Down with No; Up with Yes!

January 18th, 2014

How to turn negative emotions, conversations and people into positives:

• You have to want to do it. If complaining and whining are your hobbies, you will fail at positive thinking. Fess up to yourself. If you like to indulge in negativity, turn that into a productive hobby and write op ed pieces for a blog or newspaper. Or run for office of your community association, local government, state government or the national arena. Use you energy to impact the status quo. Or volunteer for a cause that makes your heart beat faster.
• When the surge of negativity courses through your veins, get up and walk, breathe, move around outside. Walk around the block, a park, anywhere safe and do it for at least 30 minutes.
• While walking, assess how you feel. If the walking feels great, plan a walking strategy. This way you will feel accomplished, i.e. so many blocks or laps in each session, so many in a week, etc. Translate that into miles and now your angst has become a hobby with substance. Or become a dog walker and turn your angst into $$$.
• If you still feel unsatisfied, consider turning your negative energy into: writing, drawing, painting, quilting, knitting, cleaning, some activity that you have always wanted to do but never made time for.
• Again, track your progress. Your angst might translate into new blankets for your family, presents for the next year or two, a blog, a book, an exhibit of your art, a genealogy record for your family.
• If your negativity isolates you from others, throw a party for other negative thinkers. If you think you have no friends, put a notice in the local paper and ask for other “friendless” people to attend. I can see the headline, “No one to watch the Super Bowl With?” Come to xyz and let’s enjoy the game together. Bring a snack, bring yourself, just come.”
• If you want to turn your negativity into a positive, befriend others, one at a time. Deliver baked goods or host a friendly “tea.” Invite others to attend, share interesting teas, maybe wear hats, use cloth napkins and dress up.
• Or dress down. Have a dress down tea party with jeans, hot dogs and popcorn and watch old movies.
• The rule here is, if others disappoint you, reach out and exceed their expectations with friendship, fun and food. Force yourself to make the first move, forgive those who won’t play and keep reaching out until you have a taker.
• Candidates for friends come in unlikely places, grocery store clerks, manicurists, electricians, dog walkers, and teachers. Maybe the volunteer at church who hands out bulletins or greets people at the door. Invite someone home for dinner after church. Keep at it until you have a few takers. Maybe the widow or widower in your neighborhood. Start conversations occasionally and see if you can discern a new friend in the process.
• Make sure that you “give” and not “take” in any relationship.