Grace Carney- Staff Writer
“The pessimist complains about the wind, the optimist expects it to change, the realist adjusts the sails.” -William Arthur Ward
One of the most important things in life is being able to cope with surprises by taking them with a grain of salt and never letting the world get you down. Regardless of your personal circumstances, what accounts for living is mainly your emotional connections and interactions with others. That is what sets the base of your own self image and the tone for the kind of person you are.
Everyone has their good and not so good days, and not surprisingly, the moments that tend to stick out the most in our memories are those of either intense, unexpected joy, or intense, unexpected pain. One of the ways you can begin a more positive life is by practicing filtering your thoughts. When you think in a negative way about yourself, others and your circumstances, you tend to see everything as unfair, inescapable and unfortunate.
However, when you realize reality is never going to be 100 percent sunny or easy and try to make the most of what you have, all the while working toward where you wish to be, you are taking an assertive step by fighting against the negative current. This also builds self sufficiency and proves to yourself that you are capable of great perseverance. Being positive in a negative situation isn’t delusional, but a form of leadership.
Negativity affects us both psychologically and physically, in the short and long term. Depression, anxiety, an unbalanced brain chemistry or irregular hormonal regulation all lead up to aging faster and going through life in a lethargic, bleak manner. While these symptoms are far from uncommon, there are ways you can help yourself aside from therapy or medication. Some of the main components of combating depression include eating wholesome foods, exercising nearly every day and going to bed earlier. Another tactic you can take is trying to change your thoughts from the inside—rather than viewing everything as overwhelming, try to view each responsibility you have to fulfill by a deadline as a challenge. One of the best feelings you’ll ever experience is receiving positive feedback after you’ve poured your heart and soul into your work and having it pay off.
Have you ever had a friend that is constantly complaining about everything; their family, their friends, their teacher, their school, their routine, their obligations—essentially, their overall life? While it’s your job to be a good friend and listen sympathetically, when it gets to the point where you feel like their negativity is weighing you down and when you part from them, you feel exhausted and miserable, maybe it is time to take a step back and look at the bigger picture; think, how does this friendship benefit me or my well being? Their venting could be a way of showing they are currently unhappy and overwhelmed, or a way of creating drama for the sake of it. You cannot change or help those who do not wish to help themselves.
One of the ways in which you cut back on being a sponge to other’s negativity is by limiting the time you spend with people who act or speak negatively. Often when we spend all of our free time with friends, our personalities and beliefs tend to meld a little. Their way of speaking becomes yours, and vice versa. So if you have a friend who is bringing negativity into your life or making you feel bad about yourself, perhaps it would be wise to hang out with them less.
While you cannot make other people treat others respectfully or learn to be happy with themselves, you can take an independent stance and show them what it means to be assertive, upbeat and kind by thinking and acting in a more positive style.
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