Ways to Cultivate a Positive Atmosphere
So, I’m sure by now you’ve heard of this new found trend towards positive living, right? I mean, what is it? Has the world gone crazy? Or is everyone finally sick and tired of the constant bad new everywhere we turn these days?
Sure, there’s plenty of awful tragedies on the news. It would seem that judging by the sheer numbers of homeless panhandlers flying signs the street corner begging for money, that the country and in a grander sense the world, could use some positivity, right? So, how do we cut through the onslaught of entrepreneurs trying to sell us positivity, and cultivate a little slice of some positive bliss for ourselves?
Step one: Turn off your television
Turning off the boob tube will do wonders for your stress level and allow some peace and quiet to permeate through the static. Have you never wondered why they call it the boob-tube? Because you have to be semi-stupid if you actually think any of the programs on T.V. is there for you.
Television, even more so than its predecessor, radio, is here to do one thing and one thing only- SELL YOU STUFF!
That’s right! Sorry to burst your bubble, but the reasoning for all that highly contagious sitcom hilarity is simply to get you seated, complacent, and open to viewing the advertising we all love so much. Without viewership, the advertisers would have to find some other way to get your attention, like social media.
What’s more, on top of trying to sell us things we don’t really need the role of T.V. is also to distract and desensitize us from the reality of life. The theory is if you keep them complacent and entertained, then you can commit atrocities that no one will know about. Think about it, 20 years ago an alligator babysitting and eating a child or a gorilla being shot dozens of times after the mother carelessly dropped her kid into the exhibit would’ve gotten 15 seconds of fame and that’s it.
Now it’s all that anyone can talk about. Radio, Television, and social media are abuzz with jokes, commentary, and speculation. But what’s really happening? What are the world powers that be really doing while you’re not looking?
Turning off the T.V. and spending time with ourselves and those we love will not only foster a lasting bond that has gone the way of $0.50/gallon of gasoline, but it also allows us to fully process the flood of information that we are fed in a never ending barrage of bad news. No wonder we are becoming conditioned to accept inhumane acts and atrocities worldwide. Suicide rates are up, the economy is down and yet, no one seems to notice.
So, by disconnecting from the constant streams of negativity we can begin a new dialogue. We can begin a conversation built on trust and honesty like the good ole days of yore. Even more importantly, that desensitization effect can be reversed. Once we can realize what bothers us again, we can eliminate it from our lives and figure out what builds us up instead.
Step Two: Disconnect From Your Phones & Social Media
This is a tough one, especially for someone like myself who relies on social media to make my living. I personally spend entirely too much time reading the interwebs, curating and posting new content to keep readers coming to my site. Even under the guise of empowering and bettering the lives of others, I have to remind myself that there is a real world out there sometimes.
I personally try, albeit unsuccessfully at times, to take one or two days a week where I turn my phone off, leave the laptop idle and charging, and get outside and live a little bit. Living in Phoenix, Arizona where it’s currently topping out in the 110* and above range, that is sometimes easier said than done, but I try anyways.
By disconnecting from the new world trappings, it forces me to take a walk or have a conversation in person. (OMG! You can’t even! I know!)
In doing so, however, I am reminded that there’s more to life than mindlessly clicking buttons. Occasionally, I even manage to make a new friend randomly on the street or on the train. It’s amazing what can happen when you’re not busy staring at a screen.
I’m telling you when you put all the distractions down, even just for a little quiet time, the mind becomes active again and we begin to realize that there’s a whole other world out there for us to explore. The mind becomes more active and sharpens on what’s truly important- Life!
Step Three: Meditate & Be Mindful
Yep! That’s right, this is an article on being positive & mindful and could not be complete without some form of meditation suggestion. But, meditation is not all bells and impossible positions that only a Yogi master can get themselves into.
Meditation comes in many forms and I encourage you to find the one that works best for you. In a seemingly contradictory suggestion, you can look online for a variety of ways to meditate, but I’ll list a couple here to get you started.
4 Types of Meditation
- Walking Meditation: Simple enough the object here is just to get out and walk. Be mindful of your steps and focus internally on your breathing. As you breathe in and out remind yourself that you are connected with all that you see. Consider that every step you take is a blessing and that as your feet contact the earth you are grounding yourself to it. Allow your mind to wander and be aware of our thoughts without latching on to any of them or judging them.
- Seated Meditation: This is a more traditional form of meditation you may have envisioned. However, there is no need to affix the arms, legs, or hands in any particular fashion. There is no need for special chimes or music or chanting either, all that is required is a comfortable space in which to sit quietly and mindfully and focus on your breathing. Again, simply letting your mind wander and not focusing in or attaching to any of them is the goal here. Just be still.
- Guided Meditation: This is meditation with more of a goal in mind. There are countless sources for guided meditation and I encourage you to try a few and find one that suits your life. A few I like are available at: Tara Brach’s Website or The Chopra Center has some good ones as well. These are easier to get into for the beginner as they guide you through a meditation and help keep you focused while you’re starting out.
- Mindful Meditation: I find mindful meditation to be rewarding and relaxing. I actually lead mindful meditations in my workshop. I’ll post my favorite in text or possibly even a video of me giving the guided version of this meditation, The Ocean Meditation this weekend after my workshop at Phoenix Tribal Nights, June 24th @ Club Downtown in Phoenix, AZ.
Step Four: Compassion & Understanding
The point of positivity is to practice it. The more you do it, the easier it becomes. Like anything, being positive becomes easier with practice, and it is something we must consciously decide to do. We’re not hard-wired to simply be positive. Years of social conditioning have turned our once innocent eyes and minds callous to the negativity that is so constant in our lives.
It will feel forced, even awkward at first. Yet, over time, we will become more accustomed to looking for the silver lining in the clouds of life. In order to be positive, we must first think positive. Over time, our lives become that in which we’ve practiced and the negativity that pervades our lives will be less noticeable. In turn, we will notice more positivity in our lives and also attract better things into our lives as well.