Deepak Chopra tweeted this yesterday:
Emotions are contagious. We monitor, regulate, and are regulated by each other's emotional state. Your well being improves my well being.
I found it apropos, as I was at the moment pondering these questions: How to get out of a “bad mood”? How to avoid passing negativity along to those around you? How to stay immune to the negative moods of those around us? How instead, to be open to positive moods, and sharing that energy?
It’s something I think about often as you really can’t escape people. Or yourself, really. So better to learn to interact in the most beneficial ways.
Our energy levels fluctuate throughout the day – and thus our moods. Lower energy I’ve found directly correlates with more openness to allowing negativity to have an effect me. Negativity & lower energy makes me feel less creative & productive. The less productive I am, the less good I feel. The less good I feel mentally, the less good I feel physically, the less positive my interactions with others, and my low energy and mood gets passed along. It’s a cycle which I’d like to break. Of course, the cycle works in the opposite direction as well, so maybe I just want to reverse it, not break it altogether.
The more productive I am, the more energy I have. The more energy I have, the better I feel, the more able I am to deflect negativity thrown my way, and be creative in dealing with “bad moods” – my own, and others, to be more positive. When I’m positive, people react positively, I feel healthier, and things just work right. When more things work right, I’m more apt to be grateful and expectant of more things working right. When you expect things to go well, health to be good, and people to behave well, they pretty much do.
So how to achieve that positivism reliably? This is really what I’m pondering. Thought into action.
In the short term, giving myself physical space from negativity or chaos works best. If I can get a moment to myself, to think, breathe, it makes a world of difference. Taking my focus off a future or past worry, and centering instead on the current moment also works for me. If I cannot get my brain to shift gears from worry to peace, occupying myself with a task that requires concentration & creativity – art making or playing the piano or even organizing a space works to distract my mind and start the cycle working in the opposite direction – the more creative I am, the more positive I am.
Now, I can’t always physically separate myself from the chaos (say, driving kids in the car). So in these instances, I find music helps center me. The more cheerful, the better.
Your nerves gather with the altitude
Exhale the stress so you don't come unglued
Somewhere there is a happy affair, a ghost of a good mood
~Owl City (from Rainbow Veins)
Alternatively, outside we go. Nature always has a calming, energy-boosting quality. You can’t take a walk in the woods and come out feeling bad. I mean, unless you’re attacked by a bear. (who obviously hasn’t discovered the virtues of positive thinking). But, I digress.
In the longer term, overall positive thinking & repetition of affirmations has worked the best for me, as trite as they may seem: I am healthy. I am productive. Life is good.
Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you're right. ~Henry Ford
I do believe by reminding myself that things are good, things really can only become better. Not because I'm tricking myself, but rather by looking at what's already there in a better way than I currently am (remembering that when I'm feeling down, negativity flows more easily than positivity). And if things don’t actually become better, at the very least, my reaction to them does. Thus, the reactions of those around me become improved as well, and can lead to physically changing things for the better. Positive energy transfer: it’s what I’m striving towards – greater positivism, increased gratitude, more peace. It can only be good.
So, how do you cope with negativity and turn it into positivity?