Negative emotions often feel uncontrollable. If in the rush of the moment, you cannot help but feel badly about certain circumstances, you are most definitely not alone. A common negative emotion is procured by thinking about the possibility of failure rather than the opportunity to succeed. There’s something about the bitter aftertaste of failure that always sticks around longer than the high from success. Other negative emotions include, but are not limited to, fear, anger, guilt, jealousy, self-pity, inertia, and, one of the worsts, unworthiness of good things. Negative emotions are always quick to flow through someone. However, what’s unrealized is that, they are 100 percent controllable. You choose to welcome those negative emotions.

The choice of entertaining negative emotions can actually be a lot more harmful than expected. If you haven’t noticed already, negative emotions can be extremely distracting. When you have a pessimistic thought in your head that can be all you think about throughout the day. Failed tests, fights with friends, a rude comment that your co-worker made, can really cloud your mind. It’s difficult to think as rationally when your judgment is muddled with gloomy past events. Negative emotions are also contagious. Have you ever had a friend who is always whining about how much his or her life sucks? I know someone just came into your mind while reading that sentence. Just by his or her reasoning, you soon start to believe that your life sucks too. You don’t want to be known as the person who is always spreading around that negative energy. It’s not good for your or others’ health.

How can you be more positive?

Everyone has their own definition of positive thinking. My definition of it is that positive thinking is the belief that despite all obstacles, you will succeed. It’s important to remember that having a “woe-is-me” attitude is not going to help you reach any of your goals.

When you’re feeling negative emotions, you have to make it your obligation to convert those to positive emotions. Rather than dreading on past events, distract yourself to focus on a more positive event in the past, present or future.

Remember that being positive is a conscious process. That negative nelly whose always blabbering in your ear about how much the world sucks? Yeah, get rid of that person. Misery loves company. Surround yourself with more encouraging people. The more you are around that kind of energy, the more you’ll feel better about yourself and your surroundings. However, the only way positive people will want to be around you is if you emit positive energy yourself. There are many ways to spread positive vibes: compliment others whenever you get the chance, share positive stories, smile at others, and say good morning to your boss when you come to work. By being a happier person, you will attract a happier crowd.

Don’t visualize negative scenarios. Always think about the best, see the best, and hear the best. I’m not saying be ignorant, even though ignorance is rumored to be bliss, but there are just some stories, especially on the news, that I avoid listening to or following because they are redundant. They don’t do anything to help me intellectually but they do bring me down. If you can avoid associating yourself from negative stories then do it. Caring about your mental health does not make you ignorant or selfish.

Implement positive words when having conversations with others. Just by saying words like “great,” “bright,” “peace,” and even “positive,” you’ll see a sudden change in the energy around you. Smiling also releases healthy hormones and is a great way to change your mood and help you feel better.

Even if your current circumstances are not favorable, believe that from now on you will succeed. Being in a sucky situation does not give you an excuse to be negative. The more you sulk about your life, the worse your situation is bound to get. If you believe that from now on you will be successful, you will do well for yourself, and you will feel more comfortable, you’ll soon see all of those things come true. Everything in life comes after an attitude adjustment. Your situation only follows your attitude.

Last but not least, repetition. Like everything else, being positive is a habit. You have to force yourself to do it until eventually it becomes instinct. The more you consciously push yourself to follow the strategies above, the less you’ll have to think about it in the future. You’ll soon be attracting a better crowd and improving your mental health.