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How to Stay Positive in Negative Times

Updated: Sep 8, 2023

Does it seem like sometimes everywhere you look there is doom and gloom? People have lost loved ones, anxiety is rampant, parents are strung out and exhausted, news stories are shocking and horrifying, some people even fear leaving their own house.

Negativity spreads like wildfire and it can be easy to get sucked into other people's mindsets and projections.

That was me. I was drowning in drama, negativity, destructive thought patterns, constant unrelenting worry, and debilitating anxiety. It has taken years of self-development practice and training to rewire and learn to disengage from the negativity.

Learn to be thankful for what you already have, while you pursue all that you want - Jim Rohn

There are things that helped me and I still continue to work on. You can rise above all that garbage, stay positive, keep the healthy energy around you, and find the good in life.

Here's how:

Check yourself and your thinking

Be kind to yourself. Take an assessment of the thoughts going through your head. What are you telling yourself? What is ruminating? Is it a constant stream of dismal thoughts or a 'woe is me' outlook? Sitting around feeling sorry for yourself will not be helpful or productive. Your mind can play tricks on you based on past programming and trauma. If you catch yourself spinning down a rabbit hole of negativity, start to count, 1, 2, 3, 4, Breathe in, and breathe out. Repeat. This will stop the spinning for a moment for your system to get back on track. Then think about taking that one step forward. If you need more professional assistance, there are things like life coaches, therapists, hypnosis, or tapping to help move through the blocks.

Filter out the bad

Not every day wake to sleep is going to be perfect - and - there is always something good that happens. Just because the coffee shop got your order wrong, doesn't mean the rest of the day is ruined. If you focus only on the negative situations, more of those negative things will come and it will create more anxiety and worry. Focus on what you want.

Daily Gratitude

A daily phrase in my house is "be grateful and thankful". Look at what's going right. Write down a couple of things each day that you are thankful for. Concentrate on those things. Even something that seems small, is still something to be grateful for. Starting the day calmly with an intention in front of your mind can be extremely helpful. You can write or read affirmations, too.


This doesn't have to be complicated. There are different methods of meditation but basically, it's connecting the mind and body to find that mental place of calm and peace. Meditation can deactivate the sympathetic nervous system (the fight, flight, freeze response). There are apps for guided meditation; sound baths; movement such as yoga, Tai Chi, or Qigong; seated reflection; breathwork; energy healing such as Reiki or Healing Touch. I feel like the definition of meditation has opened over the years. Even resting in a hammock listening to the birds or nature could be a meditative exercise for some people.

Look at your circle

Unpopular opinion but it's important to access who and what your influence is. Are you surrounded by drama and chaos or by inspiration and support? Are you staring at the news and feeling anxious or watching something that makes you laugh? Do you align in values with your circle? If not, it's an open door to argument and stress. What and who you are surrounded by has a big impact on mental and physical health. It doesn't matter who or what it is. Period.

Control where you actually have control

Feeling a lack of control can be a big factor in anxiety. Focus on where you actually have control. Slow down, breathe, and access the facts vs the illusion. For example, You don't have control over a store, the number of people, or how they act at the store, but you do have control over where you go and how long you stay.


This seems to be a big buzz phrase and some people feel like it's a fluffy phase or an excuse to get out of doing something. In all seriousness, this is extremely important, not just for ourselves, but for our loved ones. The saying "you can't pour from an empty cup" is absolutely true. I never put myself first. My family suffered when I got sick.

Clean up your space

Excessive clutter and messy spaces can make people feel cranky. Take the time to pick up each day, keep up on laundry, don't let mail sit around for days, have a place for things, and take the time to put them there. Add some plants or flowers, open a window when the weather allows. If you are at a loss on where to start, there are books, websites, even companies that can help you get started.


Basically how we live, our behaviors, or habits. Taking into account our day. What do we do first thing in the morning and the last thing before bed? Eating foods that fuel and keep us stable instead of dragging us down or a constant up and crash. Limiting access toxins. Get a good night's sleep. Exercise. Get outside. Be present in life and make the best choice at the time.

Life Lessons:

My list of things that helped me just kept growing and growing. Here are some other things that I had to address and learn:

People-pleasing will exhaust you.

The word 'no' is a full sentence.

I can have my own opinion, even if it doesn't match yours.

If it stresses you out, disengage.

'Don't make a mountain out of a molehill'.

Overthinking. Stop it.

Learn the 'Stages of Change' model. It alleviates conflict.

Listen to your intuition.

No one is perfect.

Everyone sees through a different lens.

You do the best you can in the situation, starting where you are at.

Smile, it makes you feel better and is contagious.

If all of this seems too overwhelming, start small, pick one thing and build on that.

1% better each day is still a move forward.

You won't always be a priority to others, and that's why you have to be a priority to yourself. Learn to respect yourself, take care of yourself, and become your own support system. Your needs matter. Start meeting them. Don't wait for others to choose you. Choose yourself today. - Unknown Author

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