Recognise the positives
In the realm of 24 hour news, our lives are becoming full of negativity. We are constantly bombarded with bad news. It may be via the television, radio, newspapers or any one of our many social media connections who choose to share these bad news stories with us. It can be difficult to escape sometimes. I am not suggesting that you bury your head in the sand and pretend that that the world is perfect. The problem is that with the constant bombardment of bad news, you can easily fail to recognise the positives that life has to offer. So many positive things happen on a daily basis but people fail to recognise them. This leads to an unhealthy, unbalanced view of society. It erodes your confidence in society and if it persists it can even erode your self-belief.
You cannot rely on the media to recognise the positives in life and share them with you. They know that good news stories do not sell as well as bad news stories. For some strange reason, people are more prepared to expend their energy focusing on all that is negative in the world rather than recognise the positives that they experience. Most people are blessed with good health, good relationships and good opportunities but even when they do recognise this, they rarely take the time to be appreciate it.
Recognise the positives – make it a routine
There are five steps which you can implement to make recognising the positives a daily routine. It really does not take much effort; simply a comment to recognise the positives which are presented to you.
Awareness is the first step in any change process. If you are being overly negative and only focusing on the bad things in life; it is ok to acknowledge that. When you do, you are in a position to change you ways.
Commit yourself to noticing more of the positive events which occur in your daily life. When you read the paper, make it your purpose to recognise the positive stories and take the time to read them. The same attitude can be applied when you are watching TV or surfing the net etc.
2. Be optimistic
Dr. Richard Wiseman, in his book ‘The Luck Factor’ carried out many different experiments to test the importance of an optimistic attitude. In one experiment, he had participants read through a newspaper and count the number of advertisements. One of the advertisements advised the participants that they only had to show that advertisement to the observer and they would receive a cash prize.
The findings showed that the pessimistic people did not notice the advertisement but the optimists were more likely to notice it and claim their prize. An optimistic attitude and a belief that there is positive to be seen in the world will enable you to see more positive and appreciate your life all the more.
It is one thing to recognise the positives; it is another entirely to absorb them. When somebody tells you a piece of good news, you could easily leave it with a quick ‘that’s nice’. In this instance you would be failing to absorb the positive news. Instead, you could ask them a few questions so that they can tell you a little more. If you hear a good news story on the news or you read it in paper, why not do a quick Google search on the internet to see if you can find out a little more about the story.
Obviously, you cannot spend all of your time researching good news stories, or questioning happy people, but actively seeking good news for just a few minutes per day will make a massive difference to your health, wellbeing and confidence. It always amazes me that people will gladly sit and listen to a bad news story but as soon as they hear good news, they tend to brush it off and move on.
When good things happen for you or, to you, take the time to appreciate them. Take a few moments to understand how you will benefit from what has occurred e.g. if you receive a pay rise, think about how the extra income will benefit you and your loved ones. Appreciation goes deeper than mere gratitude. Rather than just recognise the positives that it brings, you feel, and experience, the benefits that the new opportunity brings.
When you experience something positive in your life, do not just keep it to yourself. Nobody wants to be boastful but if it is done in an appropriate manner, there are many people who would love to hear some good news. It may be something that happened to you personally or it may just be story that you discovered. You can share it by telling people face to face, or you may share it online e.g. on one of your social media profiles.
I recently discovered a Facebook page called Suspended Coffees. It promotes the idea of paying for an additional coffee so that it may be given to somebody who cannot afford to pay for their own. In addition, on their page, they share wonderful stories of how people have helped each other. Their stories are shared by many Facebook users and many Facebook users contact them with stories which can then be shared. Over time they have built a community of people who love to share and receive good news. These people tend to be happier and have a more optimistic view of the world.
When you start to share good news and positive stories with your friends, you will soon find that there are more people who enjoy sharing good news with you. This helps to bring more optimism and positivity into your life and it all begins when you recognise the positives. It won’t make the world a better place but it will give you a more realistic perspective on the world which will ensure that your experience of the world is better. Your perception of the world shapes your reality (i.e. your experience of the world) so if you want to have a positive experience and a happy and healthy life, you need to start to recognise the positives which surround you on a daily basis. When you start to recognise the positives, you will change your perspective and your happiness and health will start to improve.
Image credit: Stacy Lee Ould