How to keep positive in a negative world

Hi all and welcome to this weeks blog post from SYO!

To remain positive, you must think of yourself first. I know it sounds a little egotistical, but if you don’t you can’t help the negative out there. This is not selfish, it’s selfless because if you don’t look after yourself how can you be positive and help others?

 In each of our lives, we all have things that have happened or are happening to us. I lost my brother and my father before I was 13 and have 2 beautiful daughters with severe disabilities. It’s crap but life goes on and if you don’t look at the positives how can you wake up every morning wanting more from this world. That’s why we are here, no? To make the most of our lives and the lives of others.

When my girls received their original diagnosis, I started drinking and feeling sorry for myself. It didn’t help and my role as a father didn’t help me to look after and support my girls. I had to be as healthy as I could be and be positive about my life so I could help my girls and as many people as I could to help find a cure. My drive is to live as long and be as healthy as I can to make a difference, to my girls and those who need medical help.

It doesn’t have to be so personal. Supporting what you believe in allows you to have the drive to do the best you can in this world. A drive to change and help the world be a better place. When more people are positive the more the world will change. 

Anxiety breathes negativity. It is the art of looking into the future and worrying, instead of thinking about what can be done in the here and now. Biochemically this stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, the fear fright and flight centre that stops you from thinking straight and making you want to run. This is absolutely the state you should not be in when you are trying to be in a positive state. 

There are always going to be bad things happening as this is the nature of some human egos nutting heads and unfortunately there are also natural disasters. But how do we stop getting so tied up with all this negativity?

Keeping positive!

  • Breathe: breathwork calms the Sympathetic nervous system. Which calms the mind and body allowing blood pressure to come down and you to think better. Just breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds and breathe out 4 seconds, all through the nose is the easiest way to calm your nervous system. Don’t rush breathing it’s not a race. Slow light gentle breaths.
  • Stop Numbing Your Pain: remove addictions and try to be less reactive with situations by numbing how you feel. This is not ideal, if you feel like you want a drink, try and find other ways to deal with this. Research has shown it takes 15 minutes for the urge to drink to pass. You have 15 minutes to do something else to alleviate the craving. Exercise, call and chat with a close friend about how you are feeling. Go for a walk. Write in your journal. Don’t go start changing what it is you are feeling when you feel anxious about it. Start small as this starts the ball rolling and actions will happen.
  • Eat: we always think better on a full stomach as the sympathetic nervous system when aroused causes the stomach to shut down as we want to run (mentally and emotionally). Putting food in the stomach will allow this response to slow down.
  • Sleep: make sure you get enough. Doesn’t matter if you are a night owl or a morning lark, make sure you get at least 7 hours of sleep a night. It will make sure you are wake enough to think straight and be alert enough to make the right decisions.
  • Exercise: make sure you do enough. It’s recommended that you do at least 110 minutes of exercise a week. Research suggests that this amount of exercise reduces depression by 44%. How easy is that to help feel better? And if you’re not up for gym sessions, walk, it’s the simplest and easiest way to cardiovascular health.
  • Time out: if you are pushing yourself too hard at work or trying to use work to distract yourself, don’t, you are burning yourself out and becoming part of this negative world. It will suddenly hit you like hitting a brick wall and you will not be able to deal with your anxious mind games. Make sure you stop and take a mental sick day or two or that holiday that you’re dreaming of, to recoup contemplate and understand what your perspective is in life, so you have a better feeling about it.

 It’s not rocket science and it’s not easy. But it can be done. Patience. Persistence. Routine. If you want to stay positive you must work with your mind and body and work out a way that will allow you to keep the fear, fright and flight system calm which will give you the drive to achieve what you. Keeping calm allows you to be positive and lets you work through this negative world. It’s not a fad it’s a journey. Good luck.

 By Danny Williams, Osteopath