Anyone else tired of reading the news? It's been a rough year on many fronts, with global economics, violent shootings and unpopular politics filling the news cycle. Some days it seems next to impossible to filter through the negativity and find good in the world.
It begs the question: Are optimistic people living in a state of self-delusion? Where is the value of positivity? Before you give up on humanity, really take a look around. There is good everywhere. There are wonderful things that will soften even the most callous heart. The key is ending the cycle of negativity in favor of the power of positive thinking.
Our constantly connected culture comes with some serious perks. Social media, smart phones and tablets help us connect with loved ones on a level never before dreamed possible. However, all that connectivity keeps us dialed into the outside world all the time.
Designate a part of your day, preferably a large part, as tech-free time. Give yourself permission to disengage from cynical Facebook posts, guilt-inducing blogs, dreaming of a better life on Pinterest and following negative news stories. Use this time to engage with the people around you.
Take 30 minutes to read books to your kids, prepare a meal with your spouse or call a good friend. These simple acts will boost your sense of well-being. When we make a conscious effort to leave our digital life behind, we re-enter the real world where you can make priceless memories.
Accentuate the positive
You can find the good in the world. You can break the cycle of negative thinking. It all starts with where you choose to look. Some people wallow in the negative. You know the people; they are the dramatic, needy, negative, energy drainers who you feel obligated to stay close with. Let them go.
Surround yourself with positive people, and you will find yourself becoming more positive in the process. Choose to spend your time with those who inspire you, lift you up and help you see the world for the beautiful place it is. These good people will put your challenges in proper perspective and keep you from focusing your energy on things beyond your control. Here are some lessons we can learn from our children on being happy.
Now that you've learned to worry less by reconnecting with the real world and ditching the negative influences, it's time to smile more. Smile more and mean it. Smile more and feel it.
Happiness is a choice. It's one we make over and over, every single day. We can choose to find joy. Get outside, celebrate the big and little moments, find your passion and follow it with purpose. If you can't find the good in your world, create it. When you dedicate your time and talents to bettering the lives of others, you become the good you want to see in the world. What a powerful sentiment.
The inevitable conclusion
What are the consequences of letting go of worry and choosing to see the positive? First of all, you will stand out among the crowd. Some people may categorize you as naïve or idealistic, but you can't please everyone all the time. Don't worry about the detractors. However, there will be an even larger number of people awed by your influence. People will flock to you, and they will follow in your footsteps.
Don't run from leadership. Put yourself and your positive attitude out there. Disappointment may follow, but don't let yourself get sucked back into the vortex of worry and self-doubt. Even the best people have horrible days, but bad days do not have to become a habit.
The world is a beautiful place, full of good people who are doing a great work. Join their ranks. You have power over your emotional landscape, and you really can choose to worry less and smile more.