If you are looking for signs of encouragement, I can tell you where not to look.
You won't find positive reinforcement in negative places.
If you watch, listen or dwell on all the ugliness in the news, you will feel hopeless and helpless. If you keep company with people who only see the worst in others, they will eventually bring out the worst in you. If you choose music, entertainment, thought and pastimes that are depressing or destructive, you may find your life and attitude sucks without ever truly understanding why. And lastly, if you choose to remain stuck, you will never go anywhere.
So where should you look for signs of encouragement?
Well, for starters, you are reading a book called Encouraging Words 2, so that's a good thing. It means you are actively seeking messages that can be uplifting and reassuring. And if you find it helpful in any way, you can always read the first edition Encouraging Words. (Sorry about that Shame-Les plug.) :-)
Secondly, you can turn off the bad news and listen to some good news instead. What that good news looks like all depends on your personal taste. The internet is full of highly effective motivational talks, deeply moving spiritual messages and incredibly educational resources. So just pick one and see if it is a good fit. If so, explore other resources like it. If not, move on to something or someone else until you find one that speaks to you.
Thirdly, to the best of your ability (and being mindful of your personal safety), minimize or eliminate the time you spend with toxic people and instead seek out the company of positive people. You might find those life enriching people in uplifting churches, interesting meetups, fun classes, personal development groups, or when volunteering to help others. Yes it means you will have to get out of your comfort zone, but then, if you are uncomfortable where you are at right now, isn't it worth it?
Fourthly, instead of doing something meaningless, do something meaningful. Limit the amount of binge watching, gaming, social media, or anything else unproductive or unhealthy that you binge on. Instead, get involved in something that will help you feel the joy of belonging, contributing and achieving. And please, if you've gotten yourself into something that has overtaken your life, get professional help and/or find a support group that can help you reclaim it.
Finally, if you are in a rut so deep it feels like a grave then it is time for you to push yourself to go somewhere. That might mean something as small as going for a daily walk, going the gym or taking a cooking class. Or it could be as big as going back to school, starting a interesting side job, visiting an old friend, or taking a trip to somewhere where you've always wanted to go. The mere fact that you are pushing yourself forward to improve, enrich or delight your life will help you get excited about your future instead of being miserably stuck in the past.
Wrapping up. Okay, I realize this all may sound a little preachy and oversimplified. But it is my hope in reading this and the other posts that follow, that you - or someone you love - will find some direction here. Because as William James, the man called the Father of American Psychology, once stated, "The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes." So here's hoping you use as a sign to start making your life and attitude even more enjoyable, admirable and rewarding. Because it truly is yours for the taking and you truly deserve all of that and more.
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