It is normal for all of us to develop negative and toxic attitudes at times, and no one is invulnerable to mood swings or thoughts. It is important that we manage to identify the thoughts that create it, together with what will change how we think.

We all have a negative side buried deep within us, and it has the potential of bubbling up to the surface when we least expect it. The key is our awareness, to identify the toxic thoughts and behaviors when they happen and stop them in time. Through the years, I have learned  to identify some toxic and negative thoughts and have somehow managed to handle some of them and free myself to live a truly happy life.

Instead of complaining, for instance, I try to accept and be grateful for what I have; enjoy and be happy in every circumstance/situation rather than chasing happiness. Our goal is to live a meaningful and joyful life to find happiness.

No matter how much we know, how much we have learned, we should never think that we are done learning.  Let us keep an open mind, because sometimes, the things we thought we knew end up giving us some valuable new lessons.

We could lose our passion, sense of romance and even our long-standing friendship if we only listen to our logic. Occasionally, we just need to try new things, take risks and just do what feels right to us. Man did not invent the plane because flying made sense, he invented it because he had a passion; because he wanted to do something that seemingly defied logic and make it come true.

When we find ourselves in a circle of self-hate or lack of self-confidence, we can learn to see things positively by challenging and proving to ourselves and to others that we have self-respect and that no one has control over what we can and cannot do.

Many of us are constantly on the hunt for other people's approval. We are stuck with the desperate need to prove our worth, time after time, always trying to get positive attention from the people around us. I have learned that there is a much bigger picture to look at in life, and there's much more for which to strive than other people's approval. If we want people to love us, let us help and give them the love we wish to receive. They may not always give it back, but it will help us find happiness in giving rather than receiving.

It's not easy letting go; it takes hard work and focus, but it's worth the effort when we feel that weight lifting from our shoulders. Let us stop reading old chapters in our book of life and start making some new ones; learn from our past mistakes and move forward. Sure, there will be new mistakes to make, but that is part of living a meaningful life.

Let us be humble, admit our mistakes and know when to ask for forgiveness; let us remember those to whom we owe our success.

It is easy to believe that everything that happens around us is somehow connected to us personally. I have learned, however, most people make their choices based on what they're going through themselves. Let us not take things personally, others are just trying to find their own way through good and bad days alike.

Sometimes, we all tell little white lies. However, being open and honest with one another; helping others see the world the way it exists, is better instead of selling them illusions. Life is easier when we are simply being honest and have nothing to hide. 

Neglect is almost as bad as abuse to some of us. Many of us wish we had worked less and made more time for our loved ones. Let us take the time to have a really good conversation with our family members every once-in-a-while. Life is too short, let us make the right choices so we don't regret them later.

  By Tim Pedrosa

Pain and loss is a big part of life, and keeping them fresh in our memory only causes them to last longer.  One of the hardest things to do is to let go of the pain that we both hate and jealously keep, whether that pain comes from guilt, anger or tragic loss. Sometimes forgetting and letting go is the only choice that can cure us and release us emotionally from memories we use to haunt ourselves.