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How to Live a “Contagious” Life and Start an Epidemic!

How to Live a “Contagious” Life and Start an Epidemic!

Have you ever been around someone with a cold or flu? The sneezing, running nose, sore throat, and whatever else they’re carrying are enough to make you want to run for cover. Why? Because viruses are contagious and none of us want to catch them.

The point is, we can tell when people are sick because they demonstrate certain characteristicsthat tell us to “stay away.” If you’ve spent any time around someone who is sick you know what I’m talking about—you find yourself feeling miserable within minutes.

Not wanting to be around sick people who may be contagious is a no-brainer, but what about people who are positive, fun, encouraging and passionate? Everyone wants to be around those folks because their energy rubs off on others—their energy is contagious. They are usually leaders whose character traits are mirrored by the people around them. The key is learning how to breathe in some of that positive energy for yourself.

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If you want to live a contagious life, but feel like you’ve been drowning in the sea of mediocrity lately, it’s time to amp things up a bit. Here are a few things you can try to get infected with positivity:

Have the right attitude

A right attitude is contagious: most people want to be around others who are humble, teachable, and positive. You may not be the most talented or experienced person, but with a great attitude, you’ll always stand out in a crowd. 

Know who they are

People who have a good self-image are more likely to convey an infectious attitude. They focus on their strengths, not their weaknesses, and they don’t rely on their performance as a barometer for their self worth.

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Avoid “stinking thinking”

Contagious people encounter difficult circumstances like the rest of us; they just filter them before passing them on. They focus on the positive and see adversity as a challenge. They watch what they tell themselves and take an optimistic tone. You won’t hear any negative self-talk because they’ve trained themselves to filter it and avoid ruminating about things that are negative and will bring them down.

Stop making excuses

The “I’ll never change, or this is just how I am” mentality has got to go. If you want to live a more contagious life you have to step outside the box and be willing to take some risks: excuses keep you stuck. You are only a moment away from experiencing truth by what you chose to believe about yourself and your circumstances. You can change, millions of people have. You only have one life—go for it!

Fuel their passion

Passion is contagious. Look around at the people you know who are inspiring: they are generally passionate about something. They are motivators, and tend to be willing to take risks to add some gas to their fire.

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Pass the infection around

Laughter really is the best medicine, and it’s infectious. Contagious people spread positive energy by acting goofy, joking around, and making others laugh. They don’t take themselves too seriously all the time.

Strive for personal growth

Contagious people are movers and shakers: they are always looking for new ways to stimulate their minds and challenge themselves with new adventures. They are intention on nurturing personal growth and development, and you’ll find them reading, writing, taking a course, trying a new sport or hobby, or doing something adventurous.

It’s never too late to live a contagious life; all it takes is a decision. Start today by taking some next steps to change, and start an epidemic!

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Back at you: What strategies have you implemented to live a more contagious life?

Featured photo credit: young pretty woman drinking coffee via Shutterstock

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Rita Schulte LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

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Last Updated on December 2, 2019

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

Plato knew that the body and mind are intimately linked. And in the late 1800s, the Mayo brothers, famous physicians, estimated that over half of all hospital beds are filled with people suffering from frustration, anxiety, worry and despair. Causes of worry are everywhere, in our relationships and our jobs, so it’s key we find ways to take charge of the stress.

In his classic book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie offers tools to ditch excessive worrying that help you make a worry-free environment for your private and professional life.

These are the top 10 tips to grab worry by the horns and wrestle it to the ground:

1. Make Your Decision and Never Look Back

Have you ever made a decision in life only to second-guess it afterwards? Of course you have! It’s hard not to wonder whether you’ve done the right thing and whether there might still be time to take another path.

But keep this in mind: you’ve already made your decision, so act decisively on it and dismiss all your anxiety about it.

Don’t stop to hesitate, to reconsider, or to retrace your steps. Once you’ve chosen a course of action, stick to it and never waver.

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2. Live for Today, Package Things up in “Day-Tight Compartments”

You know that feeling: tossing, turning and worrying over something that happened or something that might, well into the wee hours. To avoid this pointless worrying, you need “day-tight compartments”. Much as a ship has different watertight compartments, your own “day-tight” ones are a way to limit your attention to the present day.

The rule is simple: whatever happened in the past or might happen in the future must not intrude upon today. Everything else has to wait its turn for tomorrow’s box or stay stuck in the past.

3. Embrace the Worst-Case Scenario and Strategize to Offset It

If you’re worried about something, ask yourself: “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Could you lose your job? Be jailed? Get killed?

Whatever the “worst” might be, it’s probably not so world-ending. You could probably even bounce back from it!

If, for example, you lose your job, you could always find another. Once you accept the worst-case scenario and get thinking about contingency plans, you’ll feel calmer.

4. Put a Lid on Your Worrying

Sometimes we stress endlessly about negative experiences when just walking away from them would serve us far better.

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To make squashing that worry easier, try this strategy, straight from stock traders: it’s called the “stop-loss” order, where shares are bought at a certain price, and then their price development is observed. If things go badly and the share price hits a certain point, they are sold off immediately. This stops the loss from increasing further.

In the same manner, you can put a stop-loss order on things that cause you stress and grief.

5. Fake It ‘Til You Make It – Happiness, That Is

We can’t directly influence how we feel, but we can nudge ourselves to change through how we think and act.

If you’re feeling sad or low, slap a big grin on your face and whistle a chipper tune. You’ll find it impossible to be blue when acting cheerful. But you don’t necessarily need to act outwardly happy; you can simply think happier thoughts instead.

Marcus Aurelius summed it up aptly:

“Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

6. Give for the Joy of Giving

When we perform acts of kindness, we often do so with the expectation of gratitude. But harboring such expectations will probably leave you disappointed.

One person well aware of this fact was the lawyer Samuel Leibowitz. Over the course of his career, Leibowitz saved 78 people from going to the electric chair. Guess how many thanked him? None.

So stop expecting gratitude when you’re kind to someone. Instead, take joy from the act yourself.

7. Dump Envy – Enjoy Being Uniquely You

Your genes are completely unique. Even if someone had the same parents as you, the likelihood of someone identical to you being born is just one in 300,000 billion.

Despite this amazing fact, many of us long to be someone else, thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. But living your life this way is pointless. Embrace your uniqueness and get comfortable with who you really are: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

8. Haters Will Hate — It Just Means You’re Doing It Right

When you’re criticized, it often means you’re accomplishing something noteworthy. In fact, let’s take it a step further and consider this: the more you’re criticized, the more influential and important a person you likely are.

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So the next time somebody talks you down, don’t let it get to you. Take it as a compliment!

9. Chill Out! Learn to Rest Before You Get Tired

Scientists agree that emotions are the most common cause of fatigue. And it works the other way around, too: fatigue produces more worries and negative emotions.

It should be clear, therefore, that you’ve got to relax regularly before you feel tired. Otherwise, worries and fatigue will accumulate on top of each other.

It’s impossible to worry when you are relaxed, and regular rest helps you maintain your ability to work effectively.

10. Get Organized and Enjoy Your Work

There are few greater sources of misery in life than having to work, day in, day out, in a job you despise. It would make sense then that you shouldn’t pick a job you hate, or even just dislike doing.

But say you already have a job. How can you make it more enjoyable and worry-free? One way is to stay organized: a desk full of unanswered mails and memos is sure to breed worries.

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Better yet, rethink about the job you’re doing: What to Do When You Hate Your Job but Want a Successful Career

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Featured photo credit: Tyler Nix via unsplash.com

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