• Nicola Meir

Are you a negative thinker?

Do you find reasons why something can’t be done?

See the difficulty in every opportunity?

Spend time seething and blaming others?

I’m pretty sure that many of us have been like this at one time or another. I’ve always been quite a positive person but a few years ago I made a conscious decision to try and see the positive in every situation.  This hasn’t always been easy but has had a definite effect on my emotional wellbeing and general outlook.  I’ve noticed that there is a direct link between being positive and what happens as a result.  I’m in control of this and so are you.

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Below are a few steps that have helped me make the move.  They’re not designed to be preachy, and I’m not striving for perfection.  They are just things that have worked for me. These tools have become useful over the last few months as I’ve been faced with a few difficult challenges effecting my family.  These have really tested my ability to look for the positives.  But I know that choosing to be positive has helped me to deal with them and has hopefully had a knock on effect on my family. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had to dig deep at times but ultimately my life is better for it.

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Step 1: Having a positive attitude is your choice

We are all in control of how we behave.  It’s up to us how we feel about what is happening around us and how we deal with it. Ultimately if we are more positive, our attitude will have a positive impact on our own lives and those of others.  Look at your own attitudes and behaviours. Is there room to change? I choose to spend time maintaining my current positive relationships, cultivating new ones and doing things that I enjoy. Just think – you are in control!

Step 2: Bin negativity from your life

Look at the people around you. Are they naturally positive and happy (‘radiators’) or negative and down beat (‘drains’)? If you want to live a more positive life you can’t surround yourself with negative people who don’t encourage happiness.  Unfortunately, if you are a ‘glass half empty’ person you will attract other negative people in your life. The secret is to realise that the glass is refillable and perhaps start to distance yourself from these type of people.  I’ve done this myself.  I’ve found that I spend less time worrying and over thinking now that I’m not dealing with so many negative people. I do try to understand why someone might be acting negatively and put my emotions to one side (which can sometimes be difficult). However, this definitely makes it easier to look at the situation pragmatically.

Step 3: Always try to see the positive 

Sometimes you may have to look really hard to find a positive but you will find it (even if it’s very small).  It’s easy to sit back and let what is happening around us effect how we feel.  But now I always try to think, “What is good about this?”. If it’s a struggle I will often take a step back and think about what’s happening around me before responding.  This helps me gain a better perspective. I’m actively trying to pass this way of thinking onto my daughters and it helps that my husband already thinks in this way. Once you are used to doing this you will see more and more positive people and situations around you.

Step 4: Be positive about yourself

This is a work in progress for me.  It’s not me to chant affirmations while looking at myself in the mirror about how awesome I am.  However, I am getting better at telling myself when I’ve done a good job, dealt with something particularly well etc.  It’s important to be honest but always try to look for the good.  We all have positive attributes.  Don’t focus on the negative as this will zap your energy.

Step 5: Share positivity with others

Once you are able to be positive about yourself, being positive with others is the next step.  I genuinely look for the positive and try to be nice.  It’s not about being fake. Nowadays, I’ll tell someone they look nice, they’ve done well and encourage and support my family and friends.  If someone is having a hard time I’ll do what I can to let them know I am there for them – perhaps a call, a little note in the post, some flowers or the offer of a good old cuppa.  I try to treat others how I would like to be treated and also how I think they would like to be treated.

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Like I have said, it’s been a work in progress for me but it’s definitely got easier – to the point where it’s now intrinsic to my life.  Just remember that you are in control. You can make the choice to have a more positive outlook and the benefits are endless!

Positivity is catching!

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