Finding positivity

written by Yemaya Jennings

Too often we make choices and voluntarily fill our lives with negativity and then wonder why we are experiencing such bad vibes. For example, how many of you have formed friendships out of mutual hate over a certain thing/individual or how often do you go throughout your day without showing appreciation for the things that you should be grateful for? We are all guilty of this. I mean let's face it, focusing on the negatives is easy and focusing on the positives is easier said than done. But it's taking that extra step and recognizing the negatives but choosing to seek positivity that makes the difference. 

It's time to stop simply coping and instead conquer.

And I'm giving this advice from the perspective of someone that has spent a lot of time perfecting this idea. Let me explain how this realization came to be. I am a senior at a small liberal arts university in central Illinois. Being a girl born and raised in the city of Chicago, my college career has been nothing short of a giant culture shocking experience. I despised the lack of diversity and the small town life so I reacted by seeking out individuals that felt similar angst and by creating this false sense of being better than everyone and everything around me in my head. Now, although it's important to put yourself in situations that make you feel comfortable ,and for some that means finding friends with similar ideals and opinions, I have found that when those opinions are based on negativity you should instead figure out what you enjoy about your situation and seek company based on that. This doesn't mean that you can't vent about what's bothering you but perhaps, you should find people that you share a positive connection with and that make you feel comfortable enough to where you know that when the time comes you can open up to them. 

In my case, I was becoming friends with people who shared the same negative emotions that I did. Although these relationships feel comfortable at first because you feel as if you have found someone that understands you eventually you come to find that you spend the majority of your time talking to them about the negativity in your life, the jokes that you share are always making fun of someone or something, and you're catching yourself being less inclined to have a good time because you're being too judgemental. I've been there and I don't want to go back. I've wasted so much time being dragged down my negativity which had hindered me from achieving happiness and finding my niche. The more that you seek out positivity instead of coping with your negatives the happier you allow yourself to be. You should aim to surround yourself with positive people, you should remind yourself of the reasons you should be grateful and in the process you will be so much closer to finding your niche. 

Here are 3 tools that I've used to remind myself to choose happiness and stay positive.

1. Think of at least one thing everyday that you are thankful for. Anything. This way you are recognizing the positivity in your life and allowing yourself to be happy about what you have instead of what you don't.

2. Work on your own confidence before trying to make connections with others. This way you emulate positivity and self assurance and you're able to make relationships with people that do the same.

3.  Give yourself the opportunity to feel because your emotions are valid. Conquer those emotions by finding light at the end of the tunnel. 

I'm not saying that this is easy. You have to have patience with yourself. Sometimes the negativity in our lives comes from people that we are really close and it's hard to break away from them. Sometimes the negativity comes from habits that we have formed and we all know that those are hard to break. But it's worth it. Your happiness is worth it.