positivity / noun
1. The practice of being or tendency to be positive or optimistic in attitude.
Ok, ok don’t roll your eyes just yet. I get it, here is another ‘how to be positive blah-blah’ write up, you know those easier-said-than-done ones? Trust me, I get it – but I’m not writing this to suddenly get everyone frolicking through fields of daffodils in some epic-happy-positive-bubble, this simply serves to challenge your way of thinking, particularly when it comes to negative thoughts and negative mind games. One, which we all play.
Personally, for me I know that adopting positive thinking has helped me the most in terms of becoming the person I strive to be personally, particularly as a role-model to my son, professionally as an Emergency Nurse serving in our Defence Force and as a Personal Trainer. Likewise, even through difficult situations I have learnt time and time again that being positive and striving to make the best of whatever situation I have been presented with, really does make even the most challenging situations easier to bare. Being positive builds more of your backbone – that beautiful thing called RESILIENCE, the ability to cope with and move on from failures, disappointments or difficult times in our lives. It also allows us to appreciate the things going wonderfully right, evaluate our current circumstances and take pride in the achievements we’ve made along the way.
Rest assured, don’t think that positive people are always that way, they experience negative thoughts too, more often than you probably think – the difference is they acknowledge them and have learnt to challenge them and rise above them when needed. YES, I have negative moments, and indeed I have negative days, days where I say to myself ‘Nadine, pull your head in - you are not practicing what you preach!’ But as I continue to grow and evolve along my life journey, more often than not, I find myself uplifted by a more positive attitude and have found that I’ve been able to apply this to all facets in my life. Hand on my heart; I believe that this is because I’ve simply trained myself to be this way. It doesn’t always come naturally for everyone, sometimes it is a lot of hard work, some more than others, but absolutely anyone can work towards a more positive life.
Firstly ‘LET IT GO’ - If it’s one thing I have properly learnt to do this year it is finally letting negative people and negative situations go! Just saying that feels good!! We all have a habit of holding on to such things albeit experiences, guilt, regret and even people. If you want to live a positive happy life, you cannot be surrounded by negative people who don’t encourage it. Positive people attract positive people just like negative attract negative. I get it, it isn’t easy just wiping your hands clean of relationships like that but whilst it can hurt to distance yourself from those who drag you down, know that you can love people from afar without it being at detriment to you and your health. It’s time to make a pact with you and let situations and people go… It may seem cut throat but trust me, without this added weight on your shoulders you can move forward to a happier more positive you.
Secondly think ‘CHOICE’ - Remember the most important lesson of all: A positive outlook is a choice that you can always make. Let’s be honest: WE all like to point the finger and blame negativity on outside forces (e.g. relationships, experiences, fate to name a few), when really we should stop and think - I have a choice in this situation. It truly is up to us to find the good despite the circumstances. To see the silver lining in the sometimes-crappy situations we are presented with. Try to put a halt to the external blame, the most important thing to remember is that you have complete control over the way you feel, the way you respond to any situation and the things you think about at any given moment.
Thirdly, ‘CHALLENGE IT’ - Let’s take a look at how exactly one can challenge negativity. I’ve learnt that first it is about acknowledgement. Being aware and acknowledging that you are steering towards negativity allows the brakes to be put on nice and early before it spirals out of control. It is here that you counter negativity by actively challenging it. Acknowledge it, feel it, go through the emotions, but just don’t stay there. Refocus on what is going wonderfully right, hone in on all the positivity that surrounds you and focus your TIME and ENERGY on where you want to be heading instead. Go to a place that reminds you of where you are at and allows you to refocus on the good if you have to. Here, I like to remember that our thoughts are like a steering wheel, positive vibes direct to positive energy!
Next, think ‘ATTITUDE’. They say that one positive thought will in turn actually birth two more. How cool is that!? Knowing this, when your negative thoughts strike again, be conscious of turning your inner-critic voice around and order it to tell you something positive. Sounds silly right? But it works! I know we can’t get it right all the time, I know we can’t be positive 100% of the time BUT we can exercise positive energy and make it (along with happiness) a habit if we have the right attitude to match. Be grateful for what you have right now, and recognise that EVERYONE has struggles in some shape way or form. Living positively and contently may not come easy for you - I know for me it has taken of lot of work and awareness on my part. Take stock of the good things and the kind loving positive people in your life and always remember that life can be wonderful if you have the right attitude!
Lastly, ‘NEVER STOP LEARNING’ - As I mentioned at the beginning, it is also about training yourself to be more positive and viewing this as a lifelong journey to be exercised often. You wont always be positive so don’t think it will just stick and stay that way. Realize that this way of life needs to be reinforced. Just like anything in life, with any type of training the more you learn; the more you practice; the more you put it to use, the better you get! Not only do you need to be positive within yourself and your daily proceedings but also you need to share your positivity to those around you - you have to share your wealth of positivity with the world because it is contagious! People appreciate positivity, and the more you share it with others, the more you put it to practice in your own life. As you continue to grow and develop positive thinking, you begin to respect challenges, welcome obstacles and setbacks as opportunities to grow and move forward. I know this is something that I’ve personally experienced first hand and there is nothing more satisfying knowing that you can grab life’s challenges by the bullhorns and make it work for you!
So remember you cant necessarily control what happens to you, you can however control how you react to what happens to you. The next time you are faced with negative energy, either yours or somebody else’s. I urge you to stop and challenge your thinking, remember your next moves are crucial. Just like you can drive towards negativity; you can drive yourself to positivity too! Tune into your negative, irrational or unhelpful thought patterns and learn to CHALLENGE them and rise above them. When you realise that your attitudes and thoughts can control pretty much everything you do, you’re more likely to mindfully steer clear of negativity.
Practicing a positive and enthusiastic outlook on life will make all the difference – the power is in your hands!!!
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