I am not a Pollyanna or a goody two shoes or what ever image there is for someone who is usually positive. I’m pragmatic and an optimist and have to believe there are ways of getting things to change for all our benefit
As you know I follow Peter Shankman who shared an interesting story about elephants and that they don’t know they are 3-5 tons of raw power. They don’t know they can squash a lion into lion juice. They don’t know how strong they are until the first time they do. Nobody taught them. They need to find out for themselves
Same thing is true with us. We don’t know how strong we are until we’re called on to be that strong. We don’t know our power until we stand up to a bully, until we stop caring what others think of us, until we demand better service, until we raise our prices, until we stop allowing ourselves to be taken advantage of, or like the Ukrainians do what they need to do to fight Russia. It’s time to discover our power on so many levels.
One of the behaviors we need to address that negatively impacts our power is complaining. We are doing a lot of it. People want to get back to what they thought was normal; inflation is hurting us; will we go to war? Enough! Think of it as a bizarre version of the Law of Attraction: Complaining will cause you to “attract” more experiences you can complain about and this is based on science. Complain, and over time it’s easier to be negative than to be positive. Complain often enough and complaining can become a default behavior. When you’re mad, upset, frustrated, etc., releasing those negative feelings helps you feel better. Science says whining about your problems actually makes you feel worse, not better. According to one study, venting just makes you feel worse. In fact, the more participants vented, the worse they felt through their day; and those negative feelings last.
In a recent article in Research Digest participants in a study reported lower momentary mood and less satisfaction and pride with the work; they also tended to experience lower mood the next morning … and lower pride in next-day accomplishments. And of course this impacts the people around you
What is the solution? Learning to choose how you respond to adversity is the key. You have a choice. What can you do to make the situation better? You don’t need to have all the answers or even any of them. You can simply choose not to complain and know what you can and can not control.
As Pollyanna said “When you look for the bad, expecting it, you will get it. When you know you will find the good—you will get that….” “And most generally there is something about everything that you can be glad about, if you keep hunting long enough to find it.”
Some tips that might also help
This is a classic British response to tough times, however, there are certainly natural calming effects of sipping on a cup of tea. Drinking this hot and soothing beverage is shown to lower levels of cortisol, otherwise known as the stress hormone, so it makes it a good place to start.
Go on a media diet
“Doom scrolling” through the news in times of crisis can be extremely tempting. Do yourself a favor, though, and try to avoid scrolling as this behavior and poor mental health has already been linked by various studies. Of course, it’s important to stay engaged, I’m not suggesting people get off the media completely. However, offsetting the negativity with uplifting stories and limiting news consumption are healthier ways to manage it.
Instead of letting a sense of powerlessness sink in, focus your energy on the positive action you can take. Do something rather than just taking in all the bad news and feeling more and more immobilized by it all. As simple as a walk outside, playing with a pet or child can help you realize what you have and your gratitude for it.
Like drinking tea, taking deep breaths is another classic piece of advice, and science does, in fact, back it up; deep and slow belly breathing triggers a part of the nervous system, which lowers cortisol and adrenaline, and raises oxytocin and dopamine.”
Activate your brain for solutions
The key to moving past bad news and towards a solution-focused response is to activate your brain in a positive way. Sometimes that next step is to just sit with it and feel whatever you’re feeling, But if you tell your brain what you want, it will do what it can to help you. Out of the blue, you’ll come up with one of those ‘aha’ moments. Even Henry David Thoreau believed in the law of attraction and how our thoughts become things, when he said it’s not what you look at that matters it’s what you see. Or as Wayne Dyer said when you change the way you look at things the things you look at change. Solutions and ideas are born
Time passes regardless of whether we worry about things or whether we let them go. Live in the moment. focus on today and what you can do with your strength and power. Learn from adversity, find solutions