The age old question of what kind of person are you by how you describe a glass of water. I’ll as you, what one is it? Saying its half empty makes you negative, supposedly or perhaps it’s just how you are brought up to how you refer to a glass… But does that mean your parents were negative?
This reductionist view on how you perceive the world doesn’t do it for me. See I’ve been a negative and positive thinker. How I perceive a glass of drink varies day to day. For instance, if I was served a drink out I’d say “Ummm… excuse me this is half empty” and would feel rather put out if my barista replied with “I think you’ll find it’s half full.”
I believe aspects in life can make us negative thinkers; the thing is it doesn’t have to last. Just because you see the glass half empty at the moment doesn’t mean you always will.
I would say I’m a realist. That doesn’t mean I’m necessarily negative, I’ve just always accepted that life throws you curve balls and sometimes you have to do your best to try and bat them away. Previously I felt like I was repeatedly being hit by balls and could now longer hit them back. These negative events changed how I viewed the world; the disownment from my father caused me to have commitment issues. The abuse my friend experienced led me to be wary of those around me. Then there was the diagnosis of my disability which made me feel trapped and confused about my body.
I had felt like bit by bit over the expanse of a year, my glass was becoming emptier. I developed depression and didn’t want to leave the house. I was negative about every aspect in my life and I was struggling with it. During my road to recovery I found my negativity started to lift. Looking back now I feel these steps helped me become more positive.
How do you become more positive?
1. Ask for help
I accepted that what I was feeling was affecting my life and sought therapy on the NHS. I found this was merely a stepping stone for me, but it allowed me to talk through things I couldn’t tell those closest to me. I found this relieved some of my negative thoughts that run through my head.
Not acceptance that I needed help. But the acceptance of my diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome. This allowed me to look at what I can still do rather than thinking negatively about things I no longer could.
This meant I was able to concentrate on my recovery and through time began better in-tuned with my body.
3. Thoughts are just thoughts!
Learning to write down thoughts or worries that arise on paper and looking at them written down, massively helped me. It allowed me to look at what was going through my mind and then see that my worries could often easily be dealt with or that my negative thoughts were unfounded. And they were just that… thoughts!
4. Do something new
Volunteering for a mental health organisation rebuilt my confidence in others and allowed me to realise that others out there are experiencing similar things to myself. I also set up a blog and found writing therapeutic. When I was feeling low I turned to writing about topics that interested me like makeup and started a beauty blog.
5. Talk to others
It can be scary, but talk to others! It doesn’t have to be about your wellbeing. Talking to strangers or colleagues about their day boosts people’s moods and allows you to connect with others.
I found talking to others through my blog and in the comments section, allowed me to meet other people with chronic fatigue syndrome and helped me feel less alone.
6. Follow a calendar of actions
Doing a small conscious thing every day can help you think more positively. Action for Happiness do one every month, this month its Optimistic October.