The word positive can be defined as “consisting in or characterized by the presence or possession of features or qualities rather than their absence.” The definition also includes descriptors such as constructive, optimistic, and confident. When we look at the word positivity, it is the presence rather than absence of certain substance, condition, or feature. To summarize, I think it is safe to say that positivity is the presence of optimism and confidence rather than the absence.
I think it is meaningful to break down the definition of a word to determine how we can best utilize it, and for the purpose of this specific post, the goal is to unravel how we can spread positivity on a daily basis.
I want to start by saying that I have not always been the most positive person. I have had my share of “doom and gloom” moments, always thinking worst case scenario or that the world is out to get me. It is hard to keep a positive attitude when things do not appear to be going your way, and I say “appear” because I also believe that we don’t immediately see why things are happening the way they do, but there is always something to be learned from these experiences. Now this is not to say that you always need to have a smile on your face, because you better believe I do not walk around with a smile all day every day. I will say, though, that I have been working hard on having a positive attitude, or better yet, a positive mindset. Keep in mind that everything we say or do affects the people around us, and after being around others that seem to have a less than positive attitude, it made me even more aware of the importance of positivity.
So how do we maintain positivity in this cynical world in which we are inundated with bad news on a daily basis? To start, it is important that we become self-aware in terms of how to set the tone for a positive day. As an example, I have learned that I prefer quiet mornings, and when I don’t have it, I really crave it. I was visiting my parents in Michigan over the summer, and one morning my mom was busy moving around the kitchen. Meanwhile, I was preparing my breakfast and waiting for my tea to brew, and I realized in that moment that I needed quiet and calmness. That is the best way for me to start the day so that I am aligned with a positive attitude. But in that moment when my mom was busily moving around the kitchen, it seemed disruptive. This is not to say that what my mom was doing was wrong, but rather it was not conducive to what I was trying to accomplish first thing in the morning. I say all this because it is so important to be self-aware. Knowing this, I may need to prepare myself ahead of time to spend some quiet moments in my room before coming out to the kitchen. At home it is really easy with Francisco because he is very quiet in the morning. He likes to sit at the kitchen counter and eat his breakfast while he catches up on the news. But I will say, there are times that Francisco, lovingly, whistles from the kitchen in the morning when he wants me to get out of bed, usually after I have slept for well more than 8 hours.
Positivity is also spread through the way we communicate with others. Every interaction we have will leave an impact, whether that impact is positive or negative is up to us. The conversations we have, the comments we make, the body language we use…all of these things affect the individual on the receiving end. Also think about it in terms of people not directly involved. How does your conversation with someone else affect someone that is nearby? I like to think of it as being similar to second-hand smoking. The effects of smoking can be just as harmful for an individual that is a non-smoker but is around a smoker on a consistent basis. Your positivity or negativity will directly affect those around you. I have experienced co-workers talking negatively about various things in the workplace, which not only makes me feel uncomfortable but it also makes it difficult to maintain a positive attitude when others are talking so negatively. So, I encourage you to spread positivity by maintaining a positive attitude and save those less than positive conversations for when you can have them in private.
Lastly, I want to remind you that positivity is contagious. It really is. It is hard to be a “Debbie downer” when you have people around you that exude positivity. I have been the one that is on the negative side of things, but after being around some very positive individuals, it became very difficult to maintain that sense of negativity. You could say I saw the light, and with that light I have made some changes that have allowed me to have a positive attitude on a consistent basis.
Just remember. We are in control. We have the power to exude positivity and be the light to others. I believe if we all make a more conscious effort to be positive, we will be our best well selves in more ways than one.