Maintaining a sunny disposition can be difficult, particularly when we find ourselves caught up in trial and tumult. It’s important to remember, however, that positivity is a matter of perspective.
Through faith, Catholics have the strength to maintain a brighter outlook and the tools to remain hopeful regardless of circumstance.
More than that, as stewards of Christ, it is our responsibility to carry His abundant love for us in our hearts and to dedicate our time and talent to carrying out God’s work on earth.
Hope is part of the work we carry out in His name and, when we live in positivity, we provide sustenance for a hopeful heart.
How to stay positive as a Catholic
Let go and let God in
Often, the source of negativity in our lives stems from the challenges we face, stress or the feeling that events that affect us are beyond our control.
When we face emotional turmoil, physical challenges such as illness or troubles in our relationships with family, friends and co-workers, it can be difficult to remain positive and hopeful all the time.
Through faith, however, we know that when we lay our burdens at God’s feet and when we surrender to God’s plan for our lives, things may not work out the way we want - but they will work out the way they are supposed to.
When we let go and let God in, nothing is hopeless and no negative feelings can stand against God’s love for you.
In 2013, a study by Pew Research found that prayer has a number of positive psychological effects. In addition to deepening your faith and your relationship with God, prayer serves to improve your self-control, can make you become a kinder person and it will help you to forgive and move on from setbacks. Prayer can also help you build trust and it can serve as a release of stress and negative emotions.
Making a conscious decision to maintain an attitude of gratitude is a great way to focus your mind on the many blessings in your life.
It is all too easy, when faced with troubling or challenging times, to see only the negatives of the circumstances you have found yourself in.
Instead, actively practice gratitude by thinking about the positives such as the blessings that God bestows upon us every day. This Forbes article details the positive benefits of practicing conscious gratefulness.
Be of service
The old adage - ‘when you help others, you help yourself’- is one of those sayings that has been around a long time because it rings with truth.
When you offer a helping hand to others, and shine the light of charity and goodness into their life, you can’t help but feel lighter, brighter and more positive. In addition to the internal rewards of having lent a helping hand, charitable actions and being of service is what the Lord has called us to do on His behalf.
As Luke 6:38 says:
“Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”
Heading into 2018, it is important for us, as Catholics, to begin the New Year with hearts full of hope and charity, in order that we may be the stewards the Lord has called us to be.