How is your negativity level? We are the depths of winter, and as I write an enormous snowstorm is pounding on over 100 million Americans. Even we Canadians are scared of this storm, and the media is having a heyday. The panic is widespread, the cancellations started 24 hours in advance and you would think that most of us had never dealt with snow before.
And hopefully by the time you read this, the sun has returned, the temperatures are rising, the smell of spring is starting to peek around a few corners and you realize the worst is over.
Until we start complaining about the heat, the humidity, the cost of gas or whatever else tickles our fancy.
Why do we get so caught in negativity? Why can’t we focus more on what is good with the world?
When was the last time you watched the evening news? How many good news stories are there on the news? For my local television station, the only good news comes at the end of the telecast when they announce the birthdays to those who have reached 90+ and the 50+ year marriages. That might be good news for some, but that might be a lot of aches, pains and plain stubbornness too. Maybe those people see their name on the news congratulating them for their milestones, and all they think is how they wish they had done things differently. Or maybe they complain that their name was spelled wrong, or the date incorrect. Even the positive can be negative for some.
We live in a very negative society. We talk about what’s wrong with the weather, the government, the boss and ourselves. We complain about seemingly everything and much of society loves to play the ‘blame game’.
Are you guilty?
Challenge yourself to have one day without negativity. Can you do it?
Here’s your strategy:
– on the next Monday after you read this, plan to make it “No Negativity Day”
– don’t tell anyone that you are doing this. After all, if they know what you are doing, it will be much easier. Don’t tell your spouse, your kids or your co-workers. Make sure you remind yourself though (put a note in your day timer)
– make plans not to join in the negativity during the day. If someone says something negative (even if it is simple complaining about the weather), make a point not to agree. For instance, someone might say “It is really coming down like cats and dogs out there isn’t it?” you might respond with “Imagine how green the grass will be”. Or if they say “I can’t believe they expect me to do that after hours. This company takes advantage of everyone” say “Really?” or “There are great perks to working here too.”
– Don’t agree, don’t nod your head, be careful not to say “you’re right.”
– You can choose to respond with a positive statement (which is my preferred response) or say nothing at all.
– At lunch you will have to be extra vigilant if you lunch with co-workers, so keep on your toes. Pack some type of treat in your lunch that will make you smile (like maybe a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with the crusts cut off – just like your mom used to do). Every time you see your sandwich, it will remind you to stay positive.
– Call someone who is your ‘positive energy’ person just to say hi.
– Send yourself flowers, or leave yourself a cheery note for the next day.
– Wear a colourful outfit if that works for you, or a special tie, a bright red pair of shoes (shoes are always the answer in my book) that will keep you positive throughout the day (we know that it is true that if you look good, you will feel good).
This doesn’t mean you need to turn into Doris Day for the day, it means you have to be very aware of the amount of negative thoughts that make it into words for just 24 hours. You will still have the negative thoughts, just be sure they don’t lead to negative words and negative actions.
This won’t solve any world crises. It won’t make the fear mongers go away, and it won’t change a darn thing except the way you feel on the inside. You might smile, you might laugh, but you will feel better about yourself because you didn’t join in the negativity.
It might feel so good that you try it again the next day.
I already know in advance that this day is a wonderful day. Join me won’t you?