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Life Is Cruel To Us Sometimes, But We Can Choose Not To Be Knocked Down

Life Is Cruel To Us Sometimes, But We Can Choose Not To Be Knocked Down

Life has a habit of throwing us in the rubbish dump sometimes. It can be hard to find our way out and days can feel like a struggle to feel normal again. Feeling knocked down can lead to feelings of apathy, of giving up because you feel beaten down.

But as hard as it feels sometimes, receiving a cruel blow by fate can present us with unique opportunities — opportunities to rebuild our lives and use it as fuel to create a second chance of living life in a new and positive way.

The actor Keanu Reeves has never shied away from his traumatic past. Having gone through dark times in his life, he has openly talked about how the struggles have affected him, how he chose to use these tragic experiences to mold a positive outlook and how it shaped his life. He is a true inspiration for using each setback as a reason to push forward and become a better person.

Prove Yourself Despite Personal Struggles

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Keanu Reeves 2

    As a young boy, Keanu Reeves grew up without the influence of his father after he left his mother when Keanu was just three years old. Moving from city to city meant Reeves attended several different schools, making it difficult to make friends, all while he struggled hugely with dyslexia.

    While this isn’t an uncommon life situation for many, Reeves has spoken of the challenges he faced leaving school without gaining a diploma. But through determination, he overcame his difficulty of reading and is now an avid reader.

    Struggles from such an early age can influence us to a much greater extent, but we do have the ability to change how we feel and our thoughts and beliefs about ourselves — beliefs that have often been ingrained in us from our early years. We can choose to use them as excuses to struggle our way through life or use them as a torch to guide us onto a better path.

    Recognize the Construction That Comes From Destruction

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    Keanu Reeves 1

      The most tragic part of his life was to start at the age of 23 when his closest friend River Phoenix died of a drug overdose. He spoke of his grief at the loss of such a young, talented person in his life.

      “He was a remarkable human, person, and actor. We got along very well, and I miss him. I think of him often.”

      But it wasn’t long afterward that he met and fell in love with Jennifer Syme  — a whirlwind romance that resulted in Jennifer becoming pregnant shortly after. But with a month of the pregnancy to go, their baby daughter was stillborn, which was something that both found hard to come to terms with. The relationship eventually broke down, and it was a year later that Jennifer was tragically killed in a car accident.

      While we all experience grief at some point in our lives, to have such loss at such a young age would make even the strongest person feel lost and bereaved. But Keanu used his dark experiences to perceive loss as gain, to reconstruct his life and adopt a positive mindset and attitude towards life.

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      Use the Hard Times to Flourish

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        While it’s easy to run and hide when tragedy enters our lives, the key to continuing on your path is to use your experiences — both good and bad — to create a better version of yourself.

        Keanu’s ability to push on led him to become a successful actor starring in huge blockbuster movies. He strived to do what he loved and has shown that adversity doesn’t have to break you — you can come out on the other side.

        Despite becoming a wealthy man, Keanu says his experiences of loss have made him look differently toward money. He is a big giver to charities and often gave away his earnings to the set staff, even when it meant taking cuts to make sure movie budgets were adhered to. His generosity is down to a different way of looking at life with a more humble foresight and sense of gratitude towards the world around him.

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        Going through experiences such as loss, pain, suffering, loneliness, and devastation has a way of showing us the need to appreciate what we have. We have within us the potential to bounce back stronger and more resilient than before. We can learn to be at peace with the beauty that life offers. It’s an opportunity to see that life is short and should be lived to its optimum, an opportunity to becoming our true self and how we can come out a better person on the other side.

        Featured photo credit: wallpapersdsc.net via wallpapersdsc.net

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        Jenny Marchal

        A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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        Last Updated on October 22, 2020

        11 Tips for Maintaining a Positive Attitude Every Day

        11 Tips for Maintaining a Positive Attitude Every Day

        Maintaining a positive attitude is critical when you want to achieve anything or simply improve the quality of your life. Most success literature will talk about the power of positive thinking and how important it is, but it’s often easier said than done.

        In this article, you’ll find 11 tips for maintaining your positive attitude no matter what’s going on in your life.

        1. You Determine Your Reality

        It’s important to realize that you determine your reality by the way you react to the outside world. When something happens, you get to choose whether it’s a positive or negative situation and react accordingly.

        For example, if you lose your job, your first reaction will likely be one of anger, frustration, and hopelessness. However, what if you were able to turn those emotions around and look at that experience as an opportunity.

        You now have the chance to find a job where you will be able to learn new skills and perhaps even be happier. And in the meantime, you have some free time to analyze what direction you want the next stage of your life to go in.

        2. Start Your Day Strong

        Most people have to drag themselves out of bed, and this sets a negative state of mind for their entire day. Positive people create a long-term morning ritual that reinforces how great life is and how happy they are to be alive.

        I used to wake up and immediately turn on Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life to get me into a positive mood. Now I start my day by reading or listening to something positive. Whether you have 1 minute, 15 minutes, or an hour to dedicate to your ritual, you can start the day in a way that helps you feel relaxed and ready for the day ahead.

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        Cultivate a positive attitude with a great morning routine.

          3. Exercise Is the Natural Feel-Good Drug

          Exercise is a great way to maintain a good attitude because of all the positive chemicals it releases into the bloodstream.

          One study found that between groups who participated in high-intensity interval training, moderate continuous training, and no exercise, those in the second group experienced the greatest drop in depressive symptoms and stress[1]. Therefore, if you’re looking to exercise to help you feel good, get your heart rate up, but don’t push too hard or you may increase overall stress.

          Also, remember that exercise can include many activities. If you don’t like running, try dancing or kickboxing instead. Put on some upbeat music to kick up the positive vibes even more.

          4. Use Books, Audio and Videos to Overload Your Brain with Positivity

          There are millions of amazing books, podcasts, and videos for you to absorb from people who are inspiring and living the life of their dreams. Tap into their positive emotions and their experience by learning how they think and what they do to create the lives they want.

          You can do this in the morning or while exercising, eating, commuting, cooking, cleaning… there’s always time for positivity.

          5. Your Language Shapes Your Thoughts

          Little changes in your language can change the way you think and how you act. Whenever someone greets you and asks how you’re doing, do you answer with “fine” or “not too bad”? Think about just what this language is communicating to others… and yourself.

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          I always answer with “great,” “fantastic,” or “amazing.” Not only does this remind me that life really is great, but it usually helps the other person shift toward a positive attitude as well.

          Also, take some time to look at the way your inner voice talks to you. Is that language positive or negative? If it’s overly critical or negative, it may be time to tap into some mindfulness meditation in order to shift your inner critic to an inner cheerleader.

          6. Hang out With Positive People

          It is often said that you will have a similar level of health, income and lifestyle as the five people you spend the most time with.

          So if you want to be fit, then start to hang out with fit people. Want to start a business? Then hang out with business owners. And if you want to be positive, make sure you’re hanging out with positive people[2].

          7. Show Your Appreciation for Others

          By appreciating others for a job well done, their outfit, or their smile, you start to cause a positive chain reaction. Stop complaining and focus on all the good others are doing around you.

          Don’t you feel great when you receive a compliment from someone else? Well, if you want to receive more, then start giving them out and watch what happens to the people around you.

          One particular study found that people who sent letters of gratitude experienced significant increases in happiness scores[3]. If you don’t feel like writing a letter, send a nice text to someone who recently helped you out, or send an email thanking your coworker for always helping pick up the slack around the office. Whatever it is, take some time to show gratitude.

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          8. Garbage In, Garbage Out

          This is an expression from programming where the result is only as good as the input. If you’re feeding yourself with negativity all day long, then it’s pretty obvious you’re going to be feeling negative as well.

          A great deal of the media thrives on negativity. Put yourself on a negativity diet (including people) and watch how much easier it is to maintain your positive attitude.

          9. Stop Negative Thoughts in Their Tracks

          It’s hard to be a constantly positive person, and negative thoughts are going to bubble up from time to time. These will be more frequent in the beginning but can decrease as you practice the tips we’re talking about. When you start to notice negative thoughts, you can use a pattern interrupt to stop them in their tracks.

          The idea is to interrupt your current thought pattern and shift to a more positive outlook. One way to do this is to set a visual or auditory cue. It can be something as simple as a bracelet you wear each day or the sound of a car passing outside your window. Whenever you see or hear the cue, use it to shift your thoughts to something positive.

          You can learn more on how to shift your mindset and negative attitudes in the following video:

          10. Live With Gratitude

          So many positive things happen during our day, and we often ignore them while letting one negative comment or event ruin our mood. It can help to keep a gratitude journal where you jot down things you are grateful for each night or during the day.

          If you’re reading this, then you probably live with a roof over your head and food in your belly, which is a daily struggle for a large portion of the world. However, we often take these things for granted and don’t realize just how great we have it.

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          Try refocusing your thoughts towards everything you do have instead of what you don’t. One study found that reflecting on past experiences with a sense of gratitude can lead to increases in both hope and happiness[4]. That’s a great reason to give it a go today.

          You can find more ways to practice gratitude in this article.

          11. Recharge Your Batteries

          One key to adopting a positive attitude is taking the time to recharge your batteries. This might mean taking a few hours on the weekend to read a positive book or taking a few weeks for a holiday.

          If you’re not in the position to travel, you can take a staycation, or have a “home holiday” where you simply switch off from the outside world and spend time doing things you love.

          Final Thoughts

          You now have 11 tips for maintaining your positive attitude, but they are no use to you unless you implement them into your life.

          Start small, and pick the easiest tip or the one that you really love and introduce it into your life starting right now. Then, over time, start implementing the other tips and watch your positivity soar.

          More Tips About Staying Positive

          Featured photo credit: Pepe Cast Zam via unsplash.com

          Reference

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