Let’s face it, negativity constantly surrounds us. From news stories, to social media posts, and even from uncomfortable conversations. At times, it feels hard to stay optimistic. Negative energy and can not only be depressing, it can be inﬂuencing; and worse, contagious. How do you combat it? How can you live our best with front-row seats and avoid sitting in the balcony of negativity?
5 STEPS TO BEING FRONT-ROW POSITIVE (IN A BALCONY NEGATIVE WORLD)
1. Recognize that being positive or negative is your choice. Choose to focus on what’s good about the situation, choose to learn from mistakes, choose to ﬁnd the humor in your circumstances. Turn off the news. Turn the conversation around from complaining to focusing on solutions. Gossip? Well, you know what to do. And, what not to do.
2. Shift your perspective. If you look at a situation and you feel helpless or hopeless or sad or discouraged, stop and try looking through a different lens. A middle seat on a plane could be cause for a little annoyance. But, if you got the last seat on a ﬂight that gets you home to your family four hours earlier, it’s cause for celebration. I remind myself that the problems I have would be prayers answered for someone less fortunate. Slow internet? Some people would pray for access to internet even at half the speed I have now.
3. Start documenting. Keep track of your progress, of your wins, of your blessings, of your joy. Try it as a habit to write down positive things around you. Date your entries, and make a goal to add to your list at least 3 things every day. After awhile, you automatically start to see things in a more positive light. You’ll actually start to see things and think “Oh that would be great to add to my list!” The nice thing about this list, is soon you will have so much evidence of positive around you that even if something negative happens, you won’t react so much by horriblizing it. I know, horrbilizing is not an actual word…but it should be. It’s a verb that describes how some people get bad news, and then heap it on to other problems and talk about the whole heap make each individual thing even more horrible sounding!
4. Write a letter. Not just any letter, but a letter of gratitude, thanks, appreciation, acknowledgment or ‘just because’ to a person you think is special. The art of personalized handwritten notes is a dying one. But, it doesn’t have to be. Take the time to write an appreciate someone in your world. It feels so good to do this and they will not expect it. Not only did you brighten up their day, it works both ways. Knowing you’ve made someone’s will also make you feel better about your own self.
5. Volunteer. No matter what your circumstances are and where you live; there are people close to your neighborhood who are suffering. Take time to offer assistance. You can donate money, but sometimes your time can be more valuable. It’s easier than you think and the rewards are immense. My husband and I serve the homeless at Catholic Charities every Saturday we aren't traveling. No matter what may be negative in my personal world - for one hour, I feel so good smiling, welcoming and serving people who are in need. They are very appreciative of my help and it re-energizes my spirit for the week.
Turn these five steps into habits and you'll soon be living life in the front-row!
And trust me, VIP, front-row seats have a significantly better view when you have a positive world around you. Creating a positive world can start with you!