One of my biggest goals of 2019 was to cut out negativity (click here for my resolution post). And as I’ve been trying to figure out how to do that, a few quotes have come to mind, helping me realize that I am actually my biggest problem. Over the years, I had created such a negative energy around and within myself that it was 100% ruining the way I lived my life. All I saw was negativity. All I spoke was negativity. All I thought was negativity. And that had to change.
To live a better life, you have to change how you look at life. So in trying to change how I viewed my life, I kept coming back to these quotes:
1. “How was your day?”
A few years ago I dated a guy who refused to ask “How was your day?” Not because he didn’t care, but because he insisted on asking “What was the best part of your day?” instead. The first time he asked me that question I was bummed that my answer wasn’t immediate. All I could think of were the things that had annoyed me all day long. And that didn’t sit well with me. How could I have gone through a whole day and not had one positive thing to talk about? Even if I had an awful day at work, his question would always make me focus on the positive aspects of my day, making me look back on the day as more positive overall. It really amazed me (and still does actually) how much focusing on the positivity in your life can make it so much happier.
2. “Was it a bad day? Or a bad 5 minutes that you milked all day?”
We’ve all heard this one before. But somehow every time I hear it, it still blows my mind because it is so true. Holding onto negativity hurts more than just the person who’s holding it. Yes, it will damage you if you let it sit in your heart and your mind, but that negativity will creep into other parts of your life too. Your friendships, your relationships, your work life, hell even the employees at the coffee shop you go to every day could pick up your negative energy. So just let it go. I promise that milking that bad 5 minutes for the rest of the day is the worst thing you can do.
3. “Don’t talk about it.”
This was a weird piece of advice that I actually read in a book called The Defining Decade by Dr. Meg Jay. In her book, Dr. Jay talks about a young, female patient of hers who is struggling at her job. She’s new in the workforce, she’s hating her job, she’s still not used to the 9-5 life and she’s miserable. So every day on her lunch break she calls her mom (or her friend or her aunt – I can’t remember and I can’t look it up because someone actually stole my book), and every day she complains the entire phone call. About her boss, the workload, the actual work, whatever. But by speaking that negativity and putting it out in the universe, this girl was just bringing negativity into every aspect of her life. Talking about negativity in one area of your life to a person from another area of your life only allows that negativity to seep into every part of your life. And you’re the one causing the problem! So if it’s really not a big deal, and it’s really something you can handle, just don’t talk about it and let it pass.
4. “Be the bright spot in someone else’s day.”
Think about it. How easily can a compliment, a kind gesture or a few supportive words turn your day around? And if it can make that big of an impact on your day, why are you not doing it for other people? For me, it’s the days when I feel the worst that I always remember this quote. Because helping people and making them feel good about themselves makes me feel even better about myself. So if you like someone’s outfit – tell them. If you see a new mom struggling to get her stroller through an open door – help her. If you notice your friend is having a rough day too – let her know you’re there for her. No matter what the situation is if you can find a way to make it better, you should. Because it will make everyone involved a little more positive.
I know there are a million other ways to stay positive and help yourself get into the habit of looking at things a little more positively, but these are just a few quotes that help me personally. Positivity is not always something that comes to us. Sometimes we have to fight for it and sometimes we have to create it ourselves. It can be hard work. Like making lemonade out of lemons – oh wait…