of the world, look for a positive spin.
It wasn't until my 30s that I got serious about my negative thoughts. I decided to tell myself I was worthy enough to have good things happen if I wanted, and that I would have to start telling myself so.
Gratitude helps you deal with difficult situations, and sympathy helps you deal with difficult people. They're not hard core, but once you experience little highs, you often find yourself craving something bigger.