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Week Five: Power of Positivity & Toxic Positivity

Updated: Jan 29

There's something to say about the power of positivity. Have you ever woke up on the wrong side of the bed and from there EVERYTHING went wrong? What about when something positive happened and that streak of good luck carried throughout the day? We all (life in general) are affected by our thoughts, emotions, and vibrations around us. There are so many studies and experiments out there that show how words alone can affect things from people, plants, and even ice crystals! Look up Dr. Masaru Emoto's experiments with saying different words to water and then freezing the water. Here is a short video clip that shows how words can affect water molecules: It is actually magical!

Now, if we don't think that the same things can happen to us as humans, we are wrong. The power of positivity doesn't mean that we never have bad things happen or that we don't struggle. It's just a reminder to have a positive mindset and do your best to ignore the negative energy in and around you. I know, of all people, that is easier said than done. But I promise you that it's worth it. It will change your perspective and even the perspective of those around you. It also affects your health! According to Healthline, a recent study that followed over 70,000 women over the span over 8 years reported that those that are more optimistic had a significantly lower risk of dying from several major causes including: heart disease, stroke, cancer, infection and respiratory diseases.

There's a few things that we can do to harness the power of positivity. The easiest step is to use positive affirmations in your normal, everyday thinking. Saying things like, "Today is going to be a beautiful day." "I will only focus on the things I can control and not worry about the things I cannot." "My thoughts become my reality" go a long way, but it doesn't stop there. Instead of focusing on the bags under your eyes or the blemish that popped up overnight, think about how amazing your hair looks today or how your eyes are really sparkling. Shift your view. Another thing that we can do is to remember to focus on the good things. How do I do these myself? I put small inspirational messages on my mirrors/fridge/cell phone so I see them often. I allow myself a glimmer of positivity. For instance every time I go anywhere near the beach, the first thing I do is take a deep breath and smell the scent of pine mixed with salt water. Just find a little glimmer of happiness in the everyday. To maintain a positive viewpoint, it's also VERY important to only surround yourself with positive people. If you are often around a negative Nancy, a one upper, or even someone that is just inauthentic then that will affect your mental health. It is not only OKAY to set boundaries with those people in your life who's attitudes do not serve you well, it is NECESSARY! Lastly, it is important to learn to be grateful. That is where the weekly challenge comes in. But before that, let's look at the other side of the power of positivity.

Here's the controversial side - Toxic Positivtiy. Toxic positivity is believing people should stay positive, even in the most harsh and difficult situations. Expressing emotions is healthy. It's not only freeing, but necessary to our mental health, to allow ourselves to feel emotions. The "happiness is a choice", "good vibes only", or "everything happens for a reason" catch lines may seem innocent enough but the truth is, it invalidates our feelings and emotions as humans. In fact, some of the steps I wrote earlier could be considered toxic positivity if it's not sincere when being said- whether to yourself or to someone else.

So how do you remain positive while not being toxic? The answer is simply- authenticity. Practice mindfulness so you can identify how you're really feeling. (We'll get into this topic more in the upcoming weeks.) Allow yourself (and others around you!) to feel feelings that are normal to the situation they're in, whether it's feeling sad, anger, or even despair. These feelings are not only normal but are critical to our mental health! Refrain from being overly positive or fake. Lastly, support others how they need supported. Maybe they just need to vent and they don't want any advice at all they need a shoulder to cry on and a little beam of sunlight. Whatever they need - provide. The constant comments to tell someone to "look on the bright side" or "everything happens for a reason" or even "it could always be worse" are not usually helpful to others.

This week's challenge is a to journal daily a gratitude list. These can be simple things you're grateful for or specific things that have happened that made you smile. Next think of something that you can do every day that's positive. Whether it's turning on a positive song each day on your way to work or even spending 10 minutes in the morning in the quiet enjoying your coffee and reading your daily inspiration. Lastly, think of something you can do daily for the next week that will brighten someone else's day. Maybe bring a friend flowers, make them something special, pass along a compliment to a stranger, bring a coffee to a coworker- anything really. Doing little happy things like this not only bring a little positivity to those around us but to us as well. Lastly, remember that "Every negative thought weakens the partnership between body and mine." -Deepak Chopra. Until next week my friends, Blessed Be!


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