Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Power of Positivity: Breaking the Negative Cycle

Last night I came home from a hard day at work. One of my employees was a no call/no show for work and I ended up staying late calling everyone to see if they could come into work last minute. I was feeling kind of annoyed and negative when I got home. Later on my wife Kellie came home from work and handed me a beautiful homemade scarf. Her boss had made it, and when Kellie complimented her on it and said that I would love something like it, her boss handed her the scarf and told her to give it to me. Kellie's boss said she makes these scarves and she decided that every time someone compliments her on her scarf she will give it to them to help spread joy and positivity to the world.
When I received the beautiful scarf I was touched by her generosity, and it really brightened up my day. I wanted to thank her so I asked Kellie what kind of things her boss likes and she said Baked Goods and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.
I went to work having fun baking some flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, and I wrote a nice Thank you card, and I sent Kellie to work this morning with a plate full. I hope she likes them. The rest of my night was happy, and I enjoyed myself.
This inspired me to write this blog about the importance of being positive. Positivity spreads positivity, and can really change the whole outcome of someone's day, but Negativity spreads more negativity, and that is a hard cycle to break once it has started.
For example, have you ever been to a store and the person behind the counter is rude to you? Doesn't that make you feel off? Think about what happens after you leave the store, maybe a person bumps into you and you snap at them. That person then goes into the store and impatiently snaps at the person behind the counter when the coupon they had doesn't scan. Thus causing the cycle to continue, spreading negativity to everyone around you.
But say the person behind the counter is friendly and genuinely smiles and wishes you a good day. You feel pretty good when you leave, and if someone bumps into you when you are leaving the store, it's not a big deal, you smile and say your excuse me's and head on your way. Then that person is more patient when their coupon doesn't scan, and the person behind the counter manually enters it without any problems.
Sometimes you have to be the one to break the cycle of negativity. If someone is being rude to you, think about it and realize they probably are having a pretty hard day and they are letting other people's negativity enter their life. Maybe you can break the cycle of their negativity by being positive. And if it doesn't break their negative cycle, at least you don't have to continue it and spread it to others.
What I am trying to say is, be Positive, and spread that positivity to others. Smile more, say hi to the people you pass on the street or in the hallway, think about why someone might be being rude instead of taking it personally. Hold the door for strangers, be generous, help out when you see someone struggling to carry their groceries, or dropped their wallet.
It only takes a few seconds to turn someone's potential bad day into a good day. And you may be surprised when the positivity flows back to you.

Here's some more information:
It’s easy to become entrapped by a cycle of negativity. Negative thoughts and energy, just like positive thoughts and energy, are literally contagious and propagate themselves.
But any cycle of negativity can be transformed into a positive one by making the choice to do so and then intently focusing on it.

1. Return to Nature

To break a cycle of negativity, return to nature. Escape the chaos and commotion of your daily life and take some time to immerse yourself in nature. Feel the crunch of each step on a hike in the woods. Listen to the waves crashing over the shore and the sound of the wind passing through the trees. Embrace the simplicity and beauty of nature. Return to a purer, less cluttered, simpler sense of self.

2. Focus on the Moment

Too often, we become entrapped by negative thoughts and the endless stream of “what if” playing in our heads. The endless cycle of negativity compels us to feel like we need to escape our own minds. A simple remedy to abandon a cycle of obsessive thinking and over-thinking is to focus on the small stuff.
Boil down your attention and focus. Take your attention off of thinking and feel your other senses: touch, smell, taste, hearing and so on. Focus on the touch of grass, the smell of the air, the feeling of your heartbeat. Intently breathe in and out with each breath.

3. Surround Yourself with the People You Love

Seek out the ones you love and who love you. Surround yourself with them. Feel gratitude and contentment that they are in your lives.
Appreciate the relationships and friendships that you share with these other beings. Consider the simple miracle that is their very existence: that, out of the millions and millions of possible genetic combinations, defying the odds of luck and chance, they have come to be born and are now a part of your life. Intently enjoy their company.

4. Laugh (Never Stop Laughing)

Happiness, laughter, and smiles are beautiful.
They connect human beings on a level greater than we often fully appreciate. Laughter, happiness and smiling are common denominators among all human beings: we all naturally recognize, appreciate and connect through smiles and laughter. These acts of radiating positive energy bind us. They transcend human beings’ skin-deep differences, weave between us and intertwine us.
To easily break a bout of negativity, just laugh. Never, ever stop laughing.