The onslaught of bad news in the media continues to fester. The climate of fear has reached epic proportions. We are inundated with bad news about our crumbling economy, the rising unemployment rate, executive greed, lack of affordable healthcare, etc. So the question is how can YOU stay positive and productive in a relentlessly negative climate and NOT drink the Armageddon Kool-Aid?
Well, as you may have guessed, I have a few ideas.
Less is More when it comes to the all news all the time from CNN, Fox, etc. You can stay informed without becoming saturated with bad news. Limit your daily news intake. Choose to read your news online so you can control what and how much goes into your consciousness. Also, frequent sites that are positive in what they report , like Odewire News for Intelligent Optimists http://odewire.com/ or Happy News- Real News. Compelling Stories. Always Positive http://www.happynews.com/ or one of my faves Positively Positive http://www.positivelypositive.com/category/inspiring/
Avoid Negative People. Otherwise known as the Misery Loves Company crowd. While trying to keep a positive attitude, you must avoid people who thrive on negativity. You know who they are and how they love to tell you all about their horrible marriage, thankless job, bitchy best friend, etc. Be firm about not being a dumping ground for their unhappiness and respectfully decline invitations to spend time with them. Surround yourself with people who are uplifting, feed you emotionally, and are good listeners.
Pay it Forward. When you feel negative or overwhelmed, reach out and do something nice for someone else. Being generous in words and actions creates positive feelings for the doer. A client of mine was buying fruit at a stand in NYC and spontaneously paid for an older woman’s apple. The gratitude, shock, and appreciation the older woman expressed over such a small gesture of kindness not only lifted my client’s mood but inspired her to create a website so other’s could do the same. Generosity towards others gets your endorphins flowing.
Serious Self Care. Taking seriously good care of yourself is crucial to your happiness. This includes what you eat, drink, think, how much you move your body, and how much you rest. Walk, stretch, do yoga. If you really want to let go of some anger, try kickboxing or running. Choose whatever you enjoy and will actually do on a regular basis. Be mindful of what you are eating and drinking. Studies prove that consuming lots of caffeine, sugar, animal fat, and alcohol equals feeling like crap. On the other hand, ingesting lots of organic veggies, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and H2O equals feeling energized and good. Make sleep and rest a priority. If you have a meditation practice, do it. If not, practice deep breathing with some calming Lavender essential oil for a few minutes, 3 or 4 times a day, to relax your mind and find your gratitude.
Become a Silver Lining Detective. Part of your job on planet earth is to figure out what you are here to learn. Every challenging situation is an opportunity to learn something valuable about yourself. When times are stressful, instead of reacting, panicking, or future tripping about what could happen, try to step out of the storm long enough to become the observer. Being an observer keeps you in a calm, slightly detached place, which helps you become more solution-oriented. A client of mine was recently injured at work and was initially panicking about loss of income, job security, etc. After we debriefed, she agreed to commit to daily meditation as a way of calming her mind and perhaps gaining clarity on what opportunities her situation may present. She got a hold of her fear mind and then was able to see all of the wonderful experiences she would be able to have in the 6 weeks she would be out of work, like attending her best friend’s wedding in Vegas and participating in a 5-day workshop with Deepak Chopra. She was grateful for the opportunity to give her body and mind permission to finally rest and play, which she would never have done without the injury. Just by changing her perspective, she was free to take advantage of her opportunity.
Affirm What You Want in Your Life. Take responsibility for what you hold in your mind. As my favorite manifesting guru, Mike Dooley (www.tut.com) would say, “Thoughts become things…choose the good ones!” Keeping a positive attitude and seeing the glass half full is a habit. It takes 21 days for a behavior to become a habit. So, are you willing to police your mind for negative or catastrophic thoughts for 21 days? Here is all you need for the experiment. Get a rubber band and place it on your wrist. Whenever you recognize a negative thought or fear, snap the rubber band hard enough to smart but not hard enough to bruise. This moment of discomfort will yank you back to the present. You have the choice to reject what you fear MAY happen and immediately replace it with an affirmation of what you WANT to happen, while conjuring the feelings of already having it. If you commit to 21 days of changing what you hold in your mind, I have no doubt that your stress will decrease and your joy will increase. What do you have to lose?
I hope some of these ideas resonate with you enough to try them. Remember what you hold in your mind is what you create in your life. You deserve a rockin’, happy, peace-filled life that thrills you.
Love love love