“I say looking on the bright side of life never killed anybody.”
― Jenny Han, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
I think we all know that negative emotions are the biggest enemy we have. It fogs up our judgement and reasoning. It causes us to act stupid or crazy. But it’s so hard to stay positive when you’re in a bad situation. It’s hard to stay cool and reasonable when provoked, but it’s possible.
It’s impossible to eliminate negativity out of our lives for good. Things happen for a reason, as cliche as that sound, we cannot pick or choose circumstances or situations that come into our lives. But we can pick and choose what we do with our emotions and perspectives in regard of that situation or circumstance.
So, how can we do that?
We have to take responsibility for everything we do, say, think, feel, act and for the situation.
In taking responsibility for them, we take charge of them.
You might wonder how the hell should I feel better if I take responsibility for being mugged or conned or getting fired from my job? Someone did it to me. I didn’t do it. Why should I take the responsibility for what wasn’t my fault anyway?
Please understand first that no one is completely innocent. Everyone has at least something to do with the situation that they are in. Every situation or circumstance you got into, you got yourself into it. You are responsible for what happened, at least partially. Maybe just by being at the wrong place at the wrong time, maybe by what you did or said or how you reacted to a certain thing. We’re all responsible for what happen to us, more or less.
Maybe you have nothing to do with that negative situation at all. You had nothing to do with it. You didn’t cause it. Someone threw it at you. You’re still responsible for how you are going to react to it, aren’t you.
I understand it’s hard to accept. I didn’t want to be responsible for everything. Sounds tiring. Why would I want that? But then I realized that I need to take responsibility for them so that I can change them. Things kind of changed after that.
What will you get from taking responsibility?
You get the power. Now, you have the power to decide what you’re going to do with that negative situation.
Remember, no one can make you feel bad except you. If you don’t like something, think of it differently, see it in a different light, change your perspective. Now you can exercise your ability to pick and choose how you would react to things. Choose to react positively and you won’t leave room for any negativity to creep in.
We can only focus on one thing at a time, why not focus on the positive. If we choose to focus on using our positive energy and love, we won’t have time to think about all the things that will ruin the positive mood. You are the only one who has a complete control over what and how you feel, how you react, how you respond to any and all situation every minute of every day.
You can choose to look at the negative aspect of things or the positive aspect of things. If you choose to focus on the positive aspect of things, you’ll see choices. You are more open-minded and you’ll start seeing a better way out and feel better and more confident about yourself as well.
But it’s not easy to always stay positive when there is so much negativity in the world.
Here’s how you can stay positive all day long without looking like a crazy person.
1. Pick your response
When you run into something you don’t like or aren’t happy with, count one to ten, take a minute, take a deep breath. Remind yourself that you will not focus on the negativity. You will acknowledge it and see what you have to work with. But you will focus on the positive. Stay calm and think clearly about how you’d like to respond.
I know it’s not always easy to do but it can be practised and it can be learned.
2. Learn from it
When something bad or negative happen to you. Look at it as an opportunity to learn and grow. Again, don’t focus on the negative side of the situation, think about what you can learn from it and how you can do better so it won’t happen again. Take note of the circumstances that make you react negatively to and learn from it. You can identify the triggers that caused your emotional reactions so you can be aware of it in the future. Train yourself so that you can control the situation and your emotion instead of letting the situation control your reactions.
3. Everyone makes mistakes sometimes
We all make mistakes. We are only humans after all. It happens and that’s ok. What you need to do though is to step up to it and admit that you’ve made a mistake. Admit it. See it for what it was, don’t rationalise it or try to excuse it away. Learn from it and that will help make it less likely to happen again in the future.
4. Stay positive
Don’t let other people’s actions and words affect your point of view. It’s important to stay positive whether it is about you, about the situation or about another person. Don’t jump to the conclusions by listening to others. Draw your own conclusions. When things get tough, be proactive when you deal with it. Think ahead and try to have a contingency plan, even just a tentative one in place for the ‘just in case’ situations.
5. Add extra dose of positivity
Always be positive about things but not to the point where it’s dreamy. Keep your feet on the ground. Emphasise the positive attitude with your actions and your words. Get rid of all the negative thoughts that come from the negative situation because nothing good will ever come from it. Give yourself affirmations that you know to be true about yourself. Stay positive whenever you can always.
Life will constantly test you with negative people and negative situations but all you have to do is to work at it and practice focusing on your positive attitude so that instead of wasting your valuable energy and time on things that are beyond your control which cause you to react negatively.
Keeping a positive attitude is hard. It takes conscious effort but it’s something you can work on. Once you learn to control your emotional reactions to bad or negative situations, your life will just be that much sweeter. And you’ll be able to change any negative situations into a more positive one and retain the control needed to deal with anything that gets thrown your way.
So, have you choose to be positive today?