Dr. Oz’s article on optimism inspired me to write two articles and include something that I am grateful for in every post that I do for the rest of the year. We can all be grateful for the obvious things like our health or our vision. I am grateful for those of course. Sometimes, I can’t really say that a moment inspires me to be grateful, rather, it’s more of what I refer to as a life check. I am just below average height at not quite 5’4 (about 5’3 & 3/4) and I’m more than fine with it. I’m a giant in my family of pocket sized women. I remember one day, my mother was talking to me and these words came out of her mouth, “Well Jill, you are very tall”. Yes, in my little family I am a giant, but out there in the real world I’m bordering on a hobbit (see the amount of space left in the shelter in my photo above). Anyway, I had a whole morning some years ago where everything was just one inch out of reach for me, which normally doesn’t bother me, it’s just the way it is, but on that day, when I had to get on a step ladder to get a bowl, change a light bulb and just in general to reach anything and everything I had an internal melt-down. Perhaps 3 little letters had something to do with it – if you can’t guess, they are P-M & S. I walked to the subway in a huff, berating myself for being vertically challenged even though logically, there is nothing I can do but wear heels. In front of me getting on the subway, was a little person – no taller than 3’4 and as she struggled to get onto the seat, and made herself comfortable with her legs literally sticking out in front of her, I had a life check moment. I thought to myself, she has to deal with what I deal with every day ten-fold. She has people likely staring at her for no reason other than her height and would likely love to be as tall as me. I’ve never complained about my height again, because I was presented with a life check. Today, I am grateful that I can recognize these moments.
Now back to Dr. Oz’s ways to be more optimisitic. They are actually pretty simple and are:
– Focus on kindness – this is where he talks about keeping a gratitude journal. He also states ” When you recognize what others give you, it makes you in turn, want to be more generous, which has been shown to be good for your health”. So being nice means you get to be healthier? Where do I sign up???? I’ve written about kindness, and I will again, but it’s nice to know that there are health benefits
–Take control – YES!!! I knew being Type A would pay off – Dr. Oz said so – so suck it you laid back types who always put off until next week or next year what you can do today. I feel vindicated, glowing, alive. Dr. Oz states, “Being assertive means that you are better able to make effective changes, which leads to optimism.” Well, I love change – you do have to embrace it, as difficult as it may be, because that is all part of living. By the way – being assertive doesn’t mean you have to be a word that rhymes with witch, it just means that sometimes, you have to stand your ground and maybe even make decisions that may not be popular with the masses but don’t you remember your mother saying “…if your friends jumped off of a bridge, would you”? These things do make you feel more optimistic, maybe not right away, because at least for me, I am making a decision that I can live with. Dr. Oz even says that the biggest threat to optimism is standing still – pretty potent statement
Don’t catastrophize – basically, he doesn’t want you dwelling on mistakes. I’m totally guilty of this and overthinking things to death. I also may be a teeny-weeny bit guilty of exaggerating. “Worst day ever” or “FML” do sometimes creep into my discussions. I get it, making mistakes is part of life and we learn from them, yeah, yeah. Now I just have to learn to practice what the good doctor preaches.
While I’m thinking about this, I remain….
…yours in gratitude,