Have you noticed there is a lot of negativity out there? Sure, it could be the long hard winter we’re experiencing – polar vortexes can dampen the mood of the happiest, most positive people. Regardless of the weather, some people are simply more prone to feelings of discouragement, alienation, and self-pity. In order to get out of your ‘funk’ you’d think the best advice would come from the notoriously happy people.

What is it they do, or how do they think differently from the ‘sad sacks’ of society, that makes them see the world in a more positive light?

Positively-charged people are less likely: to harbour resentment; to dwell on negative events; to practice self-loathing; and to continuously replay the past, wishing things would have turned out differently. These negative thought patterns become ingrained in some people and are very hard to let go of. They also sap the mind of psychic energy that can be used toward more useful and fulfilling endeavours.

It takes extreme diligence and possibly the support of others to attempt to change one’s thought patterns from negatively- to positively-based.  There is a type of acceptance and mental power which leads to change.  It’s not as simple to ‘let it go’ and continue to be a more positive person, rather it is actions and reflections which create the new mind connections needed.

Emulating the behavior of seemingly happy-go-lucky people would be a good start.  Do not think that you have to become happy-go-lucky but rather, think and accept that they view things on a positive side of life, and they seem to gloss over the negative.  This is often not the case, as the ones who have this outlook might have faced a lot of negative things in their life.

I’m reminded of the time I wanted to improve my skating skills. Taking that first step, (or glide in this case), in lacing the skates, and getting on the ice, was then followed by watching more advanced skaters and emulating their movements. In the same way, being around happy, positive people makes it more difficult to persist in one’s own negative thoughts.  You can also write down your observations and converse with these people to see if there are things you can improve upon.

The challenge is to react positively when one is alone, or when faced with difficult situations, like losing a job, facing an illness, or simply being frustrated because events are not unfolding as planned.  Positive people will feel negative emotions with this, but they work hard at reflecting on the aspects which created the change in the first place.  They accept, perhaps write it out, and understand there is a place for everything.

In cases like these, one must learn to cope, by refusing to absorb the negativity and subsequently redirecting it outward, and instead defusing its impact at source. This is easier said than done, especially for those instinctively inclined to negative reactions to the most inocuous occurrences. Much like a physical fitness program or learning a new language, it takes a lot of practice.

Some of which can be employed in the privacy of one’s own thoughts. Replaying scenarios that would normally elicit negative thoughts, can be dealt with in a controlled setting and managed on a psychological level, until one’s thought patterns have morphosed to positive ones. A self-imposed state of relaxation, perhaps through the use of deep-breathing techniques, or yoga, enhances the efficacy of this mental exercise.

Envision yourself taking hold of the negative thought and disposing it in the trashcan in your mind, or burning it and watching the negativity turn to ash, re-emerging as its positive mirror image.  Accept that there will be negative times, but that you can overcome them with reflection and mental workouts towards making it positive in the end.

The Star Wars analogy would be Luke Skywalker convincing Darth Vadar to join him on the light side.  Luke is the positive force, and Vadar is the negative force.  It’s worthy to note the entire series is about light and dark.  Star Wars resonates with people because they intuitively understand there is a balance between positive and negative.  A leader understands they can not lead without facing both the positive and negative.  This is why Vadar is such a powerful character, he could not accept the negative, and it overwhelmed him in the end.

Like any exercise program, results take time to achieve, but you will find that once you start spreading the ‘gospel’ of positivism to others, their positive reaction to you will provide you with the feedback necessary to continue your journey to happiness.

This being a writer’s blog, I see every reason to believe that more positive writing results will be experienced when the right attitude is employed. Your feelings will tend to emerge through your writer’s ‘voice’, and your readers will quickly pick up on that. A positive attitude will help you get over your writer’s ‘funk’, reducing your anxiety and freeing your mind to more creativity.