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positively present picks : april 29, 2016

Lemons

Quote-of-the-week

"When you look at life through the eyes of gratitude, 
the world becomes a magical and amazing place." 

Jennifer Gayle
 

Links-I-Love   

Beyoncé's Lemonade : inspired me (and the illustration above!)

Every Day Matters 2017 : just got my proof in the mail. hooray! 

Stay or Leave a Relationship? : very thought-provoking video

How to Handle Difficult Times : excellent advice via Zen Habits

The Happiness Narrative : an interesting video on happiness

Mother's Day Poem Generator : what a clever idea! use this for your mom

Sivana Spirit Interview : loved the questions for this interview

How to Turn Negative Experiences into Positive Life Lessons : yes! 

You Are Your Only Limit : incredibly true + beautifully written

33 Powerful Ways to Overcome Fear : don't let fear hold you back

Start the Morning Right : 10 powerful, simple things to do 

Rewire Your Thinking + Kick Fear in the Face! : motivating, for sure!

8 Reasons to Unplug : we all benefit from the great outdoors

What Type of Introvert Are You? : my result was so accurate

Break the Ice : clothing designed to help people date IRL! 

 

Listening

Listen to this playlist on YouTube.

"Third Eye" — Florence + the Machine
"Meridian" — Zola Blood
"Oracle" — Chymes
"Wolves" — August and After
"7 Years" (Cover) — Jasmine Thompson
"A Change of Heart"— The 1975
"Break Every Chain" — Paxton Ingram
"Get Used to It" — Justin Bieber
"Marceline" — Vista Kicks
"Spiral" — Rebecca Clements

 

Reading

Check out my reading list on GoodReads.
 

The Good House: A Novel
Ann Leary 

It Didn't Start with You:
How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes
Who We Are and How to End the Cycle

Mark Wolynn
  

I write books too! Check it out...

The Positively Present Guide to Life
Dani DiPirro

Stay Positive: Daily Reminders
from Positively Present
Dani DiPirro


the top 6 benefits of having an open mind

Open mind

 

Even if you consider yourself a well-rounded, nonjudgmental person, being open-minded can be a challenge at times. When we’re young, we’re taught a set of beliefs and values and, throughout our lives, we tend to surround ourselves with people who share the same values and beliefs. This presents a challenge when we're faced with ideas that conflict with our own and, though we may wish to be open-minded, we may struggle with actually doing it from time to time.

Having strong beliefs can be a wonderful thing, and it’s important to stay true to your values, but having strong beliefs doesn't have to mean closing your mind to what others have to say. In fact, closing your mind to others’ beliefs is a sure sign that you don’t feel confident enough in your own. An open mind can mean standing firm on what you believe in, but also being willing to hear what others have to say. It means knowing what you value while appreciating what others value as well.

When your mind is open, you have the opportunity to reap many rewards ¾ new perspectives, new experiences, and even new friends. There is much to be gained from opening the door to your mind and letting new ideas and beliefs in. Here are just a few of the benefits you can experience when you choose open-mindedness:

 

FREEDOM FROM CONTROL

An open mind frees you from having to be in complete control of everything you experience. By allowing for new points of view and new experiences, you open yourself up to new thoughts, and you challenge the beliefs you currently have. While this might sound a bit unnerving (particularly if you feel very strongly about your beliefs), it’s actually quite liberating to experience the world with an open mind.

 

NEW, LIBERATING EXPERIENCES

Keeping your mind open to new ideas almost always keeps your heart open to new experiences. This doesn’t mean you’re going to engage in acts that counter your current beliefs, but it does mean you’re likely to experience things you’ve never encountered before, and these new experiences will either help shift your current beliefs or remind you why those values are so essential to who you are.

 

VALUABLE VULENRABILITY

Vulnerability sounds intimidating, but it’s actually one of the greatest things you can experience -- and it’s often the result of having an open mind. By opening your mind to the world around you (and others’ points of view), you’re admitting that there are possibilities you may not have considered before. This admission -- while terrifying at times -- is liberating and exhilarating.

 

FRESH MISTAKES

Mistakes probably sound like something you don’t want to have more of in your life, but they’re, in fact, a wonderful side effect of opening your mind. Striving to see life from others' perspectives allows you to not only recognize potential mistakes you’ve made in the past, but also to be open to the idea that you may make more mistakes in the future. Mistakes are part of life, and the acceptance of them is one of the greatest benefits of open-mindedness.

 

INNER STRENGTH

An open mind provides a platform on which you can build, piling new idea on top of old. It allows you to learn and experience new things, and these experiences can build on (and enhance) old believes. Every experience you have strengthens who you are and what you believe in, but it’s very difficult to experience novel things if you don’t keep an open mind.

 

STUNNING CONFIDENCE

Those who are open-minded have the greatest confidence. Why? Because they possess a strong sense of self. They are not confined by their own believes, but, instead, are open to their own values, as well as those of others. And the more open-minded they continue to be, the more they come to understand themselves and the world around them. If you want to be confident, stay open-minded.

 

Even with the knowledge of these brilliant benefits, keeping an open mind can be a challenge. For some, it comes as effortlessly as breathing. For others, it may be something they have to work hard to attain. This often has a lot to do with how you were raised (as well as what your personality type is), but regardless of your background or personal traits, don’t give up on open-minded thinking. There are so many advantages to living life with an open mind, and the effort it takes to cultivate open-mindedness will be well worth the rewards you will reap.

  

Finding-Self-Cover

Open-mindedness towards others starts with having an open mind toward yourself. If you're looking for some more soul-searching inspiration, check out the Finding Yourself workbook. Discover more about yourself, and uncover what you want most by downloading a copy of the e-book Finding Yourself: A Soul-Searching Workbook for Surprising Self Discovery. Filled with inspiration, questions, and activities to get you thinking about what it means to be you, Finding Yourself is a must for learning more about who you are and about what matters most to you. Learn more about the workbook here and purchase your own copy here.


positively present picks : april 22, 2016

Where-you-need-to-be

Quote-of-the-week

"Oh, what we could be if we stopped carrying
around the remains of who we were."

Tyler Knott Gregson
 

Links-I-Love   

Career Day Speech! : read the speech I gave at my high school :)

Entrepreneur on Fire Interview : so honored to be a guest on this podcast

How to Pay Attention : wonderful tips for more mindful living

5 Ways Your Phone Can Enhance Your Productivity : great tips!

Feminism Is Consciousness : amazing video by Danielle LaPorte

Want to Positively Influence Others? : then you need to read this

Make Time for Self-Love : why you absolutely need to make time

Feel Overwhelmed? : read up on 5 ways to turn stress into joy

Be the Lighthouse : love this article about sending out your light

Why Moms Are the Best : they really are amazing, aren't they?

How to Set Boundaries : be generous (without being a doormat!)

Snapchat! : I'm loving it so much ;) screenshot this + add me!

 

Listening

Listen to this playlist on YouTube.

"New Romantics" — Taylor Swift
"A Praise Chorus" — Jimmy Eat World
"Sinking Islands" —Sun.Set.Ships
"Just Like Fire" — P!nk
"Amerika" — Young the Giant
"U-Turn"— Tegan and Sara
"You Don't Own Me" — Grace ft. G-Eazy
"Heart of a Dog" — The Kills
"Dreamland" — Wild Belle
"Spring / Sun / Winter / Dread" — Everything Everything

 

Reading

Check out my reading list on GoodReads.
 

You Can Understand Your Dreams:
Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life

David Fontana

A Man Called Ove: A Novel
Fredrik Backman

It Didn't Start with You:
How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes
Who We Are and How to End the Cycle

Mark Wolynn
  

I write books too! Check it out...

The Positively Present Guide to Life
Dani DiPirro

Stay Positive: Daily Reminders
from Positively Present
Dani DiPirro


5 reasons to nix the negativity in your life

Negativity-is-Boring
 

Note: I'm writing today's post in honor of my mom, whose birthday is tomorrow and who is one of the most positive people I know. Happy birthday, Mama Bear! I love you to the sky and back! 

 

Obviously I strive my hardest not to be negative and to remove negativity from my life, but even I can't deny that negativity is oddly alluring sometimes. Negativity can come in many forms -- from a critical thought about yourself to an energy-draining individual to something as seemingly harmless as a joke -- and it's not always as easy to identify (or resist!) as you might think.

Negativity is sneaky. It creeps up on you when you're feeling down; it tries its hardest to pull you away from the positive when you're feeling good. And sometimes it even comes in the form of disguise, such as some kinds of humor. (Just because it makes you laugh doesn't mean it's positive!) We all battle negativity (both internally and externally) from time to time, but one of the best ways I've found to combat that sneak little devil is to remind myself of why negativity does absolutely no good. 

We all know that, generally speaking, negativity is bad. We cannot control others' negativity or negative situations, but we can control our own negative thoughts and reactions. Of course, this is often easier said than done. To combat negative thinking, I've found that  that reflecting on why negativity is so unhealthy and unproductive actually helps me keep the negative thoughts at bay. When negative thoughts, people, or situations try to plague me, I reflect on these five important truths about negativity: 

  

NEGATIVITY IS BORING. 

Unfortunately, for a lot of people, it's easier to be negative than to be positive. It's very tempting give into (and even embrace) negativity, particularly with so much negativity surrounding us in the media (and sometimes in other people). And particularly because other people will often join in on negative commentary. (Just think of how often you've heard someone at work moan, "How is it only Monday!?") Negativity it commonplace. It's boring. It's the easy thing to do -- whining about the bad weather or complaining that you're stressed -- and giving into it can feel like a quick fix. It gives you a little rush to vent or whine, but it negativity is so common that focusing it not only makes you less happy, but it also makes you incredibly average. You're better than average and you know it! 

 

NEGATIVITY IS UNATTRACTIVE. 

Though people do sometimes feed off one another's negativity, people (especially the kind you want to be around!) are also drawn to happy people. Positivity, while not the same as happiness, generally makes you happier and more enjoyable to be around. Think about this: would you rather be around someone who is grumpy and moping and complaining, or would you rather spend time with someone who is always looking for the good in a situation? You aren't attracted to negative people and positive people certainly won't be attracted to you if you're negative. It's cliche but true: you attract what you are. If you want to attract positivity, you have to be positive. 

 

NEGATIVITY IS POINTLESS. 

Much like that old saying worrying, negativity is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but it gets you nowhere. (Erma Bombeck thought of this great analogy!) While it's fine to prepare unpleasant outcomes (i.e., backing up your computer files in the event that your computer dies), there's nothing to be gained from dwelling in negativity. For example, if your computer were to breakdown, it does no good to complain about it, moaning, "Everything always goes wrong! That thing was a complete waste of money!" What would do good is focusing on the positive (a chance to get a new computer or, if that's not possible, an opportunity to spend time with a friend while you borrow theirs). Positive thinking won't fix negative situations, but it will help you make the most of them. (Unlike negativity, which adds nothing of value to any situation!)

 

NEGATIVITY IS TIRING. 

Think about something that makes you happy. Now think about the last sad thing you saw. Which thought was more draining? Negativity is emotionally and physically draining. The more you do it, the more of a toll it takes on your mind and body. While it sometimes feels easier to go with the first thought that comes to mind ("ugh, it's raining again!"), the quick-fix negative thought will ultimately cause more harm than good, particularly if you start out with negativity as you begin your day. You invite one negative thought in and it takes it as an open invitation to bring all its friends ("it's rainy," "I'm so tired," "I have so much to do today," "I'll never get it all done," etc.) One negative thought can lead to another and before you know it, you are emotionally drained from thinking thoughts that make you upset, sad, or angry.

 

NEGATIVITY IS TIME-CONSUMING. 

Because negativity is so emotionally (and physically!) draining, it takes much more of our time than positivity does -- even if positive thoughts are sometimes more difficult to conjure up than negative ones. Also, if you allow yourself to think about what might go wrong in a situation, it's very likely your mind will wander to all of the other possible aspects of life in which something could go wrong. You'll then begin to worry about those scenarios and your mind won't be able to help trying to come up with solutions to those nonexistent problems. Before you know it, you'll have spend loads of time stressing out and analyzing a situation that might never happen! Negativity not only wastes time and emotional energy, but it also often causes you to live in the future, a place that is completely fictional!

 

Clearly there a lot of reasons not to be negative, but what do you do if you find yourself experiencing negative thoughts? One of the best tactics for preventing negativity from dominating your mind is simply being aware of your thoughts. Often we think without thinking (sounds weird, but consider how much you've thought about today without really thinking about it!). Thinking-without-thinking can cause your mind to dwell on certain (often negative) things. Pay attention to your thoughts and, without judging them, try to nudge them in a more positive direction. This will take time, effort, and practice so don't be hard on yourself if it's not easy to do. I still struggle with this all the time, and I write about positivity for a living! Whenever you're struggling to stay positive, try to remember the five reasons why negativity is so not worth it, and you'll find that it's just a bit easier to direct your thoughts in a more positive direction. 

 

 

Loving-Your-Self

Nixing negativity and focusing on the positive is an amazing act of self-love. Want to empower yourself with some more serious self-love and acceptance? Start loving yourself (or increase the love you already have for yourself!) with the inspiration and motivation found in Loving Your Self: An Empowering Workbook for Increasing Self-LoveFilled with uplifting encouragement, thought-provoking questions, and engaging exercises, Loving Your Self is an essential tool for mastering the art of self-love. Learn more about the workbook here and purchase your own copy here.


positively present picks : april 15, 2016

Dumbledore-Quote


Quote-of-the-week

“We become what we think about all day long.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson
 

Links-I-Love   

A Mini-Guide to Mastering Pinterest : my tips on using one of my favorite tools!

8 Forgotten Truths about Happiness : #2 is absolutely, positively vital for a positive life

Stop Waiting for Tomorrow : today is the only day that's guaranteed

Join the FREE Your Most Radiant Live Ever Summit & get tips from 40+ experts! 

21 Timeless Strategies to Lower Everyday Stress : less stress, more happiness

5 Reasons to Forgive Yourself : carrying around blame never helps anyone

Alcohol-Free Ways to Cope with Social Anxiety : such great, mindful tips

Busy Bee Gift Baskets : love these cute baskets (perfect for Mother's Day!)

Self-Love Tips for Relationships : loving yourself changes all your relationships

Use Your Wings : need some uplifting inspiration? read this great post

3 Reasons to Embrace Solitude : alone time can be really good for you

 

Listening

Listen to this playlist on YouTube.

"Boyfriend" — Tegan and Sara
"Remember" — Sutherland
"Castle" — Halsey
"Get to Heaven" — Everything Everything
"All About You" — MYYRA
"Nothing Where Something..."— Vanessa Carlton
"Lush Life" — Zara Larsson
"Black Water" — Of Monsters and Men
"I Want You" — Marian Hill
"So Alive" — Goo Goo Dolls

 

Reading

Check out my reading list on GoodReads.
 

Midwives
Chris Bohjalian

Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets
J. K. Rowling
  

I write books too! Check it out...

The Positively Present Guide to Life
Dani DiPirro

Stay Positive: Daily Reminders
from Positively Present
Dani DiPirro