There is a concept that keeps popping up in things I’m reading and hearing lately. I feel like that happens for a reason, like the Universe is trying to tell me something.
What I keep coming across is the idea that the energy we put out is the energy that we attract.
If you are stressed, upset or angry and you are putting that out in the world in the things you are saying and thinking, you are actually attracting more negative things to keep you in that state.
Alternatively, if you put out good, positive energy in what you say and do, you attract more good things into your life.
Sounds simple, right? Well putting it into a consistent practice takes some work. So I thought I would pass on some baby steps you can take to experience more positivity in your life. They are small changes, but they have a significant impact.
Find a Silver Lining
When things are not going your way and you are caught in dwelling on the negative, stop and look for a silver lining.
The other morning on my way to work I was already in a state of ‘rush’. I had to get to work at a specific time in order to get off on time to make an appointment. I also needed to run by the bank. I hate feeling rushed, so I was already grumpy and my day had barely begun.
However, when I stopped at the ATM, there was a new feature where it let me select the denominations of the bills I would receive. So although it still made me withdraw $40 when I only needed $30, it at least let me take it in one twenty and two tens. Which in turn meant that I wouldn’t have to run out at lunch to go try and break the other $20.
Really, really small win for me, but I concentrated on that little silver lining and my grumpiness began to disappear.
I’ve talked about affirmations in previous posts. They are super easy and seem a little silly, but their benefits are not to be overlooked.
When you get up in the morning, look in the mirror and say something positive to yourself.
You can go with something that you currently already believe, like “I have really pretty eyes.” or “I am a very generous person.”
But it is more empowering to state something that you want to be true. Such as, “My body is healing itself.” or “I am beautiful and men are attracted to me.” or “I will receive lavish praise on my presentation.”
These are pretty powerful and you’ll feel the results immediately. You’ll stand a little taller and feel more confident.
Women especially tell ourselves hateful, mean things. How can we expect respect from others if we don’t apply it in dealing with our own self.
I know you are ready to murder your annoying coworker who won’t stop talking about their pet. Just smile.
You just dropped spaghetti on your white shirt. Just smile.
The fuel light came on in the car and you have $5 for the next few days. Just smile.
Depending on your level of annoyance, you may have to hold that fake smile for a little while, but eventually you can’t help but feel better.
Just do it!
Pay It Forward
Next time you are feeling like the world is an unfair and horrible place, go out and do something nice that will benefit someone else.
Hold the door open, pick up a piece of trash someone threw in the street, take in one or two buggies left in the parking lot, buy a soda for a coworker, pay the toll for the next person to come through…you get the picture.
Paying it forward stops your negative thinking and puts your mind on others. Your attitude will improve, and you’ll realize just how much control you actually have over how you feel.
Bill and Ted’s Not So Excellent Adventure
I create a ton of my own stress because rarely am I ever living in the present moment. I’m either focused on what needs to get done next or where I need to get to, or I’m stewing over something that has already happened.
My therapist calls this time traveling, Definitely stewing on things that are negative can cause me to spiral and become depressed. Thinking ahead all the time, I never truly enjoy any moment because I’m always focused on the next thing and the next. It’s really depleting.
So I remind myself when I’m rushing, does it make any difference? No it doesn’t. I get there when I get there. The three seconds I may save by driving 10 miles over the speed limit doesn’t make one bit of difference. Enjoy the drive.
Stewing over things that have already happened will not change what happened. And by continuing to think about it, I’m robbing myself from getting enjoyment from anything that may be happening right now.
Take deep breaths and really take in what is around you at the present time using all of your senses.
Challenge Your Thinking
If you are thinking, “Nothing good ever happens to me.” Challenge that thought to see if it is really true.
Didn’t you find a $1.00 in the parking lot? Didn’t you get some praise from your boss on that last assignment? Didn’t your child tell you they loved you this morning?
When you start thinking of everything that doesn’t fit with that statement, you’ll start to see things aren’t as bad as you made them out to be.
Encourage Positive Thoughts in Others
I have a habit of asking my daughter, “How was your day?” Now if she’s been at work, I usually get some long story about how stupid customers are or what the latest drama was with her coworkers. Pretty sure she doesn’t feel much better after relaying to me the stuff that’s been eating at her all day.
I think I’ll start asking her “What good things happened to you today?” This will cause her to have to take a breath and think. Then when she gets around to relaying the less than stellar parts of her day, they won’t seem so overwhelming and will have lost some of their potency because she’s already been thinking and talking about more pleasant things.
Or if your family actually still sits down together for dinner, you can pull a page out of Reese Witherspoon’s book, Whiskey in a Teacup. Her family institutes a game called ‘Roses and Thorns’. They go around the table and tell the best and the worst thing that happened to them that day. Start with the positive. 😉
I know, stop rolling your eyes. There is a reason this gets mentioned anytime you want to talk about being more positive. It works.
Each night before going to bed, think back on your day and write three things that happened that you are grateful for.
It could be that you got up early enough to enjoy a cup of coffee before anyone else woke up. Your child gave you the sweetest smile when you told her she was silly. It rained overnight and everything smelled so fresh.
So stop milking relatively minor things and letting them ruin your whole day. Expect positive things, actually look for them and you’ll find the world looks a lot more rosy.
Picture unicorns with rainbows coming out their butt!