Bad Habit

We get so much negativity thrown at us all day long.  Just turn on your TV and you’ll see constant reminders of all that’s wrong in the world.  Someone is telling you what needs to be fixed or what you should do before something bad happens.  And it doesn’t matter what time of day it is either – even if you’re watching “happy” television like on TVLAND, the commercials remind you of those horrid wrinkles that certainly make you look old (and old is bad remember), that flab on your stomach must go!  And obviously there’s an enormous problem with men and erectile dysfunction. Not to mention you need medication for anything and everything.  You’re not eating right. You don’t have the right work-out machine; you have to watch this show or that because if you don’t, surely you’ll be missing out on something.  My favorite;  all those $19.99 do-dads that are going to make your life easier, because the frying pan I was cooking my eggs with was fine, till I saw their pan that cooked them “instantly” and without the burden of having to flip them!  OYVEY!  We’re constantly being bombarded with what we’re lacking and what we don’t have.  We never have enough, we never are enough.  We can always be better than we actually are if only…

Negativity is everywhere.  People talk on their cell phones complaining about something as you stand in line at the grocery store.  You log onto Facebook or Twitter and people’s status’ can depress you – even amongst those attempting to totally inspire (ever notice that one comment always shows up to start the negativity flowing?)!  Don’t get me started on the newspaper, radio, etc.

Negativity is part of our lives.  And it seems that most people take this all in like a sponge and have no idea that they’re becoming negative miserable souls themselves.   Then there are those that are “positive” all the time.  But it’s that fake positive.  They’re the ones burning “incense” and not noticing how bad it smells, hitting yoga as if it were a religion, smoking a joint as a cure to everything and swearing by “meditation” as the answer.  They’re one step away from looney, eating granola and living without access to radio, television and such. Their mantra is denial.  Nothing’s wrong with the world, it’s just “my” bad energy. Blah blah blah.  I’m not sure that’s the answer either. Plus, I hate yoga, incense and granola.

I’m not sure why negativity seems so rampant to me nowadays.  Maybe it’s a side effect of technology and this enormous amount of information that constantly bombards us that has made us more negative as a people, but something’s changed.  We’re more on edge, more unappreciative, definitely more defensive – everything is a battle.

We’ve got to take a step back.  Remind ourselves of the good – especially in the midst of the bad.  Work on being positive.  Find joy – not just in sports and grand gestures, but find happiness in the little things, in the everyday things and harp on that for the rest of the day instead.  Stop reacting to all the negativity, stop absorbing the bad stuff and instead repel harmful negative vibes and create moments of positivity.

I assure you:  Life is brilliant!  Yes, it may be short and at times it may be difficult, but it’s far more amazing than we ever realize until it’s too late.  It may have its downsides but all in all, waking up every day even if you have an illness, a financial hardship, you’re without a home, hungry, jobless, in a family dispute, away from your loved one, living in your car, suffering mentally or physically in pain – every day you wake up is still amazingly brilliant.  And do you know why?  Because the mere act of waking up every day poses yet another possibility. A chance that something will happen – that something can happen.  That’s the light I always grasp onto.  It could be as small as watching the sunrise or finding $1 when you do laundry.  An old friend could get in touch and remind you of a funny moment from back in the day, or you could win a few bucks in the lottery.  A piece of music can make you smile or someone could tell you they love you, or miss you, or need you.  A smile from a stranger while you’re walking down the street could be the light you need to change your day.  And possibility then becomes more tangible. You could watch a great movie, read a funny book or feel good because someone said your hair looks great.  It doesn’t matter what it is or how small the feeling of joy is, hold onto that feeling for as long as you can!  Ever notice how if someone cuts you off while you’re driving, you’re pissed for the rest of your drive AND you have talk about it to every person you encounter, post it on Facebook and make it the most important part of your day?  Why not learn to let go of that, and instead harp on the fact that your friend called you today and told you that they missed you or needed you – or that someone was nice enough to let you cut in-front of them as you made your way to the off ramp?  Why don’t we let that smile, or that joy saturate our whole day instead?   Post THAT on Facebook and make someone else smile.

Negativity has become a habit.  We need to stop.

I’ve learned that throughout my life things were easier to get through because I was always able to see the positive even if the negative was monumental and daunting. Choosing to embrace possibility over negativity inevitably makes you a more positive person. It’s hard to always do, but what I’ve learned is like with any skill, the more you do it, the easier it gets.  And now, it’s just habit for me to see the glimmer instead of the doom no matter what the circumstance.  Don’t get me wrong, I still get sad sometimes too, but I tend to jump out of it quickly and dismiss negativity more readily.

Cliché or not, it’s time to stop and smell the roses –  and to make that the most important part of your day.

Be well.

6 thoughts on “Bad Habit

  1. The thing about negativity is that it’s an emotionally addictive drug. The more you indulge the less you’re satisfied. Even for those of us who are relatively successful at kicking it, the pull remains strong.

    Personally, I find it nipping at my subconscious when I least expect it even to the point where I hear my inner voice saying things like “man I’m tired/hot/fed up/whatever”. What starts out as objective observations quickly morphs into complaints. You’re tired – ok bug so what? Grab a coffee or go for a walk.

    The other day my daughter emailed me a question: “Dad, what are my strengths”? (Emailed because she lives like a million miles away). As I got to writing, I couldn’t help smiling more and more. That question was a gift! I had the opportunity to list and expand on all the things about her that I treasure deep inside – the things that absolutely colour my discussions with and about her. Talk about the opposite of negativity.

    It makes me think, too – is it necessary for someone to ask for that kind of feedback? Why not offer it straight out the gate, so that it comes as an unexpected but welcome surprise?

    Speaking of which: I am very happy to be your friend, Carmen. You endeavor to bring out the best in people. I also am hard in love with your smile – such as the killer one you have in the picture with this post. 🙂

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    • Wow, so much to say!

      I am so glad to be your friend as well – I want to hug you something fierce right now because without a doubt you always say something to make my day! Thank you!

      I love the question your daughter asked! Would make a great blog post, huh? How brilliant of her to be able to ask, to wonder.. I love it!

      And yes, wow — I love this “emotionally addictive drug..” line. It certainly is and I swear it just seems to be consuming so many of us that I just had to write something!

      You truly are a sweetheart Wolfie. Thank you again for making my day! I have to admit, yesterday I added new pics and changed my website around and I noticed you had posted a comment on one of my pics… made me smile. You’re bringing out the best in me right now!

      Hugs,
      Carmen

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  2. Once again you’ve managed to brighten my day Carmen! And wolfshades is so right about negativity being emotionally addictive like a drug drug. Having had a LOT of experience with both addiction and depression, I know that the two are irrevocably linked together.

    It’s funny, and I mean no offense to wolfshades, but after reading your post, his username actually provided that “small moment of positivity” to help bring it all home. You see, my doctors have always cautioned me to remember the way my depression tends to “shade” everything I experience with negativity. Over the years, I’ve toyed with different ways to express that, but the best I ever managed to come up with is “looking at life through depression colored lenses.” Sort of the opposite of the old “rose colored glasses” thing.

    I know it’s probably just the adrenaline rush that comes with having the weight lifted away for awhile, but right now that is just so damned funny!

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    • Mak, that is so funny! I totally know what you mean by Wolfshades username! Hahahahaha!

      Glad I got to brighten your day a little. Even more glad Wolfie made you laugh!

      xoxoxo,
      Carmen

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  3. Great post, Carmen!
    I completely agree with you. Our life depends on what we focus on. We always have a choice “to stop and smell the roses – and to make that the most important part of your day” or to complain about the negativity of the world.

    Have a wonderful sunny day! Don’t forget to smell roses and enjoy their beauty!

    Hugs.

    Helen.

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