Is Negativity on the Rise?

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It seems more and more that negativity is on the rise. If you watch the news or spend any time on social media, you’ve seen how mean spirited it can be out there. In fact, many have reported that more and more Americans are reporting stress ever since the election. Not just run of the mill stress, but really worrisome stress. People report they aren’t sleeping or eating properly because they are so worried about the state of our nation.

I haven’t seen any studies done recently about an increase in negativity, but it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that it has increased. It’s challenging to hold a positive outlook when those around you are bickering, arguing, yelling and calling each other names.

While I know empirically that negativity is on the rise, there’s not much I can do about it. Worrying about it isn’t going to make it go away and there isn’t much I can seemingly do by myself.

Except there is.

Maintaining a positive outlook is more important than it’s ever been. Because moods can be contagious, I want to put out a positive one for my brothers and sisters to ‘catch’. While it’s easy in theory, in practice it can be a bit challenging to maintain a positive outlook when all around you are Negative Nellys. Here are a few tips for keeping a positive outlook.

Journal – Keeping a gratitude journal is one of the most effective ways to remain positive. At the end of the day write down all the things you’re grateful for. When you wake up, read the entry from the night before to jump start your day. Feeling a bit down? Read your gratitude journal and you’ll find yourself feeling grateful in no time.

Compliment – I try to make a practice of complimenting at least one stranger each day. Compliment someone’s hair, their nails, or their outfit and watch their confidence grow. For friends and family I try to offer as many compliments as possible without sounding creepy. Seeing another person smile because I noticed something about them is always a joyous experience.

Avoid Negativity – This isn’t always possible, sometimes we have to work with people who are negative and we can’t just walk away. However, you don’t have to get down into the muck with them. Don’t let the negative people in your life pull you down.

Reward Yourself – It’s the little things in life that bring us so much joy, don’t forget to reward yourself occasionally. Whether it’s splurging on a new pair of shoes or just a lovely bouquet of flowers for your desk, these little things can be huge mood boosters.

Vitamin D – Don’t forget to get enough vitamin D. Ideally you would get it from being outside but that can be difficult during the winter months. Take a supplement in the winter months, you’ll be amazed at how much better your mood will be.

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