You may have read my earlier post about my personal positivity project. I set out to change my thinking by changing my words. No whining, complaining, or self-bashing for 24 hours.
And you know what – it’s really freaking hard, and that’s not a complaint, it’s a statement.
I tried setting reminders in my phone, and reflecting before speaking – but it’s still really hard. It’s hard in strange ways too – particularly in supporting friends. It’s hard to listen to someone complain and feel like you’re responding empathetically without ultimately saying, “You’re right – that does suck.”
In responding to friends, I tend to try to get them to look on the positive side, but sometimes that’s not being a good friend. I think. Sometimes, you just have to let them complain and support them in what they’re saying.
But does that negativity infect me?
I’m starting to think that it does. I’m not saying I don’t want to support my friends, or hear about their challenges, but does everything have to be a complaint? Is everything an issue? Am I the issue?
My own personal positivity project was originally thought up to change my own words – and I intend to continue with it until I really reach 24 hours without complaints. It’s also made me aware of how others speak around me, though. The environment you’re in, and the people you surround yourself with, the people you invest in – all of it influences your wellbeing.
It’s something to think about.
As for my 24 hours of positivity, I highly encourage each of you to try it. It’s harder than you think.
Do you ever notice that you’re just in a rut? Complaining a lot? Feeling over overwhelmed, overworked, over everything?
Have you ever noticed how that makes your whole body drag? Makes things heavy, hard to move, hard to breathe.
Although the spring sunshine has made everything brighter for me, sometimes I feel like I just whine a lot. About everything! About work, about my graduate program, about my weight, my friends, my general commitments. And every once in a while, I realize I’m complaining for something to say. Just to talk.
So this week I’m going to try to not complain for 24 hours. No whining, no negative talk, no self-bashing. Only positive things.
I’ve heard that this is a great exercise – but I also can only imagine how challenging this is. It’s all about changing your perspective. In moments of stress, it’s easy to overlook all you’re grateful for. It’s also easy to let that spiral continue into a very negative space.
I’m planning to hold myself accountable on this positivity project in a few ways:
- I’m going to set reminders on my phone to think positively – because in the middle of the 4pm sugar crash, it might be easy to forget.
- I’m going to do my best to put myself in positive environments and around people who lift me up rather than drag me down.
- I’m going to stick to the “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” rule.
- I’m going to also tell one or two loved ones – people I talk to consistently and that will hold me accountable.
- I’m even going to put a post-it on my bathroom mirror so I remember first thing in the morning!
I’ll let you know how it goes.