1. Don’t Panic
Sometimes, feelings of negativity will creep into your heart and mind and soul, even though you consider yourself an optimist, but please don’t panic. Please don’t jump to the conclusion that you must be doomed for a life full of gloom, for that’s not true. What is true is that you’re feeling something unpleasant at the moment. Maybe it’s sadness, anger, or despair. Perhaps it’s hopelessness, rage, or defeat. Whatever it is, remember that it’s essential to feel your feelings.
2. Feel Your Feelings
Honor your emotions, even the ones that are rooted in negativity. Fear, sadness, and anger are part of life—suppressing them is not going to make them magically disappear. They’re not supposed to be buried deep beneath the armor you put on to face the world. They’re not supposed to be held in, smothered, or tucked away into the darkest corners of your heart and head. You’re supposed to feel things—pay attention to how you express them, too. Sometimes that expression means you’re going to cry. Sometimes it means that you’re going to yell, scream, or sob. Sometimes it means that you’re going to retreat inward, to spend time alone with your thoughts and try to make sense of them all.
3. Resist The Urge To Place Your Negativity Onto Other People
You can find a way to express your negative emotions without being harmful to yourself or others. Just because you’re having a bad day doesn’t mean that you have the right to unleash your negativity onto the people surrounding you. And to be clear, there’s a difference between asking the ones you love for help and taking them down into the darkness with you. Your loved ones are not there to be your punching bag, absorb whatever negative feelings rising within you, or “fix” your mood. That has to come from within you. You need to find a way to channel whatever it is your feeling into something that allows you to process whatever you’re feeling. Maybe that means you start journaling, blogging, or writing poetry. Perhaps songwriting or painting or going for long walks is more your cup of tea. Maybe the time has come for you to go to therapy. Whatever outlet works for you, embrace it.
4. Embrace The Lows And The Highs Of This Life
There is purpose in the valleys, and there is strength in the scars that you have. Sometimes that purpose will be clear, and you’ll be able to choose positivity without hesitation. Other times, that choice will feel harder and more complicated and more tenuous. The trick to finding the balance of it all is knowing that you don’t have to stay in the valley forever—you can climb to the top if you wish. You can put those scars down, too.
5. Starve The Lie That Says You Have No Control
There are many things that you cannot control, but there are also so many things that you can. You can control how you react to situations; you can control what you do with your feelings. You can control who you surround yourself with and who you follow on social media and what media you consume. You get to decide. Yes, you.
6. Starve The Lie That Says Everything Is Awful
Everything is not awful, everyone is not horrible, and despite the nagging voice of negativity that’s creeping up in your spirit, there are good people in this world. Sometimes things rooted in positivity, like kindness and compassion and love, will be drowned out by the voices who thrive on negativity and hate. When that happens, I hope you mute those voices. I hope you speak the truth to those lies that humans are capable of greatness and goodness.
7. Remember That Positivity Takes Work
It takes work to be a positive person. It takes work to see the joy in the mess. It takes work to be the type of human who can see the pieces of something broken and then pick up those pieces to make something beautiful. It takes work to stand in front of a mirror and tell yourself words of praise. It takes work to give yourself pep talks before a big meeting, or audition, or moment in life when everyone is going to be questioning whether or not you belong in that room. It takes work to be confident. It takes work to let that confidence assure you that you are deserving of the same consideration, love, and encouragement that you give others. It takes work to do all of this, but it’s work worth doing. You’re worth it, too.
8. Remember To Give Yourself Grace On Bad Days
There will be days when you cannot see the light. There will be days when negativity takes ahold of your spirit and tries to sit with you at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’ll join you as you do your work and navigate your day and engage with those you love the most, even as you engage with the ones who get on your nerves. And when the negativity starts to rise and bubble within you, remember that it’s going to be okay. Remember that there’s a difference between feeling negative and feeding the negative. Remember to give yourself grace as you navigate the dark and return towards the light.