25 Ways To Stay Upbeat When Surrounded By Negativity

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By Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC

womantwistingHave you ever wondered where the good times have gone? Do you find yourself in the grocery store line listening to customers lament on the world’s problems? Do you run in to pick up your dry cleaning in time to hear the latest update about a virus you’ve never heard of? Do you cook a fabulous dinner and sit down to enjoy family time around the table, but instead hear about your spouse’s demanding boss or your child’s teacher who will be out the rest of the year due to breast cancer? How much bad news can you take? How can you possibly remain upbeat when everyone around you is full of gloom, doom and negativity?

In truth, we all get down sometimes, but if you are surrounded by negative friends and family, you are exposing yourself to a contagious attitude. Negativity, like the common cold, is spread by word of mouth and actions. Like the common cold, the best way not to catch it is to use precaution and prevent being susceptible.

Here are my 25 favorite ways to stay upbeat and positive:

* Get involved with people or projects that give you meaning.

* Schedule time in your day to have five minutes of total quiet alone.

* Meditate by focusing on your breathing in and out slowly.

* Pray.

* Don’t take other’s negativity personally.

* Limit your time with negative people and make your life a no venting or complaining zone.

* Play: yoga, running and/or walking are good examples of adult playtime.

* Go to a movie with a friend or by yourself.

* Listen to music that makes you feel positive.

* Write down three things you’ve always wanted to do or were interested in and begin learning one of them.

* Have Friday or Sunday night potluck night. Everyone can come, but everyone brings something to the table.

* Have a suggestion box set up in your home so kids, as well as other family members, can write suggestions for innovative new family outings or rituals.

* Go to church: according to research church goers are happier, healthier and find more meaning in life than non-church goers.

* Play with your kids even when they’re grown.

* Hug family and friends as much as you can.

* When worries take over, step back and focus on today…now.

* Be grateful and say thank you each opportunity you get. The more you give thanks, the more you have to be thankful for as time goes on.

* Volunteer.

* Plant a garden or at least a few plants.

* Get a pet or spend time watching animals on TV.

* Watch funny movies or movies that encourage good rather than evil.

* When faced with a challenge instead of getting discouraged think of it as an opportunity to learn and grow your business, relationship, or wherever the challenge is.

* Give away whatever you aren’t using.

* Pay it forward every chance you get.

* Read autobiographies and biographies. They help you understand that everyone goes through really bad times and how you handle it defines your character.

friendsLife gets rough for everyone sometimes, but life stays rough for those who allow the bad times to taint the joyful times as well. I have met people who live horrific lives of chronic pain, yet their attitude is so positive they infect others, which feeds back and revitalizes them with positivity. No one has you sign a negative contract, however. Surrounding and staying in negative relationships locks you into their contract. Break free! Find and encourage positive interactions and relationships for yourself and those who are open to being infected with good energy.

– Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC, is a licensed psychotherapist and co-author with Janine J. Sherman, of Start Talking: A Girl’s Guide for You and Your Mom About Health, Sex or Whatever. Read more about the book at StartTalkingBook.com and more about Rapini at maryjorapini.com.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – Poetry Can Heal Fat And Negativity

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By Risa Ruse

saladplateI am sure that you may have heard the saying, “We are what we eat.” I would like to add to this, “We are what we eat, and think!” You see thoughts are like food for the mind. The quality of such can bring good health or just the opposite in illness and disease. I would even go further to say it could lead to suicide. Even though eating disorders are not what I am focusing on (but are relevant) to the wanting to fill one up when the soul feels empty. Just for the record, my mother committed suicide when I was 11 years old. I had to witness her unhappiness (and several attempts before being successful in failing to enjoy life.)

This emptiness can show itself in feelings of not being worthy (even if we have had a normal life, per say.) It is the perception of self that determines these feelings that become our “reality” whether others perceive the same thing or not. Such disorders given to anxiety exhibit an exaggeration of what a person without anxiety, or even Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) may perceive. Just being able to enjoy the simple things in life becomes a

Just being able to enjoy the simple things in life becomes a masterful plan of self-loathing that leads to addictions of many kinds.

masterful plan of self-loathing that leads to addictions of many kinds. Compulsive buying, eating comfort foods, sexual promiscuity (that may lead to or include lasciviousness.) This feeling of lack in our lives creates a wanting that is never satisfied. Sure, buying a new CD, dress, car, (or whatever our credit report will allow us to charge) will give a feeling of elation. This is not the same as joy. Joy is an emotion void of negativity. That is unless you really have a problem with life, and get joy out of making others miserable!

What I would like to share is a process in rhyme that comes from the divine that I have been able to coin; that is not like other poetry used for catharsis. You see, many persons that include Veterans use poetry as a means of expressing negative emotions that proliferate negative thinking. My poetry is inspired through my connection with my Higher Power (Christ is mine.) When I say a prayer, what is in my heart comes out in the form of rhyme that addresses a particular emotion (that is actually cleansed during the process.) I, and others who have heard it are left with a feeling of knowing exactly what was expressed and have a way of putting a new label on what emotional discomforts they are carrying. Since these are universal emotions of mostly anger and fear, we are not repeating any particular traumatic event (that would give negative thinking strength.) This kind of poetry is like a match igniting our spirituality. Once this flame is lit and we follow the required commitments to it, our lives change.

heartYou may be thinking right now, “What are these requirements?” The first is to express gratitude for even the little things in our lives. Giving thanks proliferates acquiring the ultimate gift of joy! The others are magnified with blessings when performed in prayer and meditation. Then prayer leads to faith, and once that is accompanied by trusting Eternal Spirit to provide our every need, comfort and healing comes.

– Want to know more about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)? Contact me for a free inspired poetry consult. As an experienced Social Worker skilled in Veterans PTSD, victim turned victor twice of PTSD (once as a child losing my mother to suicide and then as a mother) I share the healing of negative emotions (one or two at a time in rhyme) that make it a safe place to heal. I share my books and my poetry articles on my website: http://RisaRuse.com