The word “positivity” defined by dictionary.com is “a good, affirmative, or constructive quality or attribute”.
By this definition, positivity could be anything that makes a person “good” or “content” to be around at the least. I believe however that the act of being positive is something much deeper.
Many of the people that I meet that do contain negative qualities, such as outwardly expressing doubts, concerns, and complaints, are people within my age range. By attending college, we all are feeling stressed out and tired most of the time which leads to a more negative outlook. We are constantly saying, “I don’t want to study for this” or “this assignment is stupid”, etc.
Every student goes through a negative phase, just some more than others.
Through my first semester at Oklahoma State, I found myself falling under the extreme negativity category. Everything to me was “too much work” or “not worth my time”. I didn’t want to do much of anything if it was slightly inconvenient for the schedule that I had created for myself in my head. If something wasn’t going the way that I initially thought it would, it was automatically “stupid” in my head.
I realized that I was unhappy, and this was because of the attitude that I had forced upon myself. I was allowing myself to fall into a patch of pessimism that was taking a toll on my education, relationships, and ultimately, my happiness.
It was time for a change.
I found that I always had no problem being positive towards others. By this I mean that it wasn’t difficult for me to help motivate or express positivity towards my friends when they were feeling stressed out or down. It was always easy for me to help them feel better or to take a negative emotion and look on the bright side of it.
I just couldn’t figure out how to do that for myself.
So any time I thought of something negative I wrote it down for an entire week.
Honestly, it was ridiculous how many negative thoughts went through my head on the daily. I would have a page or two just covered with unnecessary thoughts that were so degradatory on myself personally. At the end of every night, I would read over what I wrote down, and then write down a positive counterpart to it.
I quickly discovered that every single negative thing that I thought on the daily could simply be transformed to be looked at in a positive light.
Obviously, this didn’t change my way of thinking completely, but it did help me see rather clearly that negative thoughts were ultimately just positive thoughts worded wrongly.
Now, a semester later, I find myself taking any negative thoughts or comments and basically doing a pro and cons list in my head. I think of something negative, for example, an upcoming test I don’t want to study for, and list the negative, studying for the test, and follow that with a positive, if I study I’ll ace it and that’ll help my grade.
Of course, not every negative thought is this simple, but it does help me not think as negatively as I once did.
By slowly turning my outlook on life into a more positive light, I find myself feeling happier and less down on myself in all aspects.