News in the past few weeks has been anything but cheerful; in fact…it has brought many families to tears with the loss of loved ones due to senseless crimes, it leaves emptiness in the hearts of Americans. I have prayed for peace among our nations, and more so within the communities who are currently suffering from such horrific murdering sprees. So with that being said, all I can do for myself at this time is to think about the good that is living among us, which doesn’t receive all the attention that bad news does.

We need to carry on, stay strong and send positive thoughts out to those in need. It’s not always easy to keep positive, but if you give yourself a break from watching the news even one day a week you’d be amazed at how the following 24 hours might feel. Distancing yourself from bad vibes, negative people and yes… even the news once in a while can help, and who doesn’t want to feel more alive and happy these days? You can also limit what you and others in your home view on television through the coming days and evenings, in exchange for a little more music. There are stations that play holiday music this time of year, which I personally find soothing for the soul.

Recently while shopping in a large retailer, a woman asked me to help her find a gift for a little girl. She had told me she went to a charity, such as Salvation Army, and decided to buy a gift for someone in need this Christmas season. She picked an angel off of a tree and it said; a gift for a small girl. The woman expressed to me that her children were grown and living elsewhere in the world, so she just wanted to make someone happier this holiday, by putting a smile on their face. It also took her out of her normal routine for just a bit and that was pleasing to her. This woman approached me out of nowhere, and I made suggestions to her. I watched her smile as she browsed the girls department. She was an inspiration to me, and I appreciated our short conversation, as she stated… “I wanted to bring joy, because there’s just too much bad in the world right now.” Staying positive is what it’s all about.

Taking ourselves out of normal routines to experience something different can be good for all of us. There are community plays we can attend, or maybe make an unexpected visit to a nearby nursing home. There are so many people that don’t see anyone during the holiday season, and if we take the time to ask around, I’m sure you might be able to make someone smile, if even for a few minutes, to warm the hearts of others. Take a poinsettia plant to the nursing home for others to enjoy, or maybe some home baked cookies. We need to venture out this time of year and spread some cheer. Make a point of smiling once a day; it will help keep a more positive outlook on things as the day unfolds. Do some deep breathing exercises if you find yourself getting tense, and tell yourself…’ this is only temporary.’ Whatever the future brings us in the coming weeks, be conscious of your feelings, as well as others, and think of happy thoughts. Smile more often…you might be able to help someone else smile, it’s contagious. May your days be bright and your hearts filled with joy.

Make your week count.