From Florida Hospital - Apopka
Your face will tell you a lot about the way you are feeling, and even your general outlook on life. Check out that little space between your eyebrows – is it crinkling right now? Are your lips pouting? Eyes wincing? Jaw clenching? Nose wrinkling? If so, you might just need a little outlook shift. And we’ve got some tips that may help turn that pout – and outlook - around in no time.
Alexander Chriest, Education Manager for CREATION Health Employees, has valuable advice when it comes to improving what your face might be portraying. “Having a positive attitude generally leads to a happier life, which you really do “wear,” says Chriest. “I explain it as making the choice to put on different lenses,” he continues.
“If you have your lighter, positive lenses on, you see things a little brighter and interpret your surroundings and life events with more grace or patience.” “If you have darker lenses on, you tend to miss the beauty of what’s around you, only see the negative side of a situation and experience more frustration,” he adds.
So, what does it ultimately take to wear a more positive outlook? Chriest shares his insights.
There are many things that we can’t necessarily control in our lives. Good and bad things happen. When good things happen, it makes us feel amazing and encouraged. It’s when the bad things happen that tries our outlook.
"When challenging things happen in your life, focus on the things that you can control in the situation,” says Chriest. You can control how you view your challenges, how you try to overcome them, and whether something positive could result from them in the future,” he adds.
Chriest continues, “It’s important to remember that we always have choices, even if it feels like we don’t.” We have control over our thoughts, feelings, how we treat others, health, nutrition, and the list continues. If you find your face starting to crinkle, grab your lighter lenses and focus on something that you can do to harness a lighter and brighter outlook.
Shift your perspective
You just got the spinning circle of document death and completely lost that important work report, on which you’ve spent hours, in cyberspace. Ugh. You just got cut-off by a car trying to merge into your lane, nearly causing an accident. Double Ugh. Can you feel your face wincing yet?
We go about our day expecting that everything is going to pan out perfectly. If we change our perspective and accept that we can’t always control the world and people around us, we tend to have lighter lenses on. We can better accept these challenges as they come and move on in a positive direction.
Furthermore, Chriest adds, “When you shift your perspective you tend to appreciate any challenge and see it as a positive because it could always be worse.” If you lost three hours of work on that important document, at least you didn’t lose the entire thing. Instead of being upset with someone who cut you off while driving, be grateful that you skirted an accident and are OK. Just because you may have dark lenses on one minute, doesn’t mean you can’t take them off and put the lighter ones on the next.
Chriest offers one of his pearls of wisdom: “Sometimes I ask myself: Am I having a bad day or 5 bad minutes?” “Don’t let one upsetting moment ruin the rest of your time and experiences in that day.”
Create a “Happiness Toolkit”
“What makes you the happiest?” “It could be one thing or many, but whatever makes you happy should be in a toolkit that you have available when you need a shift in lenses,” suggests Chriest.
You can get creative with this. It could be a digital folder housing pictures of things that remind you of what makes you happy, or a physical “toolkit” that you keep in your car with tokens of items that make you happy and inspire you.
When you are experiencing struggles, reach into this toolkit for a shift toward positivity. How could you not turn that pout into a smile after looking at photos of loved ones, reading your favorite inspirational quotes, holding a sentimental gift, seeing a souvenir from your favorite vacation, or focusing on a symbol of one of your greatest achievements?
“Making a happiness toolkit is a really constructive way to take control of a situation that is bringing you down,” says Chriest. It’s an instant boost that can help you to recognize and appreciate the wonderful things in your life when a more negative moment might be making you otherwise stressed.
So, the next time you get that jaw clenching, nose wrinkling, eye wincing feeling, remember to put on your brighter lenses: Take control, shift your perspective, and grab your happiness toolkit to improve – and wear – a more positive outlook.