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10 Positive Emotions

I cried yesterday because one-year ago I received a life-changing call from my mom. My mom called to tell me that my step-dad, Mahlon, had a stroke earlier that morning and had been airlifted from our family home in Red Bluff, CA to a nearby hospital. When I received my mom’s call, I was terrified because I had a feeling we were going to lose Mahlon. He’d recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and dementia and I sensed that a stroke would be too much for his body to handle. Unfortunately, my initial instinct was right. Mahlon died five months later on June 10, 2012.

During 2012, I learned so many powerful lessons about caregiving, self-care, and the power of strong relationships. I managed to get through the year by focusing on positive emotions; that’s not to say I didn’t experience depression or negative thoughts, because I did and still do. After all, I’m human. I’m happy, most of the time, but I still struggle. I’ve learned to deal with my negative thoughts by focusing on positive emotions like gratitude.

Positive emotions, optimistic thinking, and more are discussed in “To Sell is Human” by Daniel Pink. In one section of the book, Pink advocates focusing on words that convey positive emotions, such as joy, gratitude, interest, hope, serenity, pride, amusement, inspiration, awe, and love. He urges readers to display these words on an office wall, phone, or computer. More importantly, Pink encourages readers to use these words as a daily prompt; a prompt that will motivate you to outwardly express positive emotions. By doing so, Pink notes, you will be rewarded with a “psychic boost.”

After reading Pink’s thoughts about positive emotions, I decided to make something for you. By clicking here, you can download the image I used in this post and display it on a wall, computer desktop, or phone. Use the picture as a reminder to focus on a positive feeling everyday. For example, today you could focus on cultivating gratitude in your everyday life. You could write a gratitude letter to a loved one, create a gratitude journal or take a friend out for coffee and tell that person why you are grateful to have them in your life. I love these types of exercises because they always leave me feeling happy, hopeful, and positive.

Be well,

Note: The photograph, above, was taken with my iPhone 4S and processed in Snapseed and Over.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Kimberly January 15, 2013, 6:13 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story and creating such an inspiring wallpaper. It’s now sitting proudly on my desktop. Your post came right on time too, as I need a bit of a positivity boost 🙂

    • Tammy Strobel January 15, 2013, 6:39 pm

      Awesome! That makes me happy. 🙂

  • Piggywhistles January 15, 2013, 7:12 pm

    I can hardly believe a year has past since you heard about your step-dad’s stroke. I have been following your journey and love the way you stay so positive. Life has meant that I must downsize and I have gained much inspiration from your blog and book. Thank you so much.

  • Caroline McGraw / A Wish Come Clear January 15, 2013, 9:18 pm

    What a lovely idea! I’ll be downloading your beautiful photo for my desktop, and moreover, I’ll be sending love and light your way.

  • Claire/Just a little less January 15, 2013, 10:27 pm

    Hi, I hope sharing this with your readers also helps you feel positive because telling us about your experiences certainly inspires me. I’m setting up an office nook in my bedroom and have been thinking about displaying a short positive quote – this will do the job. Thank you 🙂

  • AngelJem January 16, 2013, 1:50 am

    Thank you! I have downloaded it and want to use it on Facebook as my profile picture…. Is that OK? 2013 has so far been my year to be happy, focus on the good and build relationships either virtual or actual. I can understand your marking such a significant day’s anniversary, but keep positive. Life is like it is and our attitude alters our perception of it. Thanks for blogging!

    • Tammy Strobel January 16, 2013, 7:13 am

      @Angel – Feel free to use the image for your Facebook profile. 🙂 I’m happy you like it.

  • Mopsa January 16, 2013, 6:31 am

    Your beautiful and inspirational image is now on my desktop 🙂 Thank you!
    In this difficult life phase, you’ve been an inspiration to us all, with your positive and brave approach. Thank you for that, too 🙂

  • becky January 16, 2013, 8:19 am

    tammy, i NEEDED to read this post! thank you SOOOO much for these words, your blog, and finally, i’m writing the comment i’ve been thinking to write…i really enjoyed your book, You Can Buy Happiness…i downloaded it on my kindle. i thought i’d be well acquainted with most of the content tho because i’ve followed your blog for so long. wrong! So much new material, deeper insights, generous sharing, still in your warm, down to earth, approachable let’s learn together tone, but all buffered solidly by your economically trained mind for research. a beautiful map to happier living. so thank you for that as well and best wishes for more of all those positive things mentioned in your photo to be part of each day for you in 2013.

  • Natalie January 16, 2013, 10:14 am

    This is awesome Tammy. Just what I needed at the moment. Thank you for always sharing your vulnerabilities and your triumphs. Take care. 🙂

  • Maureen Champion January 16, 2013, 11:05 am

    Hello Tammy, Maureen Champion here. Have enjoyed your Happiness book, your web site, and Logan’s, too. My husband and I are 57 and 60, respectively, and we are moving from a small condo to a tiny house this year. I’ve also emerged from my extremely private shell a bit to participate in writing, publicly, (EEEK!!!!) One Thousand Gifts this year at the rate of three a day. (Using Ann Voskamp’s Joy Dare calendars I found at http://www.aholyexperience.com/joy-dares/ ). It is WAY easier for me to live with 100 things than to write 100 words about myself, but I am trying. This is all by way of thanking you for being generous in sharing with your life with us. (Now, do I hit the SUBMIT or the DELETE??? Double EEEK!)

  • Cortney January 16, 2013, 11:25 am

    Thanks so much, Tammy. This will make days at the office a little easier to handle 🙂

  • Kathryn January 16, 2013, 12:01 pm

    Emotions aren’t negative or positive. They just are. It’s really important to feel and experience them. This is a great post. You hit all the big ones self-care and gratitude journals. Thank you Tammy.

  • Cecile Caple January 16, 2013, 1:11 pm

    Hi Tammy: your blog has appeared on the top of my homepage for years now. I go through phases, but lately I have been drawn to read your work more carefully, and to concentrate on the messages. This particular post is intensely personal, and so very healing for anyone who reads it. You have developed into a lovely person that anyone would be lucky to have as a daughter. Relating to so many things in your life, I only wish I had your insight when I was younger. God bless you in all things, sweet girl, thank you so much for giving so much of yourself, and please just know that you are living out your destiny with every moment, giving inspiration and love to another community of people who desperately need it. Your photo work is extraordinary. I would like to have one of them to hang in my living room in a special place. I hope I always remember you Tammy. Big hug from Cissy in Texas !

  • Lois January 16, 2013, 2:02 pm

    Thank you for your blog, Tammy… and thank you SO much for the links to your photo-processing apps/software. I just upgraded my old iPhone 3G to an iPhone 5 and I’m looking forward to being able to use it more productively than I could that old dinosaur guy.

    I love reading your blog and have appreciated you far more than I have ever expressed (in fact, I don’t think I’ve even commented on your blog before!). You rock!

  • Barbara Techel January 16, 2013, 2:23 pm

    Thank you for the absolutely lovely gift. I’ll be printing this out and keeping it near. I’ll also be including your positive and inspiring blog as an inspiration link in my upcoming newsletter. I just decided to start doing this as I want to give more inspiration and joy to others… just like you do for me. I love your blog and all that you share.

    Thanks, Tammy!

  • Rachel January 16, 2013, 3:32 pm

    Tammy, thank you for this post. I also lost my father last year and your words are well timed and much appreciated. Your openness and willingness to be vulnerable is such a wonderful lesson. Thank you!

  • swalia January 16, 2013, 11:12 pm

    Your pictures are awesome. It’s hard to believe that this pic was clicked with iphone. My son is interested in photography and was after my life to buy him dslr .I showed him your blog and when he saw the beautiful pics you have clicked with digicam/ iphn , he was amazed. Now he has decided to brush up his photography skills using digital camera till he becomes old enough to use the professional cameras.

  • Sandra Pawula January 16, 2013, 11:42 pm

    Thank you! You’re article and this photo are precious gifts. You are uplifting the world and I appreciate you for your authenticity and dedication to a positive outlook.

  • Mary January 17, 2013, 9:24 am

    Awesome idea. I really enjoy your photos. I just put that one up as my desktop background.
    Thanks, Tammy. Looking at the scenery photos you take makes me feel so serene.

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