Photo courtesy of Orin Zebest
If there’s one thing I’ve noticed recently, it’s that negativity seems to be a trend that’s quickly rising in popularity. I see it daily on the Internet, I hear it at my local grocery store, I listen to it on the radio and watch it on television. I rarely even turn on my TV, but when I do, I want to watch something funny and lighthearted at the end of my work day. Instead, I click from channel to channel, only to find more and more men and women berating eachother, talking badly about themselves, and having repeated pity parties.
I’ve been mulling this over for awhile, but I am finally able to put it into words: Precisely when did it become cool to be a drag?
When I check to see what’s new on Facebook, I’m bombarded with negative and self-depricating status updates that are filled with unfulfilled dreams, complaints about traffic, sarcastic and bitter comments about parenthood.
I see the same things in my real life, too. I regularly tell my family and close friends to speak more highly of themselves. What we say and think about ourselves becomes our truth.
If you’re looking out at the world through dirty windows, nothing looks pretty, but if you take some time and make those windows shine, suddenly everything will sparkle.
If your view of yourself is distorted, put on a pair of rose-colored glasses from the Dollar Store for awhile and see if they help. At the very least, they’ll make you giggle when you look in the mirror.
Here are a few other things you can do to try to make a shift toward a better outlook in your everyday interactions:
- Take an honest look at your negativity. Own up to it, and see if you can figure out where it is coming from.
- Try to recognize that being negative can have a real impact on those around you. You may be making yourself unlikeable.
- Write down your negative thoughts, like, “Now that she did that, she is dead to me.” Turn it around into something like “All friends have disagreements. I’m sure we can work it out.”
- When you have a negative thought, turn the images in your head into a funny cartoon. Make it absurdly over-the-top so that you can’t help but recognize how silly your original negative thought was.
- Any time a negative thought enters your mind, close your eyes for a moment and imagine that thought inside of a giant bubble. Exhale, blowing that bubble, and the negative thought, far away.
- Practice positive self-talk every day. Do this by reminding yourself what you are good at, what you do like about yourself, and repeating a positive mantra while you look in the mirror.
- Smile at strangers. Say thank you more often. Being friendly and smiling are easy ways to make you feel better about yourself and your life.
- Do your best not to spend too much time with other people who live in houses with dirty windows (especially if they refuse to clean them).
Taking a fresh look at life (and yourself) can be so uplifting that you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. I guarantee you’ll keep your windows streak-free once you realize how great the world looks without all of that unsightly dirt getting in the way.