Focus: positive

Something has been running through my mind lately, so I figured I’d devote a little post to it. Maybe this stems from how I’ve been embracing my hippie side (thanks Austin, for basically being a melting pot of hippies). Over time I have noticed a pattern with people in real life or in the virtual world of social networking who always seem to be struggling through something terrible. It’s a little crazy, because it seems like I see the same people dealing with one huge struggle after another. One more dramatic, horrible event. One more asshole they are adding to their long list of enemies. One more reason the world is against them.

So it made me wonder. Are all of these people just really unlucky? Do they attract bad situations or jerks who do them wrong? Are they asking for it?

I don’t think it’s any of those things. First of all, don’t be mistaken: everybody has bad shit happen to them. There is something to be said for how an individual handles hardship though, as to whether it resolves itself or amplifies the issue to breed more problems. Negativity feeds off and creates more negativity. I’ve seen it first hand. When I was in a funk in my own life it seemed like everything went wrong. And when I gave voice to my problems, I seemed to get buried under more problems.

For a long time now I have worked hard to focus on the positive aspects of my life, and I can say without hesitation I am a happier person. This is not by ignoring my problems, but instead by not giving them a great deal of weight. I deal with my issues, I allow myself to feel the emotions that come naturally for whatever I am facing — but I try to make a point to not make a fuss in public about the shitty stuff. And it seems like there is something to this. Here comes the hippie – but energy is real. And every person has this magic ability to choose whether they want to spend more of their energy on positive or negative thought and behavior.

Yes, I know this can be hard. We all succumb to a negative thought, that’s human nature. We all silently curse the jerk that cuts us off, or maybe it’s the ex in your life you don’t want to deal with, or perhaps the thankless job you struggle to wake up and go to, or maybe it’s that weight that just won’t come off no matter how hard you try (and so on, and so on…). But how much negative energy are you spending on these things? Is bitching about it making it better? And while we are looking at it, when you bitch loudly about one thing, do you start to notice other shit that’s bad piling up around you? How many times have you uttered something to the effect of “what else could go wrong” or, “everything bad seems to happen to me.”

I’m no shrink, I’m no psychic. All I know is that it seems the same people who complain loudly complain often. Maybe it’s your attitude when dealing with the ups and downs of life. My blog is about more than my attempt to keep myself physically healthy. You can’t truly be fit if you’re not tending to the most important part of your body – your brain. Mental health matters. If anybody reads this and it strikes a chord, then I hope you consider a little introspection. Try to remember this: “self awareness.” I had this written next to my bed for about a year when I felt like I was at my lowest mentally. It reminded me to look at myself and how I was fitting into the big picture. It reminded me to ask myself how I was dealing with whatever I was facing. Was I doing something positive to fix a problem, or wallowing in negativity? You may not be able to choose all that happens to you, but you definitely have a choice on how you react and what you spend your energy on.