By Tiffany Towne

Tips for staying positive in a negative world.

In today’s world, we are receiving messages 24/7.  Advertisements tell us we need one more thing to make our life complete.  The news shows us struggles happening throughout the world.  Social media presents us with friends and family who are happier than us, healthier than us…seemingly better than us.  No wonder so many people in the U.S. struggle to find positivity in everyday life.  In fact, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the United State’s most common mental illness, affecting 18.1 percent of the adult population each year.

If you find yourself being sucked into the negativity trap, try redirecting your mind, time and attention from negative to positive with some of these tips:

Be Thankful
Expressing gratitude is something you can teach yourself to do each day.  Carve out time to list at least three things you are thankful for. Make a habit of doing it daily.  These items don’t all have to be heavy.  Of course, you can list your children and home, but also take time to be thankful for the little things – a perfect flower in your yard or lovely weather.  Being intentionally positive for just 20 minutes a day can change your attitude.

Help Yourself by Helping Others
Volunteering your time, effort and energy is never a waste of time.  Do you have an extra hour a week to read to an elderly person or babysit for your exhausted neighbor with small children?  If you’re not a people person, try picking up litter in your neighborhood or volunteering time at a local animal shelter.  By taking action and helping others, you change your perspective from seeing bad things happen to making good things happen.

Dive Into a New Hobby
Have you always wanted to learn to knit or do photography?  Want to take a cooking class or become a master gardener?  There are many classes that you can take for minimal time and cost – and many you can do online in the comfort of your own home.  The sense of accomplishment you’ll feel by doing something you’ve always wanted to is a reward in itself, and time spent on your hobby will help you unplug. 

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