It’s November when this article is being published, a season of thanksgiving for many regions worldwide. Times are difficult for many people as they face financial and relational hardships. And with so much tension and unrest around the world and new fears and uncertainties facing us daily, it can be quite a struggle to be thankful sometimes.
So, today, let’s shift our focus from our problems, and everything that seems so wrong, by looking at how to find something positive in negativity.
Everyone has bad days that are filled with the negative emotions of anger, anxiety, depression, discouragement, uncertainty, worry, resentment, bitterness, and fear.
These negative emotions are so powerful they can cause mental, emotional, and physical illness.
Ready for some good news? We can choose whether to allow them to dominate our spirit or take charge and put them in their place and find something positive, a blessing, if you will, in the situation.
Often, negative emotions result from us blaming someone or something for our unfortunate, negative situation.
Holding onto these negative emotions and nurturing them is the problem; they’re like slivers in the soul that fester and create a gloomy atmosphere within our mind, blocking all hope of brighter days.
Finding Something Positive
We must take charge of our mind and condition it to think and look for the positive – the blessing – in every situation, even if we’re searching for it through blurry, tear-filled eyes.
Finding something positive takes practice.
We must constantly remember that our thoughts control our feelings; our feelings shouldn’t control our thoughts.
Our emotions are often triggered by an event or something we’ve chosen to believe to be true about something that has happened or is happening to us.
The Art of Finding The Positive
The next time you find yourself in a negative situation, remove yourself from the environment as quickly as possible and find a place where you feel safe and calm; put some distance between you and the situation to create emotional space.
This allows you to put the incident into perspective and be more rational and objective by asking these questions:
Am I overreacting?
What is the worst thing that can happen?
How serious will this be in a month or a year from now?
Could I lose a friend over this?
Could I lose my health, job, or family because of this?
Is being angry about this really worth my time and energy?
How would the situation be different if I just let it go?
If this situation is severe and requires my attention, what are two or three specific actions I can take to remedy it or initiate resolution?
What is the silver lining in this adversity I’m facing?
What could be the silver lining if I chose to find it?
Asking these questions processes your emotions and has a calming effect, helping you be more objective about what you’re facing.
Although you may not be happy the incident occurred, by taking charge of your emotions, you will know whether you can change it or should leave it alone and walk away. Either way, you’ve taken ownership of your life and have regained the power of choice, which is a positive result for which to be thankful; what you do next in the situation is all up to you.
Another approach is to “work the problem” by finding a solution when walking away isn’t an option or the best choice.
Searching for solutions shifts you into an optimistic frame of mind that expands your thinking and creates several possibilities for how this problem might be solved, transforming it from something negative into something positive. Not only will you see the situation differently, but you might also see the “problem” as an opportunity to learn something new.
You Have Control
Feeling controlled and at the mercy of life’s situations and circumstances is a recipe for misery; indeed, it’s a self-made prison of discontent and joylessness.
You, my friend, can control your thoughts and emotions, which will be extremely difficult at times, but nonetheless, you have that power; it’s a gift from the Creator.
You are in charge of how you will respond to the negative situation, which is something to be thankful for.
Even if you didn’t have anything to do with creating the negative situation, and even if you were forced into it by no choice of your own, you are still responsible for how you respond. Even though it isn’t fair, it’s even more important to look for the positive – to find the silver lining.
How do you find the positive in the negative situations? By choosing to search for and find the blessing. Remind yourself that there’s an equal or greater blessing hidden somewhere in there, which is something to be thankful for, too, when you stop and think about it, that will help you see the situation differently.
Unlock your best life every day this month by choosing to find the blessings contained in life’s seemingly negative circumstances and situations, and give thanks.