I've got a bit of a serious post for you today. I hope that's okay (if it isn't, you don't have to read, but I would appreciate it if you do!)
All around us are people. Tall people, short people, people in between. Dark hair, light hair, dyed hair. Running to somewhere important or aimlessly wandering. No matter where we go, people are unavoidable.
Sometimes you look at a person on the street and see their emotions and moods etched right into their skin. Sometimes people are harder to read. Often, it isn't until someone opens their mouth that you can tell what kind of state they are in. But lately, I've noticed that the amount of negativity pouring from people's mouths is increasing, and dramatically so.
This worries me. I am not naturally a positive person, but I'm not necessarily negative. I sit somewhere firmly between the two most days, and what tips the scales is the outlook of the people around me. If I am surrounded by positive people, I myself will be happy and have a positive outlook. If I am immersed in the world of those who are negative, I will also view the world in a negative light and be upset, cranky, and unfortunately, I will often lash out at others because I am unhappy.
I recognize that this is my own problem, and it's not the focus of what I'm trying to say. What I want to focus on is why we should be more positive, and why I myself have chosen positivity.
Positivity is the root of all happiness. If we view the world in negative terms, we are focusing on the bad rather than all of the good that surrounds us. This just perpetuates a cycle of pessimism when there is so much good to be found if we only take the time to look.
Why would we want to make ourselves miserable like that? This is the kind of self-inflicted negativity that hurts our culture as a whole and as individuals.
I see people who have so much to be happy about perpetuating negativity everyday, and see people who have so much to be down about spreading happiness. Something about this strikes me as backwards.
I have to give an example, and got my friend Laura's permission to talk about her for a second. Laura has been in a long-term relationship for 3 years, that last year of which she has been over 500 kilometers away from him. Things have been so hard for them, and yet she manages to be one of the most positive people I know. Yes, everyone has their days where it all gets to be too much, but I rarely hear her complain, and when she does, it isn't in a "poor me" way. And this is just one example, Laura has had a lot of trials in the last year (which for her privacy I obviously am not going into) but she has handled everything with an unwavering sense of positivity.
It makes me re-evaluate my life, that's for sure. Living with optimistic people has had a massive impact on my life, in a very good way. I am very conscious of how I sound when I speak, not because I am afraid of what I am saying but because I always want to make sure that what I am saying is true, fair, and kind. Are my problems really as bad as I think? Am I complaining instead of taking action? And am I choosing happiness in my words, both for myself and those who hear them?
It isn't easy, and I know anyone who knows me will tell you that I am far from perfect. But I'm trying. And I've noticed that in trying to be more optimistic, I am instinctually beginning to see the world in a more positive light.
I want you to think about that this week. Think about what you are saying, and whether it is spreading positivity. If not, is it necessary? Is it true? Is it kind?
I can tell you that negativity hurts. Being negative hurts you, it effects every aspect of your daily life. Holding all of that inside of you is toxic. I'm not saying it isn't okay to let it out, everyone has bad times fall upon them. But when your reflex is negativity, that is when you need to re-evaluate.
Even worse is surrounding yourself with negativity. Negative people are unavoidable, but don't give those people the privilege of being part of your daily routine. If someone is constantly pessimistic, and treats you in that same way, do not subject yourself to it. Words can hurt, and when people think it's okay to take their cynicism out on others that is not okay. Do not let pessimists ruin your day. Call them out, or just walk away. But do not let them bring you down.
I have chosen positivity, and I encourage you to do the same. It doesn't come easy, it is a constant process, but your life will feel so much better for it.
If you want a challenge, write down 5 positive things every day. Maybe that cute barista struck up a conversation, or you got an A on a paper. Maybe the weather was nice, or you had a cozy bubble bath on a cold day. It could even be things you are grateful for, like long phone conversations with your mom. Whatever has happened, finding 5 will be no sweat. I've done this, and it makes you realize just how amazing life is, and how much you have to be happy about.
In the words of my friend and roommate Brittany, "day by day." Just take everything one day, one step at a time. And you will achieve happiness.
I hope you too choose to spread positivity.
Goodnight loves <3