How To Turn A Negative Into A Positive | Alyssa J Freitas: How To Turn A Negative Into A Positive

August 30, 2016

How To Turn A Negative Into A Positive

Take a second and call to mind the last time you were disappointed. Or upset. Or down in the dumps about anything at all. I bet this has happened to you at some point in recent memory as we all face discouraging situations every now and again. Sometimes you can just brush it off and move on quickly, while other times it takes a bit of work to get your positivity flowing again. What I've found that helps to expedite the process more than anything is you perspective.
How To Turn A Negative Into A Positive
Shifting your perspective isn't the easiest thing (and I would be lying if I claimed that there wasn't a certain level of pretending to yourself, at least initially!), but here are the methods that you can use to turn a negative you're facing into a positive.

01. Ask yourself: Will this matter in (insert reasonable length of time here)?

This is one of my favorite tricks for getting things into perspective quickly. When you look at your life's timeline it can make it easier to see that this negative is most likely just a blip. Depending on the situation, you can determine what a reasonable length of time is (for example, if you've done poorly on a test, ask yourself if it will have a major impact on your life after college) and allow that to guide your thoughts and feelings.

02. Ask yourself: Is this a serious issue in the wider world?

I understand that we all have our own problems that feel like they are the most important thing in the world at a given time. However, when we stop and take a look at what is actually going on out there (read: poverty, war, civil unrest), we can start to see that perhaps what we are facing isn't all that bad. 

03. Ask yourself: What can I do to address this?

In every situation, you have a choice. You can look at the negative in your life and decide what action you will take. Or what action you will not take (inaction is always an option, as my mother often reminds me). You can decide if you will respond to the problem, or if you are going to simply react. It is important to know that you are in the driver's seat no matter what. And while THINGS may happen that are out of your control, the ball is always in your court to make the next move, since you are in control of YOURSELF. Empowering yourself regardless of circumstances will move you into the coveted "positive" territory of the situation. 

04. Ask yourself: How can I learn from this?

It is in this step that positivity really shines through. We all are well aware that bad things happen to good people. Accepting that fact and dealing with it helps us to grow and continually move forward. When you determine how you will learn from the negatives in your life that you work to overcome, you will develop new skills and be better equipped the next time around. If you did poorly on a test, I bet you now recognize your mistakes and can identify changes you will make in your studying before the next exam. If you were in an unhealthy friendship, odds are you will be able to pick out warning signs in the future and protect yourself from going down that road again. While I certainly am not a fan of the "everything happens for a reason" mentality (as Blair Woldorf says, "Destiny is for losers. It's just a lame excuse for letting things happen to you instead of making them happen."), it is true that there are certainly things which are out of our control; that means we must get through them and at the very least learn something from it, which is a positive in and of itself!


  
Examining the timeliness and magnitude of a negative you are facing, as well as deciding how you will address it and what you can learn from it enables you to shift your perspective and see that you can and will move on.

How do you deal with negatives in your life?

-AJF
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