Negativity breeds dissatisfaction and clutters the mind. When the mind is cluttered with negativity, happiness is much harder to come by.
“They controlled how I felt in the morning, and when I went to sleep. They would often cause my emotions to feel out of control, making me feel out of control, too. They would dictate how I reacted to situations or conversations. They often caused me to feel offended, angry or hurt, whether it was truly justified or not. They never ceased to remind me of my shortcomings and flaws, making me feel inferior and often without value, and they constantly tried to pull me down with discouragement or hopelessness, stealing my peace and joy.”
Who are “they,” you ask?
Developing habitual positive thinking can be a conscious effort. Make a list or set a reminder to recall positive reinforcements.
- Spend MORE time with positive people. You are the average of the people you spend the most time with.
- Redirect a negative conversation into a positive light. This starts with empathy, not sympathy. Empathy means you “understand” and Sympathy means you “agree”. If you can’t redirect, simply change the subject. No need to scold, just abort the conversation.
- Lead my example: a good day starts and ends with you. It’s all YOUR perception. When you wake up what are you willing to embrace and what are you willing to let go.
- Thoughtfully respond vs react. You can’t control the situation but you can control your reaction to it. Molehill meet Mountain.
- Seek solutions instead of pity partygoers. Of course, situations can be disappointing but instead of focusing all your energy on what you should have done focus the majority of your efforts on what you can do next time.
- Smile, even when it’s painful. Smile at someone so you get a smile back and if you don’t, that’s ok…they got yours!
- When you’ve established a healthy boundary for yourself be open to listening. Be a sounding board without offering advice or a solution. Some people just need to tell someone in a safe environment.
- Every day can’t be packed with rainbows. Real life is about highs and lows and sometimes the lows let us appreciate the highs. Take a breathe and work through it knowing it’s temporary if you make it.
- Close the vault on things you can not change. Painful memories don’t have to live in your present. It won’t change the fact that you experienced them, that you suffered, and that you hopefully survived. Don’t let the negative points from the past steal your positive future.
- Keep your eyes fixed on the horizon. If we take our eyes off Jesus and focus on the evil of this world and our circumstances, then, little by little, the layers of negativity harden around our hearts, and the love for God and others waxes cold.