How to Stay Upbeat
When the News is Bad
by Sally Strackbein, Fall, 2008
Are you watching the news? Are you listening to all the gloom and doom? It's easy to be depressed when so many people are worried.
I hear the advice, "Don't participate." But how? Bad news is seductive. It's so easy to get drawn in. I come from a long line of complainers. It's easy and natural for me to fall right back into my family's habit of focusing on what's wrong.
When Ray and I met, I vowed to pay attention to what I like about him. I noticed that when I did, magically there became more to like. Years before, I vowed the same thing when my children were born. I paid attention to when they were good. They were good most of the time.
It took some practice for me to shift from noticing what's wrong to noticing what's right. Some people will tell you to start a gratitude journal. It doesn't have to be about gratitude. It's about point of view. You don't need to be grateful when you see a happy child. Just let the joy waft over to you. You could be grateful when you hear beautiful music, but that would change your perspective from noticing the music to noticing your hearing. It's easier to just pay attention. Just notice the nice then, little by little, you will find your mood getting more and more positive.
Here's how you can protect yourself from the negativity trap and shift to the bright side. As you go about your day, ask yourself, "What do I see, hear, smell, taste, or touch that I like?"
Right now, I am sitting in Tysons mall and I see the most beautiful blue sky above me through the skylights. I smell delicious coffee. There's my friend and he has a big smile on his face. It feels great to get a big bear hug.
Take a moment right now and notice your surroundings. What do you notice that you like? Start with small, inconsequential things. What else? See how easy that was? Make a note in your calendar to look for the good stuff.
When you are positive, you attract positive into your life. Isn't that what you want?
copyright © Sally Strackbein.
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Sally Strackbein is a speaker and author.
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