How to Stay Positive in a Negative World

How do you go about your day smiling when so much negative exists all around you? Keep reading to find out.

You can’t turn on the television or radio without hearing of all the misery and misfortune that exists in this world. People are getting robbed, assaulted and sometimes murdered. There are car accidents, earthquakes, bombings, mass shootings and many other major tragic events of all shapes and sizes.

This world thrives on negativity; it feeds off of it. It’s what is discussed around the water cooler at work. It’s what is talked about around the dinner table at home. Unfortunately, it’s what keeps people glued to the TV for hours on end, hoping to learn some new and devastating detail the moment it’s released.

While it’s great to be on top of current happenings, the negativity can consume you if you let it. It can become the air that you breathe, the water that you drink and the dreams that fill your once peaceful sleep. And, if you take in enough of it, it can have physical consequences – headaches, tension, fatigue and loss of appetite. It’s exhausting.

But, you don’t have to follow everyone else and become one with the tragedies that exist elsewhere. You can stay positive in a world that loves so much to be negative and, here’s how:

Limit your exposure to negative media

pretty thinking young woman sitting in the cafe read magazine with a cup of tea

Certainly you want to watch or read the news so you know what is going on in your local area and the world in general, but that doesn’t mean that you have to engage in it for hours on end just to get a detail the moment it’s released. Honestly, if you catch the evening edition of their broadcast or read one or two articles, you’re sure to get more than enough information about the event and what transpired.

And, be careful which avenues you use to get your “breaking” information. Try to pick ones that are based on facts and just providing you the details you need versus ones that revel in spreading images of people in pain and agony. It’s great to get an accurate image of what is happening, but at some point you have to be able to move past those pictures and deal with the event.

(This is especially important if you have young children. They don’t need to see graphic images and hear intimate details as their little minds can’t comprehend them like an adult can.)

Social media is no exclusion to this rule. In fact, it’s probably one of the biggest offenders. Your Facebook news feeds and Twitter streams quickly become completely inundated with pictures, quotes and thoughts that can be extremely negative about whatever is happening.

There’s really no way around what others choose to display in their posts, but you don’t have to keep the negativity going with yours. You can either decide not to post at all, or you can make sure that yours are positive, upbeat and hopeful. Choose to be the one that shows strength and conviction when others just want to share hurt and pain.

Surround yourself with positive people

You know the old saying that misery loves company, right? Well, if you are constantly around miserable, negative people, you’ll undoubtedly pick up on their same attitudes, feelings and beliefs. On the contrary, if you spend a majority of your time with positive, upbeat people who look at the world in a different way, then that is what you will tend to become as well.

This isn’t exactly easy as you can’t always avoid some people (like family) nor do you want to discard all your friends and start over. But, perhaps you’ll want to reduce your exposure to toxic people that suck the positivity out of you. Take them in small doses so as not to overload your own body and mind with their negative thoughts and attitudes.

You could also declare certain topics off limit. Change the subject when they bring them up or tell them outright that you’d rather not focus on something so negative as you’re trying not to feel down. If they really care about you, they will honor your request and move on to something more positive and less stressful.

Focus on your blessings

Instead of looking at all that is wrong with this world, concentrate on all that is right. Look at the wonderful things that happen day in and day out. It may take a little more effort as they likely won’t be as in your face as the negative, but they’re there nonetheless.

If you are in good health with no major medical problems, then be thankful for that. Maybe your job isn’t bringing in millions of dollars, but it’s paying the bills, then rejoice in that fact. Perhaps your family has flaws and isn’t perfect, but if they’re always supportive and pull together when you need it, then be happy about that.

Things don’t have to be perfect to be wonderful. And, the more you focus on the blessings in your life, the more they multiply. You begin to see the world from a different perspective so instead of being quick to point out when something goes wrong, you become faster at pointing out what is right which feels much better.

Practice kindness

Two smiling friends showing white boards

It’s hard to be pessimistic and feel down when you make other people smile. Commit to spreading more happiness in this world and it’s the gift that gives back. They smile, you smile and it continues round and round.

It doesn’t have to be major acts of kindness either. It can be something as simple as opening a door for someone who is behind you or picking up something that they dropped for them. Maybe you let someone go in front of you at a checkout because they have fewer items or you buy a coffee for the person behind you in the drive through.

When you do just one tiny thing for someone else, it encourages them to pay it forward as well. They may decide to do something for someone who crosses their path, who decides to do something for someone in their path. Before you know it, you singlehandedly created a wave of good deeds and how on earth can you be negative when that happens?

Help those in need

Along with spreading simple kindness goes helping someone who has fallen on hard times. When you take some of your time, money, or both to assist a fellow member of society, you walk a little taller and feel a little better about yourself. It helps foster positivity in you as much as it does them; and, it reminds them that someone out there still cares for them and wants to see them succeed.

So, set aside a certain amount of your time or budget (if you can) to promote someone else’s life. Donate time with an organization or find a neighbor or friend that may need assistance but hasn’t yet asked. Everything you do (no matter how small it seems) makes a difference.

You don’t have to be negative just because others choose to be. In fact, you may just change the world yourself by practicing a little more positivity in your own life. You may be the one pebble that ripples across the water and makes great things happen. How great is that thought?

About the author

Christina DeBusk

Changing careers mid-life from law enforcement to writing, Christina spends her days helping others enrich their businesses and personal lives one word at a time.

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