“When thou wilt comfort and cheer thyself, call to mind the several gifts and virtues of them, whom thou dost daily converse with; as for example, the industry of the one; the modesty of another; the liberality of a third; of another some other thing. For nothing can so much rejoice thee as the resemblance and parallels of several virtues, visible and eminent in the dispositions of those who live with thee; especially when, all at once, as near as may be, they represent themselves unto thee. And therefore thou must have them always in a readiness.
“It is in thy power absolutely to exclude all manner of conceit and opinion, as concerning this matter; and by the same means; to exclude all grief and sorrow from thy soul. For as for the things and objects themselves, they of themselves have no such power, whereby to beget and force upon us any opinion at all.
“That which is not good for the beehive, cannot be good for the bee.
“No man can hinder thee to live as thy nature doth require. Nothing can happen unto thee, but what the common good of nature doth require.” ~Marcus Aurelius
Comfort and Cheer Yourself
Marcus is correct in telling us how to cheer ourselves when we are feeling down. If we are feeling sad, angry, or disappointed with people, look around us at those we live with, work with and hang around with. What virtues do they have? How do they bring us joy? How have they helped us? What do they do that benefits others in the world? When we look at the positive rather than dwelling on the negative, we will generally find that things are not so bad after all.
And it doesn’t stop there. If we can’t get a pet to behave, if the dog chewed up your new gloves, remember the good they have done and the joy they have brought to you rather than dwelling on the negative. Of course, you can teach them not to do such things, but don’t dwell on the problem so long it does more harm to you than to the animal.
If you are angry with your government and its policies or behavior, whether on the city, state, or national level, you may be justified. However, dwelling on it until it gives you ulcers and gray hair is not wise. As quickly as you can, remind yourselves of the benefits you get from the government—and don’t say “None!”. We all get some benefits from the government, but few of us stop to think of it regularly, if at all. Do you put money in a bank? Would you do that if the government didn’t have a guaranteed reimbursement policy on lost deposits? Would you or your children read as much if there were no public libraries? Would you feel safe on the streets of there were no police? There are many more such questions to ask yourself and contemplate how you benefit from the government, but I’ll stop there, having made the point.
And if none of that works, just do something that cheers you up. Go to a concert or a movie. Take a walk in a park. Go on a vacation. Just don’t sit around angry, sad, or depressed. That hurts no one but you. Don’t just stay angry or depressed, cheer yourself! Continue reading “Cheer Yourself Up with Positive Thoughts and Deeds”