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Why Positivity is Important in Life

Why Positivity is Important in Life

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Positivity and having a positive mindset can help us navigate life with less stress and anxiety, and help cultivate a more homeostatic mood through our daily routines. It can also build character and lead to a richer life.


What is Positivity?

Positivity is defined as having an optimistic outlook and a tendency to respond optimistically to situations. Moreover, positivity is optimism in practice. Positivity can be learned and cultivated.

How we respond mentally to challenging situations can affect our physical being. Chronic stress can be damaging to your body and can lead to stroke or heart attack. So, mental perception and response are extremely important.

Developing positivity is a skill that requires patience and grace. As understood by great stoic philosophers like Marcus Aurelius, penned in his Meditations, positivity is a journey that requires deep introspection and habit.

Don't judge yourself.

It's okay to experience normal human feelings of disappointment, grief and sadness. It's okay to fail and to make mistakes. The goal of positivity is not to dwell there, but to overcome adversity and move forward.

But you will have trials and tribulations.

It's very important to note that you likely will never be 100% positive in all situations in your life.

That's okay. We're all human.

The goal of positivity is to establish general optimism rather than unrealistic expectations of yourself.

With that said, forming a pattern of positivity can be extremely beneficial. How we respond to situations and outcomes can decide the trajectory of our lives and how we feel about ourselves overall.

Developing positive thinking skills is not about avoiding challenges or pretending that hardship does not exist. It's about your perception and how you allow difficult situations to affect your life.

Let's look at the following example.


Why Positivity is Important: Positivity vs. Negativity

Let's imagine that you and your coworker Susan (Yes, it's always a Susan) are competing for a big promotion at work.

Earning the promotion would mean that you can buy the new car you've had your eye on for months. The big promotion would allow you to dine out more, move to a nicer apartment, take trips and travel more often.

The big promotion would improve your life.

A lot is riding on upper management's decision.

When the management team makes their big announcement, it's quite natural to have a sinking and devastating feeling in your stomach when you discover that Susan was offered the promotion over you.

Remember, you're human. It's okay to feel disappointment. Sometimes it's going to hurt.

But how do we respond to this news in the long term?

There are two ways we can react to the news that we did not receive the promotion: negatively or positively.


The Negative Response


After the bout of nausea you've experienced from hearing that Susan won the promotion, you start to downward spiral into negative thinking and despair.

The negative thinking pattern leads you to the conclusion that you're unworthy. The experience has decided that you are a failure beyond redemption and that there's no point in ever trying to get promoted again. Ambition is a trap and a travesty.

With a short burst of adrenaline you combat the rejection, declaring that Susan, the incompetent and lazy scoundrel, has surely slept with someone in upper management to ensure that she would be granted the promotion. That Wh*&$!

In the days to come, your performance at work deteriorates.

"Screw these people! Why should I bust my hump for them when they clearly do not understand what an amazing worker looks like!"

"I don't care anymore", you say to yourself, "I'm going to find a new job."

The experience of not being awarded the promotion has sucked the joy out of your life and has negatively affected your relationships with your spouse, coworkers, family and friends.

You're a bitter shell of what you used to be, all because you didn't get that promotion.

Eventually, you get fired because your negative attitude has obliterated your performance and severed all of your relationships at work.

There has to be a better way.


The Positive Response


After the bout of nausea you've experienced from hearing that Susan won the promotion, you take a deep breath, grab a cup of coffee and analyze the situation with a clear and positive perception.

Yes, you did not receive the promotion but that's okay.

There will be other opportunities.

Instead of despair, you decide to view the outcome as an opportunity itself. It has given you a chance to deeply analyze yourself and has sparked the motivation for you to delve deep into self-discovery and growth.

"Yes," you confidently say to yourself, "I did not receive the promotion this time and that's okay. The outcome does not define my worth or value. I will use this unpleasant experience as the catalyst for personal growth. I will explore where I can improve and develop professionally. I am thankful for this experience. It will help me to become a greater person. I am thankful for what I have now and I am grateful for what my positive outlook may bring me in the future."

Already, you're feeling better. When you see Susan walk over to the coffee station you smile and congratulate her.

But this isn't a phony congratulations. Because you have developed positive thinking skills and gratitude, you're genuine in your praise.

Instead of thinking poorly of Susan, and accusing her of sexual misdeeds to win the promotion, you acknowledge her contributions to the company and view her as an asset. She has earned the promotion. Susan is a wonderful employee and a great friend and coworker.

Over the following weeks and months, the experience has led you to some remarkable revelations and has ultimately helped you to improve your work performance and overall perception of the world around you.

Management has taken notice.

Before long, another big opportunity has surfaced; a potentially very big promotion--even bigger than the one before.

Because you chose to be positive instead of negative after the previous rejection, you have excelled, and management is delighted to inform you that you have been offered the promotion this time.

Congratulations! Your positivity has changed--and improved--your life.

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The Benefits of Positivity: Positivity is Contagious

In our scenario above, we see that maintaining a positive perspective and outlook can often lead to beneficial outcomes.

On the other hand, negativity will destroy you. Not only will it destroy you, but it can bring others down along with you.

Humans are social creatures and are often influenced directly by the moods and attitudes of others around them.

Have you ever been feeling happy, only to walk into a room with people wearing looks of gloom and doom and, before understanding what was even going on, you felt your happiness and joy instantly escape you?

Negativity is contagious.

But fortunately, positivity is contagious as well.

Research shows that purposefully being positive and managing your stress has many benefits, including but not limited to lower levels of depression, greater resistance to disease, diminished pain response, reduced risk of serious ailments like stroke, heart attack and cancer, improved coping skills, longer life span, and a greater overall psychological and physical well being.

Projecting good vibes and an attitude of positivity can help other people acquire these same benefits.

Your positivity invites others to be more positive.

If you don't believe me, try it!

Then next time you're around a crowd of people who are looking blah (like in a slow-moving line at a post office), smile big and say, "I just want everyone in here to know that they are awesome and you are beautiful. Truly. I hope something good happens to you today, and I hope blessings and good fortune follow you for all of your days!"

Sure, you might have one or two grinches that cling tightly to their surly grumpiness, but I assure you that most of the people who just heard you say that will be smiling right there with you.

You made their day.

Because positivity is contagious.



Positivity can be a skill that requires patience. Give yourself time, space and love to develop the pattern of positive thinking. Don't judge yourself if it takes longer to establish than it takes others. Allow yourself to be human. You will have moments of despair, unhappiness, disappointment, grief and sorrow in your life. That's normal.

We avoid "toxic positivity" by reminding ourselves that we are human and we deserve grace and patience.

We do, however, acknowledge the enormous benefit and power of positive thinking, and we invite you to embark upon the journey of cultivating it.

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day!

P.S. You're awesome. :)

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