Staying positive in a world where bad news spreads like wildfire is imperative to wholesome living. Going from horrifying news to negativity at work and pessimism at home can be overwhelming. Nowadays, you do not have to look far to find vitriol, which might lead you to conclude that we live in a dark and angry world.
How about listening to conversations online or even on your street? Everything people talk about breathes negativity or anger at something they cannot change. Add in things like illness, job loss, or marital problems, and you will see how, if allowed, the pressures of the world can steal the love and joy from your life over time.
An essential question to ponder is, “Do I have a positive or negative outlook on life?” It is difficult to have an optimistic attitude at difficult times if you are perpetually antagonistic.
Fortunately, no matter how bad the world is, you have control over your response.
Evidence suggests that you can do that by adopting certain positive techniques that can help you deal with difficult situations and recover from traumatic or unpleasant events. This article aims to show you those techniques. They include
1. Journaling three positive things daily
As you go about your daily activities, make a conscious and intentional effort to take note of the heartening things you observe; things you appreciate about your day. You will find something adorable every day if you try.
Studies have shown that writing about three positive things you experience every day for 21 days can increase your sense of gratitude. Commitment to documenting appreciative things takes your focus away from antipathetic situations, helping you to see the optimistic side of things even if all others see is the opposite.
The added benefit to this is it will help with the following:
• Reduced levels of depression and stress
• Improved cardiovascular health
• Increased resistance to illness
• Cancer, respiratory diseases, and infections pose a lower risk of death.
• A longer life span
2. Watch what you feed your mind
While desiring to be in the know of what is happening in the world, you must be careful about what you let in. Your eyes and ears are windows to your mind, so you have to consciously curate what you let in through them.
Be intentional about the channels you watch on television. As a CEO, entrepreneur, business owner, or management team, following the news in all aspects of the world is ideal. However, not all news shows are needed. Therefore, being intentional implies cherry-picking channels that build positivity. The same thing applies to the radio.
While surfing the internet, choose only a few stories to read in full. Be intentional about what you feed your mind; it is what you feed your mind constantly that eventually plays out around you.
3. Stay cautious of toxic positivity
Maintaining a positive attitude during difficult times is not about pretending that difficult things do not exist. That is toxic positivity: the belief that you must maintain an optimistic attitude no matter what.
We are all aware that having an optimistic outlook on life has benefits for one’s mental health. The issue is that life is not always beautiful. We are all affected by painful emotions and experiences which we have to acknowledge for our good.
What toxic positivity does is take optimistic thinking to an extreme. This mindset emphasises the importance of optimism while minimising (sometimes denying) the reality of negativity.
Here are some examples of toxic positivity:
• Telling a parent whose child has died to be grateful that they can have children
• Telling victims of a disaster that “everything happens for a reason”
• Encouraging someone to see the bright side of a tragic loss
• Telling someone to get over their grief or suffering and concentrate on the positive aspects of their life
• Labelling people who always appear cheerful or do not share their emotions as more likeable than others
Some methods for avoiding self-imposed toxic positivity are as follows:
• Recognise negative emotions as an essential component of the human experience
• Recognise and name emotions rather than attempting to avoid them
• Discussing emotions with trusted people, including negative feelings; seeking support from non-judgmental people, such as trusted friends or a therapist
You can also avoid imposing toxic positivity on others by doing the following:
• Encouraging people to express their feelings openly
• Becoming more at ease with unfavourable emotions
• Avoiding the desire to respond incontrovertibly to everything a person says. Also, acknowledge that intense negative emotions frequently coincide with powerful positive emotions, such as when profound grief signals profound love
4. Concentrate on what you can control
Is it not true that we have so little control? However, focusing on what you cannot control can leave you feeling depleted and helpless. Determine what you have control over and focus your efforts there. For instance, you can curb your reactions, actions, words, and thoughts; as Gandhi wisely advised, you can be the change you want to see in the world. You have more power than you realise, and as you maintain focus, that power grows.
5. Eliminate negative self-talk
The most prominent voice you hear is your own. And when that voice is constantly negative, it affects your entire outlook. We already live in a hostile world; do not make it worse by engaging in negative self-talk.
It can be tough to confront negative thoughts and shift your mindset, but it is possible. The first step is to become conscious of how you speak to yourself. Do you say things to yourself that you would never say to a friend or even someone you despise?
6. Stop doom-scrolling
Quitting doom-scrolling is one of the best ways to remain positive in a gloom-ridden world! Do you spend excessive time on your phone or computer reading distressing news? If so, you are not alone.
Doom-surfing has reached new heights, with everyone seemingly glued to their devices 24 hours a day and a constant stream of bad news. It is detrimental to your mental health and does nothing to alleviate the negativity you are consuming. Instead of mindlessly scrolling, ask yourself if there is anything you can do. Instead of focusing on what you cannot change, concentrate on what you can.
7. Laugh frequently
A recent study found that children laugh 200 times daily, while the average adult only laughs four times. If you’ve had a difficult day, stay upbeat by laughing. When you lose yourself in humour, it is easier to forget about your worries for the day. You could watch an episode of your favourite television show.
Perhaps call or text friends who will undoubtedly make you smile. Laughter is an excellent form of therapy because it relieves stress and anxiety. It will instantly improve your mood, help you cope, and boost your self-esteem!
8. Give out more hugs
Offer people a warm embrace when you meet them, especially if you are acquainted with them. It will help spread the love revolution and boost your positive energy; the world has violence, but a hug can instantly remind us of our true, loving nature
9. Take nothing personally
People who are controlling and negative in their behaviour may be anxious, fearful, and insecure. They may be experiencing difficulties in their personal lives or dealing with health issues. It’s difficult not to take their actions personally, but it’s important to remember that how they treat others is all about them and has nothing to do with you.
10. Surround yourself with cheerful people
Positive people will struggle when surrounded by scared and anxious people.
11. Change your negative habits for more positive ones
You can replace other negative habits in your life with more uplifting practices, just as you can limit your exposure to depressing media. Replace junk food with more fresh, whole foods, or trade shopping for volunteering to help the needy. Instead of doing things that make you feel bad, do things that make you feel good. We were meant to feel vibrant and thrive in this lifetime. Look for activities and habits that will help you do so!
In conclusion, we will have moments when we want to embrace sad moments. There will be times when you do not want to be happy. It is entirely natural. Negativity only becomes a problem when you allow it to take over your life regularly. Sometimes, we need to feel angry to motivate us to make the necessary changes in our lives. Choosing angst every day, on the other hand, is not healthy.
Positivity doesn’t cost as much if you are intentional about it. If you can maintain a positive attitude, you can fight back against the darkness and regain control of your life.