On the Power of Positive thought ...

I recently wrote about spreading and on-boarding negativity.  I don't think I've ever seen as much of that as I do these days BUT there is always the other side of the coin - being positive ... to others and to yourself. As I've said before, there are 2 things we can control - our actions and our reactions.

To start, we must understand what is going on right now.  The entire world is going through a change.  Change is difficult and stressful.  The lack of routine, feeling of a loss of security and no real "enemy" to direct the stress and anger at has many of us directing our stress outwards in a scatter-shot manner.

I'm not big on Oprah, nor am I a subscriber to the Karma newsletter, but I do know that energy compounds and you get back what you put out, plus some extra.  Trading in insults and negativity is going to bring that same energy in return.  Being positive, constructive and polite will bring you more open ears and more support. Your actions have consequences.  Your actions show who you are.  If you choose to be supportive and understanding, chances are that is what people will give back to you.

Similarly, you can choose how to react to any situation.  You always have a choice to respond positively, negatively or neutrally.  This does not mean you won't have an initial impulse reaction of anger.  We all do, from time to time, and in different situations with different stressors - and that's ok!  Before you send your energy back out into the world in response, consider your options.  If you cannot bring yourself to find a positive you can always try neutral.  Sometimes it is easiest to do nothing.

There is the argument "If I don't say something, this person will never learn", but here is the truth - if you DON'T have a strong trust relationship with that person there is an extremely low percentage chance you will affect their thinking.  Even with people with whom you think you have a trust relationship it can be hard to sway an opinion (and if you don't think so, ask your husband/wife).  Guaranteed that an argument, built around an insult, will not sway an opinion.  In fact it usually brings about the opposite - another argument, an escalation and so on.

What does work?  Silence.  Absolute silence.  Don't add your voice.  Do not escalate.  Yelling over someone is never as effective, or as powerful, as just walking away.  There is nothing wrong with removing toxicity from your life - it's healthy.  Those that want to be heard, that think their voice deserves to be the loudest will be the most impacted, when the response is rejection and silence.

You do not have any obligation to "get over it".  We throw around the phrase "forgive and forget" all the time.  Forgiveness is for you, letting go of the negative and getting to neutral.  Forget is for them, and you have no obligation to forget.  We often say "those who don't learn history are destined to repeat it" or "Fool me once ..." but how often do we actually follow the advice?  It is hard to let people go, but it is harder to try and maintain relationships that constantly drain your positive energy.

I'm no expert, but here are some tools I use to stay positive:
  • Accept your impulse feelings but do not act on them.  Let them sit for an hour, or a day. Breathe.  If you HAVE to say something, you can, but respond only once and do it politely and constructively.  Be ok with not getting in the last word.
  • Don't prejudge a situation and get upset about an outcome that hasn't happened.  If the outcome is something else then you will have wasted your energy. If the negative manifests then you will have to deal with it anyways - why make that a repeat?
  • There is no real truth, just perspective.  The only subject taught the same way, everywhere, is math.  Everything else is a reflection on the times, the region, the language, societal and author bias etc.
  • Go outside. Sleep more, eat well, get fresh air and exercise.
  • Turn off the TV shows, especially conspiracy driven drama and movies that show a false reality or only tell one side of a story.
  • Spend less time on social media.  I don't mean delete your Facebook, or make an announcement on Twitter that you are leaving, that's overly dramatic.  In the case of social media you can delete, block and unfriend anyone that is flooding you with negativity.  Also, spend less time reading opinion posts and spend more time on nature photography and funny cat memes.  Laughter and a smile can heal a lot.
  • Cut out toxic people without making a big deal about it. You don't even have to tell them - and you probably shouldn't unless you want an argument and guilt. Demote friends to acquaintances and acquaintances to nothing.
  • Value and build relationships with the people that support you.
Almost without exception, you were born with the tools to make yourself happy.  All you need is to do it.

#positivity #changemanagement #stressreduction #trust