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Research has shown how important YOU are to your children and how as a dad the things you do, and keep on doing, really count, whether you live with them, or you are a single dad and are only able see them once a month, once a week or more, what you do really matters. This site is dedicated to all dads but will be of special relevance to the single dad. Remember, you are half the reason your children exist and they need you whether you live with them or not. As their dad, you have what it takes to make their lives successful and fulfilling no matter how often you see them. This site is about all the positive things that we as parents have to offer our children.
How to be positive
147 11
Ten great ways to change the way you look at life and start being really positive

by Dawn Stannard

  Article No. 18
Date posted September 1, 2008  

Life is full of ups and downs, successes and failures. Normally you can take the rough with the smooth, but sometimes itís easy to become bogged down by negative thoughts and feelings of doom and gloom that make it difficult to be positive. When these negative feelings persist, they can lead to more stress and eventually depression, which over a period of time can seriously damage your health, and harm the bodyís immune system, thus perpetuating the downward cycle.
. . . Being positive, taking positive practical steps and positive thinking will reduce your stress and make you feel better. Itís likely that initially you will have to work at it, but as you begin to feel happier, being positive will come naturally.
. . . Your feelings about how you see the world and what happens to you each day, are based on your own thoughts and only you are in control of them. Only you can change the way you feel about something. The way you perceive your situation is all about your attitude towards it. A generally negative attitude is self-perpetuating, because it first creates and then reinforces your negative experiences, focusing on the bad things that happen each day. No one and no magic pill can rescue you from your own attitude Ė that is something you must do for yourself.
. . . So here are 10 tips to help you build up a positive attitude, even when the chips are down. In the words of Winston Churchill, ĎA pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity, an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty!í So letís start seeing the opportunities...

1. Take each day as it comes
It sounds simple, but it works, the moment you wake up is the start of a brand new day. Donít expect the day to be bad. Every day has the potential to be ďthe day you turned the cornerĒ, the day you met a new best friend, the day you suddenly realised you knew what you wanted to do. Think of it as a day full of exciting opportunities, new encounters and moments of potential joy and happiness that you have not yet experienced. Think positively about the day ahead. Donít think ďWhat will happen tomorrow if...Ē, focus on one day at a time and not about what might happen tomorrow. If you do find yourself worrying too much about parts of your day ahead that you know will make you unhappy, remember that by tomorrow, today, this day, will be behind you forever.

2. Smile and laugh as much as you can
Laughter is not only good for you, it is also contagious. The more you laugh, the happier you will feel as feel-good chemicals are released into your brain to give you a natural high. Humans are a sociable bunch, when you laugh others around you will find your positivity infectious. Laughter is a very powerful and natural way to tap into positive emotions. If you smile broadly when you answer a telephone, for example, you will feel brighter and the person you connect with will feel better too, then they reflect that back to you and a positive cycle is created.

3. Do something nice for someone
When things are tough, itís easy to get caught up in your own worries and problems and as a result only take from other people in terms of their advice, time and understanding. When this happens your relationships become very one sided and you give back little or nothing, which leads to feelings of emptiness and worthlessness. Finding the time and place each day to do something for somebody else, will make you feel so much better. The positive things you do, can be as little as a hug, a kind word or five minutes spent asking someone else how they feel. Helping other people with their problems will increase your sense of wellbeing, put your own problems into perspective and let you step out of the frame of your own problems for a few minutes. Giving something of yourself leaves you feeling more positive, energetic and empowered.

4. Allow yourself to be loved
When you need love the most, letting yourself be loved is sometimes one of the hardest things to do. Part of being positive is allowing yourself to be loved for who you are. If somebody pays you a compliment, accept it graciously and focus for a while on what they have said. Allow yourself to feel good about the compliment and in doing so allow the person who gave the compliment to feel good for giving it. Hold that feeling of accomplishment or acceptance and dwell on it. Know that you deserve it and feel good about yourself.

5. Accept your shortcomings
Nobody is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes, sometimes little ones, sometimes big ones, and sometimes worst of all, the same ones over and over again. So what! Youíre only human. Accepting your shortcomings is one of the key skills of being positive. Donít dwell on the negative aspects of your mistakes, learn from them and focus instead on what you have done right and see how you could do more of that next time. Everyone has to accept that they will make bad decisions, choose wrong paths and generally mess up at some point, but the knowledge and experience gained by making mistakes will make you in to a better person.

6. Focus on your goals
Focus on the things that you want to achieve and start believing that you can make them happen. Set yourself some real goals for your future and visualise yourself achieving them. Donít set targets too big or too near term that cause you immediate stress. Instead ask yourself what you want to be doing in two or four years, then start with a small step today; even a long journey starts with a single step. For example, if you want to learn something new, then today is the day to look up ďevening study courses in your areaĒ. You donít have to book anything today, just start finding out about it. That is a thinking-positive first step. Mahatma Ghandi said, Ď A man is but the product of his thoughts, what he thinks, he becomesí.

7. Avoid negative people
Avoid negative thinkers and learn to let go of negativity. In many respects, negativity is an addiction. Negativity is easy, itís a safe standpoint that feels very adult and grown up and is an easy position to defend. Negativity sounds wise and serious, there are always mistakes and bad things to focus on and negative people are therefore never short of something negative to dwell on. Negative people need to feel that they sound like they have a lot of experience by pointing out everyone elseís (and sometimes their own) failures. In fact, their negativity is a form of cowardice to cover up for the deep rooted fear that if they are positive they will get let down or shown up to have been wrong. Unfortunately, negativity is always self fulfilling because nothing is ever perfect. Avoid negative people, theyíll bring you down.

8. Love yourself
Remember you are unique and special, do not compare yourself with others. For a start, you donít know their circumstances, and only they can know what they are thinking or feeling. Other peopleís situations are never exactly what they seem, so comparing yourself with them is meaningless, because there are no arbitrary, objective measures by which you can compare. Everyone has different skills and abilities and part of being positive is learning how to feel good about yourself. At certain times in your life this can be very difficult, at those times think about any part of your personality (however small) that you feel proud of or that others have commented on in the past, and concentrate on loving that part of you. Grow the feeling out from there.

9. Review your successes
Sometimes, positive thinking can do with a kick start. To get yourself back on the positive track, look back over a few years and review only the good things that you have achieved. Consider the things that you have learned, important experiences that you have had along the way, or the good things about the way that you dealt with the more difficult times. Count up your successes, these can anything over the last few weeks months or a year or two. They can be things a simple as getting that new TV that you always wanted, going to your kidís sports day or seeing someone smile when you helped them or as big as moving in to a flat and making it feel like home, or finishing or starting a new relationship.

10. Look after yourself

It is important to listen to what your body is telling you. If you feel drained mentally and physically, the chances are you need to pay a bit more attention to your diet and exercise regime and perhaps catch up on a little sleep.
. . . Next time you go shopping add some healthy, tasty food to your basket. Eating properly and doing more exercise will help you sleep better and get you feeling more positive.


Ten things to remember
How to be positive
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