Do you feel discouraged from being positive? Do you feel like it is so much easier to be negative than positive? Is it easier to talk about the parts of your day that frustrated you instead of the moments that made you happy?
I watched a TED talk by Alison Ledgerwood yesterday about the difference in our minds between negative and positive experiences. She is a psychologist who looked at why it is easier for us to find a negative perspective instead of choosing to be positive. Negative experiences weigh on our minds longer than emotional highs. Once a negative frame of reference is put in your mind, it is extremely difficult for it to leave your mind.
She tested a math problem. The problem was a simple subtraction with 2 separate groups. One converting from gains to losses and another converting from losses to gains. Each group had the same numbers and same difficulty. What she discovered was that the group that had to convert from losses to gains took about 50% longer to complete the problem. It is harder to shift from bad to good. The negative frame of reference takes longer to leave our minds than starting with a positive perspective.
Don’t be discouraged, just know that it takes work to be positive. Being positive takes effort.
How can we make ourselves more positive when the world around us is naturally negative?
First, focus on gratitude. Jon Gordon says it is impossible to be angry when you are being grateful. Your mind can’t do it. When you focus on what you are thankful for your mind doesn’t think about what is bothering you.
Second, surround yourself with people who keep you positive. Don’t spend time with people who constantly bring you down. Look for people who find the good in you and your day. Be that positive person for others. Ask others about great things that happened during their day. Encourage others and believe in their goals and dreams.
Know that being negative is natural. Don’t be discouraged.
Being positive takes a lot of effort.
Are you willing to put it in the work to be positive?
I appreciate you.