With the many disturbing stories that we hear in the news, we are bombarded with negativity and distress continuously. And it’s these types of messages that feed right into our fears. Whether it’s the swine flu, which triggers our fear of death or the headlines about the state of the economy and job loss, which triggers our fear of being broke and homeless, being exposed to this information on a constant basis makes it difficult, if not impossible to maintain being centered, let alone positive.
Keep in mind there is nothing new about our state of affairs, just that the details of the story are different. In life, as you know there will always be challenges and unfortunate circumstances, but it’s your choice in how you face these situations that will define your attitude and life.
It can be challenging, however, to react differently than the expected norm especially since our society has adopted what they deem as acceptable reactions to various events. We buy into this form of peer pressure by reacting with the typical conditioned responses, which in the end negates our positive thinking.
I’ll share a personal example with you. I recently was in a minor car accident. Someone rear-ended me causing damage to my bumper. To me, it really wasn’t a big deal. I viewed it as an inconvenience but something that would easily be taken care of. When I shared my story with a few people, I noticed their reaction was totally different than mine. They seemed to get upset and annoyed commenting about the other driver, the damage to my car and the issue of insurance. I quickly reassured them that I wasn’t upset and that everything would be fine once the details were ironed out. In the end, everything worked out, and I was grateful that I chose another way of experiencing this situation.
So how can you maintain a healthy attitude and respond using a positive approach while not succumbing to the negativity around you?
The first step is that you must give yourself permission to be happy. Not only allow yourself to be happy but to do so without the feeling of guilt. With the unfortunate news around us, we often feel bad about being happy while others are suffering. But what good does this do? We can’t change the situation with our unhappiness. However, we can influence outcomes by responding with the right attitude. Realize that you have the choice to decide how you would like to react to any given condition. Remember that you are the master of your emotions.
Be aware that we all have a set point for our emotional state, but there are specific techniques that can raise that point to a higher level. The following ideas will support this process:
• When you’re experiencing an uncomfortable feeling, ask yourself what purpose does this feeling serve? Is it helping you in any way? If not, are you willing to let go of it?
• Put things in perspective and realize that everything changes given time.
• Avoid environments that are negative and seek out supportive, uplifting ones instead.
• Perform meaningful work. We all want to feel that we are making a difference and contributing to society.
• Relax your rules. Don’t always feel that everything has to be perfect. When our definition of happiness and satisfaction are very narrowly defined it makes it harder to hit the target. The result – we feel disappointed. Instead, adjust your expectations and be open to the possibilities.
• Be aware of your mental thoughts and what you focus on. Get in the habit of re-directing your mind so that you are focused on the positive instead of the negative. Stop looking at what’s wrong and start seeing what’s right.
• Love yourself more and practice good self-care. Eat the right foods, get proper rest and engage in physical activity.
• Connect with nature.
• Listen to upbeat music.
• Pray and meditate.
• Laugh often.
• Use EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique)*. This is a great tool that can help you release unwanted emotions and obstacles. I personally use this technique and teach it to my clients who have experienced great results from it.
* To find out more about EFT call 201-612-6700.