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Staying Positive

Photo credit: Kittikun Atsawintarangkul

It’s gotten to the point of where I don’t want to turn on my computer.

It’s too much bad.

We’ve got mass shootings, animal abuse, people shouting at each other over nonsense, and a million other negative images and ideas being streamed at us 24/7.

It overwhelms me sometimes, and I am an emotionally healthy person with a Pollyanna complex. I can only imagine how people who might be a little more anxious than I am might be reacting. Statistics show that we have about 50,000 thoughts a day, and if we tend to lean toward the pessimistic, that’

s a lot of negativity streaming through our mind space. Pile on all of the stuff you see on social media and in the news, and it’s “cruddy info” overload time.

So what do we do? Is the only solution to turn the TV and the internet off? For most of us, that’s not an option, and even if we did, chances are we would hear everyone discussing the things that we didn’t see anyway. Here are some ideas that will help you to keep your beautiful self in a positive, happy frame of mind:

  1. Take a media time out- Make a conscious decision to unplug for at least part of the day. While it’s impossible to completely detach from the media, giving yourself a break to refresh and recharge is always a good thing.

  2. Notice and be grateful for the good things- Take a look around you; I bet you’ve got quite a bit of wonderful things in your life. Take a moment to appreciate them, even if they are things as simple as a delicious cup of coffee or indoor plumbing. Stay focused on the good, and eventually, that’s primarily what you’re going to see. Try it; it works.

  3. Practice mindfulness- We rarely pay attention to the present moment. Our minds tend to focus on either the past or the present. Another big issue is that half the time, we are doing at least two things at once. Stop, take a breath, and be mindful.

  4. Look for the silver lining- There is always something positive to be found in any situation, and I mean any situation. I have a friend who had a heart attack on Thanksgiving. It seems like it might be hard to find the good in such a rough thing, but when I saw him at the hospital, he was thrilled that he didn’t have to eat his mother-in-law’s cooking that year. Apparently it’s pretty awful.

  5. Mountains vs. molehills; you choose- Try not to lose perspective. We tend to make things harder-more stressful-scarier than they really are. Stop, take a breath, and ask yourself if things are really that bad, and if so, is freaking out helping? If so, then carry on.

Barbara Buck is a Foundational Reconnective Healing Practitioner, writer, and teacher. For more information about her, please visit her website at

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