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How To Stay Positive

How To Stay PositiveImage:David Castillo Dominici FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How to stay positive is something I have spent some time thinking about this spring.  It’s not always easy, and I will admit I struggle quite a bit.

But our brains are powerful and the way we think about the world affects our mood, our relationships, and our health.

So, learning how to stay positive is a pretty important on a lot of levels.

It is true there are many bad things happening everywhere, and I find myself very quickly becoming overwhelmed with how terrible the world is and how many people have to suffer everyday.

However, there are many good things happening all over the world everyday as well and we really do have a choice as to what we focus on.

What we focus on is a big part of how to stay positive.

I want to share with you 5 ways I have learned to stay positive.

How To Stay Positive:

1.  News Filtering

I have never been much for watching the news.  Global news is full of countries fighting, local news is full of local crimes and fires, health news is full of new ways to get cancer… .   I am not wanting to be ignorant about what is happening in the world, but for a VAST majority of the things on the news, knowing them won’t help me or the people being hurt.

A few years ago we got rid of our TV and I have never been behind on major world news.  If it is huge enough word gets around, but most of the everyday negativity gets missed.

But even better, replace it with some good news.  

A few months ago I stumbled upon GoodNewsNetwork.org and loved it!  I have gone back several times since then when I feel I need to balance out some of the negative news I am hearing.

Want to learn how to stay positive? Avoiding negative news or focusing on positive news is a great way.  This is not running from the truth or avoiding the truth… avoiding the truth would be if you were to stick your nose in a fantasy novel and hide in a corner for the day.  To know what is going on and be an active member in society doesn’t mean you have to know all about the negative stuff, it is just as possible to be ‘in the know’ with the positive stuff.

2.  Social Media Filtering

Here is a big one with how to stay positive.  Find yourself getting on Facebook and getting bombarded with negative political messages, people ranting about being put on hold, people talking about being tired and busy everyday, and just being negative about life in general?

… mix this in with all the ads and games people post about and it is easy to get drained within minutes.

But this doesn’t mean social media is bad or you have to get off it forever.  You can just take these wonderful friends out of your view and they will never know.  Simply unsubscribe to their feed.  You are still friends with them, they can still send you notes and see your posts but you don’t have to see what they post in your feed.

To do this first go to their profile.  Where it shows the button saying friends – hold your mouse over it without clicking.  When the menu pops up, just click on ‘show in news feed’ to deselect it and your done!

Now they can complain about the world and you don’t have to see it.

3.  TV, Books,and Music

Have trouble figuring out how to say positive? Most TV is not positive.  Either it is the negative news, or it is created to make you want more money, things, or beauty.  It is hard to sit down at the TV and get up again feeling any better…. it’s the sad truth.

However, there is ways to filter our reading and our listening to help us stay positive.  I love reading non-fiction books by positive people that help me think and give me new ideas.  This is probably the best way I have learned how to stay positive.

I love listening to KLove and can even listen to it over the internet here in China.  Even if you aren’t religious this might be a way of having positive music and talk in the car.

4.  Friend filtering

There are people who can help or hurt my desire to learn how to stay positive.  I have heard a person will become the average of their five closest friends and I can definitely believe it.  If you are spending a bunch of time with negative people, you will become negative too… it is just the way life goes.

Over the last few years I have tried to be more intentional about this.  Finding a way to spend more time with the positive people in your life will make a big difference in how positive you feel.  Need more positive friends?  Go out and find some.  It is worth the effort.

5.  Thought filtering

Maybe this is the key to putting it all together and learning how to stay positive.  This is a new one to me that I am still trying to figure out.  I don’t always have control of my circumstances … and as a women I don’t always have control over my hormones, but there is still a lot I can do to direct my thoughts.

I try to catch myself when I am starting to feel negative and try to add some of the things in the above list to my life.  I may not have complete control over what I am thinking, and I many not feel like doing anything positive, but I can still choose to put myself in a more positive position.

Because negativity is so draining and contagious it is important to identify and try to remedy it as soon as possible.

What are some ways you have learned about how to stay positive?

12 Comments

  1. Loved your post! Staying positive is something I have been working steadily on in the past 6 mos. I come from a very negative, critical family. I know my families criticisms and “realist” points of view comes from a place of fear and love, but so often it leaves me feeling judged and abandoned. I don’t want my fiancé to feel that way nor my future family! I’m always looking for inspiration and tips to staying positive (the mind is so powerful!) so thank you!

  2. Hi Lorilee,

    For news I like to listen to NPR public radio. They have some very good programs that engage and entertain, and many positive stories.

    Gospel and spiritual music lift me up, as does some of the beautiful classical pieces. Other things that help me to stay positive: being in peaceful beautiful places (especially outdoors), interacting with my two sweet dogs, talking with or getting together with a good friend, cooking (it soothes and relaxes).

    I enjoyed reading your post, and know that many (myself included!) will find it helpful.

    Kind Regards,
    Carol

  3. jodi jodi

    Your post has great timing. I truly believe that we have to make an effort to see and hear the positive in any situation. It is too easy to see or remember the negative. A couple of months ago I got rid of cable and only use my tv for dvd’s. I keep up to date on current news through the internet where I can choose which stories I want to read. Thanks for a great post.

  4. Laura Laura

    Something- somewhere- I read “What you read/watch/listen to represents who you are” and that stuck with me for some time now. I’ve been really sticking to it and think to myself “is this who I am”?

    Great post, Lorilee!

  5. First, we are big time listeners of Klove – from the internet to our phones to our cars, it is always on somewhere.
    I’ve grown into a love/hate relationship with the news. I want to hear the good things going on and keep up with the weather, but I get so bogged down listening to all the other junk. I am not ready to toss out the tv, but I am trying to be more selective about what I and my family view.
    Filtering is such a good word for it, thank you for encouraging us this way.

    mindingmomma.wordpress.com

  6. Great post – all so true. And I figure that if something bad happens that I really need to know about, not only will I see it on the Internet, but people will all be talking about it.

  7. Nancy Nancy

    Thankyou for sharing some good thoughts Lorilree. I would like to recommend a book I read recently about thought filtering. It is by Dr. Neil Nedley. he has written other exellant books. ” Depression the Way Out” and “Proof Positive”. His most recent book titled ” The Lost Art of Thinking” is about identifying distorted thinking and improving emotional intelligence. Easy reading and very practical help. It made a lot of sense to me.

    • Thanks, I will have to see if I can get it on my kindle 🙂

  8. I agree that allowing a steady of diet of other people’s negative world view to enter my world can be draining if I allow it but ultimately, it is up to me to strike a balance between being educated and entertained by the mainstream media outlets and living in a joyful and knowledgeable world of my own creation. There is real sadness and hardship in the world and in the ebb and flow of life it touches us but I work to be intentional in crafting a community of positive people and information sources that as uplift and inform, not degrade and tear down. Your post reminds me that I am the gate keeper to my world and it is up to me to decide who gets in and who doesn’t

  9. Hi Lorilee,

    I feel we think negative because we are very much sensitive or emotional about a particular thing. I created my own blog about positivity. Read the story of two hearts & share your thoughts on http://nectarofhappiness.com

  10. Sonny Jose Sonny Jose

    living positively can happen if you ethically believe and wish well for everything (inanimate) and everyone (animate) around, believe that you shall ask and receive, …but only if you truly believe and are convinced what you ask for is ethical and for the good of the Universe …conviction is what makes the Universe rearrange things so that it will be possible for things to happen…

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