Good grief! Bad news seems relentless these days with the 24/7 news cycle that is now the reality of our existence. Just read the headlines of articles posted on any internet browser or tune in to daily news broadcasts and you will be left with the feeling that not only is everything not well in the world – it never will be again!
If you find yourself slogging along under an increasingly pessimistic doomsday cloud, you can change that. How? Not by the impossible task of trying to change the entire outside world, but by changing yourself on the inside regarding the way you program your own thinking. You can make a choice for traveling light – I did!
I’ve been unable to track down the source of this, but I remember reading that someone was asked why certain negative talk of which he had been a recipient didn’t seem to get him down. The answer was, “I don’t rent space in my head.” I love that reply! That individual understood a fact that seems to escape many people, which is that each of us is the owner of our thoughts. No one else can control our thought patterns unless we allow them to do so. And we have the ability to change those thoughts from negative to positive.
I also do not rent out space in my head. Why should I immerse myself in a vast sea of negative chatter and distressing images via videos, movies, magazines, newspapers, or the internet? I don’t need that additional stress in my life that will only serve to rob me of my health and happiness. Therefore, I’m personally very selective about what I read, see or hear. It is part of traveling light.
Are you being surrounded by negative people? Find some new associates and distance yourself as much as possible from the naysayers, the doomsday advocates, and those persons who denigrate you in any way. (You know the kind of “friends” or associates I’m talking about!)
I have found it challenging to inject moments of deep laughter into my life when I am alone. There are many good points discussed in the article entitled Laughter is the best Medicine, the health benefits of humor and laughter which can be found on HelpGuide.org. Here are five thoughts that they expand upon in the article:
Smile. Count your blessings. When you hear laughter, move toward it. Spend time with fun, playful people. Bring humor into conversations.
Even naturally upbeat people have some down days – it is good to help lift them up as much as possible without assuming their cares as your own personal burden. That is not traveling light!
It is extremely important for me to have as my goal in life the ability to walk in joy, peace, tranquility and love. A song I particularly like that is available on the internet is: Traveling Light By Joel Hansen and Sara Groves
Traveling Light (lyrics)
And about smiling – Snopes.com actually looked into the claim that it takes a greater number of facial muscles to smile than it does to frown. They concluded that there is no real agreement as to how many muscles are involved with either facial action. They also included research data showing the positive effects on the body for smiling and the negative effects on the body for frowning. Their last paragraph begins with these words, “Smiling makes us feel happier.”
And so it does. So for a super happy and stress-relieving combination, just remember to smile while you are traveling light. It works for me!
Sources: Personal experience, plus sources that are embedded in the article