How to Remain Positive

A newscaster in the area (who’s name will remain nameless) e-mailed me to suggest that I write a column for positive people who are surrounded by negative co-workers or family members. This newscaster believed that it took a certain strategy to remain positive despite one’s negative surroundings. The question was: “How do we combat negativity and stay mentally healthy?” There is no simple formula, but there are some guidelines to remaining balanced.

If you have a loved one in your life who is negative, you will find the following information helpful:

  • Stay detached from the negative behavior. This may involve creating a force field, if you will, so that you don’t take on the negativity. Negative energy can be infectious, so if you feel yourself starting to be affected by it, break away and remind yourself that you have plexiglas around you or a light field surrounding you that keeps you protected and immune from the negativity.
  • Use your internal dialogue to stay positive and pride yourself on your attitude and your zest for life.
  • Don’t debate the negativity. Don’t spend time trying to change the other person as that is wasted energy. Typically, negative people have learned negativity as a form of self protection. They were hurt when they were younger, and staying negative keeps them from having high expectations. Lower expectations keep the negative thinker from being disappointed.
  • Focus on the negative thinker’s strengths. The truth is that we all have people in our lives that see the glass as half empty. Those people have positive qualities, too. We need to focus on their strengths but avoid getting sucked into their negativity.

I told you that there was no easy formula in dealing with negativity, but focusing on these strategies is well worth the effort. Positive people are happier and live longer and healthier lives. They are wiser, have greater endurance, and have better coping skills in general. People who are positive have better self esteem, have more friends, and enjoy their lives more fully. They are empowered human beings. Their positive energy brings them increased happiness. They create positive changes in this world!

For people who want to replenish their positive energy, you might find the following helpful:

  • Read inspirational books.
  • Remind yourself that you have the ability to make any conceivable change possible. “Possibility thinking” is an investment in peace of mind.
  • Spend time with positive people.
  • Do something proactive that makes a statement in your life. Contribute to a charity, volunteer at your child’s school, offer to repair something at church, participate in a clean-up day in your community, or any other activity that makes a difference. When you surround yourself with people who are contributing to the well being of others, it will be infectious, and it will create more positive energy and good will.

For some people, it takes work to be positive; for others, it comes naturally. Regardless of your personality profile, investing in positive thinking keeps you mentally healthy and balanced, and that s what life is all about.

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