POSITIVITY: How to Remain Positive In a Toxic Environment
I get it. We all have bad days. Maybe your car didn't start, the guy you like hasn't contacted you, or your co-workers are annoying you. It happens to all of us. It's easy to get suckered into a downward spiral of "how could this happen to me"..."if only I had this"..."they don't get it". In reality, there are times in life when we are allowed to feel upset, angry or frustrated; however, when one has a general negative outlook on life, it's very toxic to others that surround. Have you ever spent time with someone you consider a "negative person", and at the end of the day when you are done hanging out you feel completely drained? Maybe you even feel ashamed of yourself because you participated in conversations that were NOT positive or productive, and this left you feeling like a worse person. I'm sure we all have...
Think about someone you enjoy spending time with. Why do you like this person's company? I know the type of people that I am drawn to. These people have a POSITIVE outlook on life and always try to see the best in any situation. Their energy is contagious and uplifting and most importantly you leave them feeling like a better person. If only we could always be around people like this, I think we all would be SO much happier. Unfortunately, sometimes the environments that we have to be in (work, holidays, parties etc) force us to be around people we wouldn't choose to spend our time with. This can leave us feeling annoyed, miserable, or unhappy. When I am around this negative banter, I feel myself curl into a ball and I mentally shut down. I feel this awkward uncomfortable energy and I HATE the feeling more than anything. Do you guys know what I mean?! It literally feels like the life is being sucked out of me. WORST.
So, despite this terrible feeling, I have 6 tips and tricks up my sleeve that may help ease this uncomfortable tension. I want to share with you guys my strategies that I have learned and practiced during this crazy time on planet Earth about how to keep the positive vibes rollin in when the people or environment around you aren't. Let's go!
MY 6 tips on How TO remain positive:
#1. REMOVE YOURSELF: I am not a confrontational person, so I would struggle to tell someone that they should be more aware of what they are saying. If you have the balls to do this in a respectful manner (of course), then kudos to you! I should add, that if someone was being very mean and down talking someone who I think is a great person, I would stick up for them and say something positive about that individual. But if it's just their negative banter and shifty perspectives then I'd rather not confront them, but instead remove myself from their presence. Position yourself so that you are not next to that individual. Try to be next to someone who makes you feel good. If that's not an option, try to tune out what's going on around you. Look at a memory on your phone or listen to your favourite song to help bring some happiness.
#2. DON'T TAKE IT PERSONALLY: Try to realize that when people are talking negatively around you, it is not a direct reflection of you, but more-so an outpour of something that is going on in their life. Perhaps someone is facing their own challenges and doesn't know how to effectively handle their emotions; therefore, they unleash all of their negative feelings onto you. This can be a lot to take, but try to put yourself in their shoes and understand where they are coming from. Having some empathy and understanding can go a long way.
#3. NIGHTLY REFLECTIONS: When I was younger, my mom made my brother and I write down 3 things every night that we were thankful for that day. This activity took less than a minute but was a valuable lesson that I have carried forward with me in life. It really allows you to shift your energy to focus on the positive things that happened even if you had a difficult day. I often don't write them down anymore, but I think to myself what I am grateful for before I zonk out for the night. If you have a significant other, share with each other what you are thankful for that day. It doesn't have to be anything huge, even something as simple as someone holding the door open for you when your hands were full. Having this conversation before bed is great because it brings in positive energy and helps you feel more connected to your partner.
#4. COMPLIMENT PEOPLE: Let's shower the world with a little love and feel good vibes!! Set a goal for the next day to compliment at least ONE person! Guys, this is SO easy. I'm saying one, but really you should aim for more haha. It's really crazy how one compliment can truly make someone's day, so why don't we do this more? We need to be intentional. A compliment like "your eyes are really pretty" or "you have the nicest smile" are great, but let's step up our compliment game a bit. Say something like this instead "I can't even imagine working as much as you do when you are studying for your MCAT, I really admire that" or "I think it's really motivating that you are able to fit in your workouts every single day while working full time, that takes a lot of dedication". Commenting on someone's physical trait is nice, but they probably hear a lot of the same comments over and over again. Try to think of something that this person does that you admire, and tell them!! It will make their day 😊
#5. MAKE A PLAN: On your days off, have something planned that you love to do. This will give you something to look forward to on those hard days. Personally, nothing makes me feel more alive then fresh air...I LOVE to be outside. A simple walk brings me so much joy. Plan to engage in a favourite hobby, set some time aside. This can be anything..cooking, playing music, discovering new music, painting, writing, hiking, running, dancing, working out... the list goes on. Give an old friend a call and plan a meet up. DO SOMETHING THAT IS GOOD FOR YOUR SOUL!
#6. TALK TO PEOPLE: Guys, if you are really struggling, and finding it difficult to feel happy at all, then it never hurts to talk to someone. Quite often talking to your closest friends or family is enough, but not always. If you have tried different self help tools (journalling, meditating, talking with friends etc) and that doesn't seem to help, I would recommend The Calgary Counselling Centre. This is a judgement free zone and they will provide you with tools to hopefully help get you back on track and feeling good again. I really believe that ANYONE could benefit from talking to a counsellor. Just a suggestion 😊 It helped me and I hope it can help you!
Even if ONE person takes away one small message or tip from this post, then I've done my job. Hope you all have a great week!!! One more question: Is the glass half empty or half full? I'll let you be the judge! 😉