By Savitre Schaefferkoetter, Staff Writer
Stay positive, people say. They will repeat this phrase over and over until it gets so frustrating that it produces an opposite effect. But what is the meaning behind these words?
Mental health is now more important than ever. I disclose here that I have received hours of help and support for the sake of my mental health. I can proudly say that this calendar year has been a good one for me so far due to my self-care. Above all else, I cannot underestimate the power of positivity.
If one has doubts that mental health should be cared for like a physical ailment, they need to consult the Mayo Clinic, which states that positive thinking can result immunity to everything from the common cold to heart disease.
Staying in a positive state of mind is the key to happiness. Keyword — staying. New situations will arise. People are subject to getting into a funky mood and may take it out on you. You may endure an unwarranted rough morning of unfortunate events. These are the things that will make your positivity waiver. Will you fight to keep its ground? As easy as it might be to slip into a bad mood, to channel someone else’s rudeness to someone else undeserving, or to sabotage the rest of your day to be just as bad…don’t!
FML: Fantasy or reality? Do you truly believe that your life is that horrible? Do you often feel like a victim, or ask, ‘why me’? Stop, because you are digging yourself into a hole of despair. Start counting your blessings more than your failures.
Goodbye, toxic friend. Are there some people that you’ve known forever, but slowly realize that anytime you talk to them, you don’t feel so great? Maybe something important happened to you, but you are choosing not to tell ‘friend x’ because they will probably make fun of you, or talk about themselves, or ignore how important that thing is to you? Hmm, then what is the purpose of such friend? Tell them straight that you won’t tolerate that behavior. Dr. Nerdlove suggests using this statement: “You’re not helping, you’re being insulting. Stop saying things like that to me or around me.” And if that doesn’t work, reduce your interaction with them. Don’t be afraid to — you can do it!
Do what you love. It may not be the most exciting thing to post on social media, but perhaps your social media circle will surprise you. I delved into a little dressmaking phase not too long ago. Unfortunately, it was just a phase, but at the time, I just thought it was the coolest thing, à la Project Runway, but I was fearful that it might come across too “homebody” or “housewifey.” Not in the least. My Facebook friends were so supportive!
Speaking of Facebook, it is amazing to see how much positivity is hidden among horrifying news article and self-hating status updates. Take my friend, Lindsey Schutze, who took it upon herself to start a page called Palm Tree Philosophy to encourage positivity among her online friends. She encourages members to introduce their own stories, share memes, videos, and little things in life to cheer you up: “Had a big, fluffy buttered biscuit with strawberry jam for breakfast. It was beyond good. Enjoy the little things. Enjoy the hell out of them.” If Facebook isn’t your cup of tea, try a website like www.mentalhealthforum.net instead.
Be by yourself. Don’t think about being an antisocial loser, a failure, an outcast. I’ve heard — and believe — that we were born into this world alone and we will also live this way. While many of us are blessed to have a significant other, children, family, and friends, understand that it is not the sum of who you are and you must be okay to be by yourself. Only there will you find your voice.
Above all else, be open to teaching and learning. I write this article as an exercise in remembering how to stay positive myself. I do not intend to be preachy, nor do I like others who treat me in such a way. Instead, I promote an environment where people patiently listen to one another and share their own experiences. This is how positivity can empower one to live in today’s world.
Featured and Article Images: Special to The Jade Times
- Mayo Clinic Staff. (2016, June). Positive thinking: Stop negative self-talk to reduce stress. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/positive-thinking/art-20043950
- Mental Health Forum. (2016, June). Retrieved from http://www.mentalhealthforum.net/
- Dr. Nerdlove. (2014, July 18). Dump Toxic Friends. Retrieved from http://www.doctornerdlove.com/2014/07/dump-toxic-friends/