How To Look On The Brightside
By Caitlin, the editor of the Operation Beautiful site
When I was younger, I was an overwhelmingly negative person. I generally thought the worst would happen, assumed other people would rip me off, and I said "I can’t" more than I’d like to admit. I held a lot of grudges. I was actually pretty mean to a few people. I was bitter when I was wronged. I couldn’t forgive or forget. I was a half-empty kind of person.
My attitude didn’t stop me from making really good friends and having excellent life experiences in college, but I always felt like something was holding me back. Then one day, it clicked — the only thing holding me back was ME!
I realized that I could CHOOSE to look at life like it was half-full…. or even totally full! I’ve actually transformed myself into a happier, more positive person. Here are my Happy Habits:
- Count your blessings. Even on your worse days, there are things to be thankful for. Got both legs? A family who loves you? A dog that licks your face when you come home? A job? A car? I used to get caught up in what Ididn’t have, but now I focus on what I do have.
- Never say "I can’t." You can do anything. Really. But you’re never going to accomplishment a single thing if you think it’s impossible.
- Be quick to forgive and forget… the first time. My issue was that I never cut people slack. I never put myself in their shoes. Being more apt to consider the other person’s perspective has drastically reduced the number of arguments I’ve gotten into (I’m a little hot-headed). That being said, don’t turn into a doormat. Being walked all over is never good for the soul.
- Pretend like every conversation is your last. Per the hot-headedness, sometimes I really want to kill the Husband for little things. Whenever I start to get worked up over something small, I fantasize what I would feel like if it was our last conversation. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
- Do nice things for other people. And don’t expect anything in return. You’ll get your due karma, I promise.
- Fake it until you make it. Even if you have to "pretend" to be positive, do it. Because eventually, it will become true.
- Re-assess your thinking from time to time. There’s a positive way to approach every situation. Life is hard enough without beating yourself down mentally.
- Ignore Negative Noise and Energy Vampires. Energy vampires suck away your positive energy and you feel exhausted after dealing with them. Negative noise are small actions that distract you, stop you from being productive, and threaten to ruin your day. Most urgently, negative noise threatens to overwhelm all the positive encouragement in your life.
How do you deal with negative noise and energy vampires?
- Ignore the noise as much as possible. Whether it is someone in your life who sprouts negativity about your new healthy lifestyle or an anonymous commentor online, ignore them.
- Turn your anger into sympathy. Negative noise and energy vampires can elicit a great deal of anger in the person on the receiving end — if you get angry, you are letting them win because they are sucking up you positivity. If you can, feel BAD for the person instead of being MAD at them.
- Don’t try to understand an energy vampire’s motivations. See Rule #1 — just ignore them. There are LOADS of reasons why people behave like this, but truthfully — who cares to figure it out? Again, you are wasting your time by ruminating on it.
- Disengage. Disengage yourself from the situation. Whether that means you have to disable commenting on your blog, dump a friend, or stop talking to your mother about your attempts to eat healthier, disengage so the energy vampires cannot get to you.
- Spend your time wisely. Instead of spending your time on a negative person, talk to a positive person and encourage them.
- Realize that positivity ALWAYS trumps negativity. Trust me, karma is a little witch.