Our thoughts impact our health: Changing how you react to negative situations

Some say it is not what happens to you but how you look at what happens that determines happiness and fortitude. No one goes unscathed in this life, and each of us inevitably experience heartbreak, disappointment, and stress.

We all know those people who lose their minds when their train is late, they find themselves on a long line, or forget something. Similarly, we all know those who face down a scary medical crisis or a heartbreaking loss and somehow manage to keep a positive outlook, and not take down everyone in their path with their fraught disposition.

Late author and motivational speaker Wayne Dyer said, “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” If you see doom and gloom in every circumstance, you will not only place unnecessary stress — not to mention health risks — on yourself, but in all likelihood, you won’t find much peace or happiness.

Let’s face it. Happiness is an inside job. We all know it, but we all forget it. Life will throw everyone curve balls, and whether we let those annoy us, destroy us, or empower us is solely up to us.

But how do we get there? Here are some actionable tips:

1. Keep it positive. When we find ourselves heading down the negative trail, change course. Remember that words matter. What we say to ourselves creates our reality, so try to keep your thoughts positive. This includes avoiding gossip and joining in the circle of friends who endlessly complain.

2. Sleep. Yep, sleep. It is incredibly easier to look at the world along with all of its challenges in a better light when we feel sufficiently rested. Being recharged also enables us to tackle problems more efficiently. Sleep helps our bodies repair and rewires our cells for strength and stamina. Make it a priority.

3. Delegate. We don’t have to fix everything ourselves. In fact, by off setting tasks to our partners, employees, and children, we are helping them feel included. In the case of our kids, we are teaching them responsibility and the value of hard work, along with the idea that mom does not have to do it all alone. So instead of doing it all and feeling resentful, delegate away, and enjoy some downtime.

4. Check your health. Sometimes moodiness, restlessness, and depression can signal a thyroid problem, hormonal imbalance, or other medical issue. If you find yourself feeling unlike your normal self for several weeks, see your doctor. And don’t forget to schedule your own regular check-ups.

Many times, having and maintaining a good attitude comes down to self-care. When we take care of ourselves, especially as busy parents, we help build up the strength necessary to deal with life’s problems, big and small.

Danielle Sullivan, a mom of three, has worked as a writer and editor in the parenting world for more than 10 years. Sullivan also writes about pets and parenting for Disney’s Babble.com. Find Sullivan on her blogs, Just Write Mom and Some Puppy To Love.