I am going to start by saying, everyone handles stress, negativity, sadness, devastation, or emotions in general, differently. Since this is my personal blog where I share personal stories, personal thoughts, and personal favorites, I wanted to also share some ways that work for me to try and stay positive, when nothing around you seems positive.
Without giving any details, I’ve been coping with devastating news that is going to damage my close family. Then, with the recent school shootings and how America is heading into a dangerous place where hate, laziness, and selfishness abound, that can give you anxious thoughts in itself! Plus, everything costs so much money, especially gas! I could continue the list, but the goal of this post is to provide inspiration, positivity, happiness, and share ways that help myself stay positive, when everything around me seems so negative.
1. GRATEFUL LISTS
It is easy to name off negative aspect of your day, but what about the positives that are often overlooked? I am in a church small group of ladies and we have a group text where each day all of us share 3 positive things each day. Rules: you can’t reuse your list or the lists of others. It is so encouraging to not only add your list, but throughout the day, read other people’s positive findings as well as everyone sporadically sends theirs. You could also start a family group text or even send them to your significant other, which is great for accountability purposes too. If worse comes to worse, send them to yourself! You could also have a journal by your coffee pot, bathroom, work, or other common places where you will have easy access to write your lists out the old fashion way. If you live with others, invite them to also add to the journal!
2. TURN OFF THE NEWS
During COVID, my dad had the TV on with the news going non-stop while we were stuck in the house. This is back when I temporarily was living with my parents. After awhile, it got draining. The short clip at the end of the broadcasting didn’t make up for the hours of negative happenings throughout the world. Not only was it depressing, but also created a fear inside my family. Once I started stowing away in my room to separate myself from the negativity our living room TV was creating, I started feeling better and began watching funny TikToks instead. I wasn’t the only one who hopped on the app during the pandemic and it probably became big due to many trying to escape the problematic world. Take off those news notifications on your phone if you need to take it a step further. Don’t look at the news in the morning so you don’t start off your day with a negative headline. You know how much you can handle so really evaluate how much you are filling your head with with negative news.
3. LISTEN TO HAPPY MUSIC
What are your happy songs? Create a playlist on Spotify that you can listen to when you are feeling negative. Some of mine are “Here Comes The Sun” by The Beatles, “22” by Taylor Swift, anything by Vance Joy, and worship music by Hillsong, Elevation Worship, and Bethel Music. Everyone has their hits they can’t help but just dance to! Music can really transform your mood. I usually have my Google Home playing music all day when I’m home alone so I’m not surrounded with the quietness of my own thoughts. Sometimes it’s a scary place inside my mind!
4. HAVE POSITIVE FRIENDS
Who you surround yourself with determines your emotions. If everyone you are with are ripping on others, focusing on the world’s problems, and complaining about the weather, their vibes will eventually seep into your soul. Spend time with people who encourage you, find the good in others, are laid back, and have a sense of humor. These people are like a breath of fresh air! When you find people like this, value them, because they are rare. Most of my close friends are Christian women who encourage me, pray over me, and are always there to give me a hug! Christians don’t just have happiness, they have joy, which is only found in Jesus.
5. HAVE A GROUNDING WORD OR PHRASE
This tactic is one I’ve gone back to many times when my mind is just overflowing in a rut of negativity. Find a word you find calming. Maybe its a word your mom used to used when you were little to help you settle down. Maybe its song lyrics. Maybe it’s a Bible verse you’ve connected with. Lots of people close their eyes and whisper the word “breath” to themselves when they start feeling overwhelmed. For me, my “safe word” is Jesus. His name brings me peace, contentment, and grounds me to be present. Just His name makes the devil and anything from the Devil to flee. It works wonders. I also have a Bible passage I’ve memorized to keep me focused on what’s important, which is 2 Timothy 4:1-5. It encourages me to keep going, endure hardship, keep my mind under control during difficulties, be prepared, and build others up. You could also write your word, verse, or phrase on a mirror or window with a dry erase marker (it comes off, don’t worry).
6. POUR INTO PEOPLE
Helping others is a great way to stop self pity, your personal emotions, and negative thoughts of self worth. It gives you a purpose. Pouring into people is the most important thing you can do because you are investing in something that will last forever. Materials or property will pass away and will be lost eventually, but people last forever. Spend time with people.