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Happiness is a Choice — Positively Social

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Every day when you wake up, you have a choice. You can choose to be a grouchy jerk or you can choose to be positive. Simple as that.

No one has a perfect life, perfect spouse, perfect dog…you get the picture. We all have LIFE to handle. How you handle it is what makes a difference.  One way that you can help to improve your life is to be grateful which can lead to happiness.

Having an attitude of gratitude has been scientifically proven to have health benefits. “Cultivating an “attitude of gratitude” has been linked to better health, sounder sleep, less anxiety and depression, higher long-term satisfaction with life and kinder behavior toward others, including romantic partners” from the New York Times.

A good way to start being grateful is to make a list each night of five things that you are grateful for on this day. Keeping this gratitude journal will be a quick task each day but can have great benefits. The study conducted by Robert Emmons showed “people keeping the gratitude journal were more optimistic and felt happier.”

How to Attract Positive Relationships from Psychology Today discusses “how four laws of energetic attraction can improve your life. The more positive energy we give off, the more we'll receive. Ditto for negativity. It works like this: Love attracts love. Grumpiness attracts grumpiness. Passion attracts passion. Rage attracts rage.

First, define what being positive does and doesn't mean for you in terms of attitude and behavior. Don't worry if you're far from a positive place. It's an evolution. Give thought to what you value most in yourself or other. You can then strengthen these traits in yourself, and attract the same.” The four laws from the article:

  1. We attract who we are.
  2. Intuition clarifies smart choices.
  3. Seeing the best in people magnetizes them.
  4. Soulful giving generates abundance.

Frank Eliason had this to say “I have been watching conversations via social media becoming more snarky and personal attacks seem to be growing. I do not think most people do this, but what has occurred is we attract people with many of our same ideals which further validate our position. Then when others question this position we go on the attack. Often times social media is referred to as a cocktail party, but when would you call someone an idiot or worse things, while at a cocktail party?  Okay some of you might, but I think most of us would be more respectful of their views, and often be open to listening.”

Being positive is a choice that we make with every tweet, post or comment. Sure, the snarky comment may seem funny at the time but being “funny” at the expense of hurting another person is wrong. If you are having a bad day, please choose not to go on social media and spew your negativity. No one wants to hear it. You will be doing yourself a favor by waiting until your mood has improved. Your social voice is heard by many and is long lasting.

“Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.” The Dalai Lama

Scott Monty says … “Oh sure, there are still trolls who hide behind fake identities on a variety of sites, from forums to blogs and even Facebook and Google+ now. But the this behavior has become so insidious – so acceptable – that suddenly, some people don't care who they offend or how antisocial it makes them look; they just seem to want to make themselves feel better by putting others down.

Did you ever hear the phrase nani gigantum humeris insidentes? Of course you didn't. It's Latin; no one speaks it any more. But you may recognize its translation: “Dwarves standing on the shoulders of giants.” It was famously uttered by Sir Isaac Newton and signifies that we owe much to those who have gone before. Essentially, it's about respect.”

“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. ” The Dalai Lama

From Frank again … “Driving change by recognizing the positive can help send a message and have just as strong an influence as the negative. I think it is time for us to lead this!”

If you encounter rude or negative people, you don't need to take their abuse or absorb their negative attitude. Stick with your decision to be a positive person and know that every person will not be liked by every other person. That is just not going to happen and that is fine. Remember you control who you talk to, who is in your circle and who you share your community with each day. Don't respond in anger or snarkiness, but instead be the better, bigger person and move on. Block them, unfriend them or whatever you feel comfortable with doing but make a thoughtful choice and move forward. Being friendly and happy doesn't mean that you are a doormat.

Seth Godin addressed this in his post You won't benefit from anonymous criticism: “I'm arguing that it's a positive habit to deliberately insulate yourself from this feedback. Don't ask for it and don't look for it. Yes, change what you make to enhance delight. No, don't punish yourself by listening to the mob.”

Please join me and be a positive leader and make a difference with your message. Use the hashtag #PositivelySocial on August 14th and be aware that words can hurt but more importantly lift others, boost their mood and have a positive impact on others.

Your kindness and positive spirit will touch others and bounce right back to you. Let me know if you participate in #PositivelySocial and how it affects you. I hope that you make the choice to be #PositivelySocial every day.

Please let me know if you participate in #positivelysocial and if it has a positive effect on you. I hope that if you need some help getting a positive attitude that you check out some of the resources here.

A few positive resources:

What Makes You Happy?

A Day to be #PositivelySocial by Frank Eliason

When Did We Get So Nasty? By Scott Monty

A Serving of Gratitude May Save the Day from The New York Times Science section

Featured image courtesy of Thomas Hawk via Creative Commons.

Article by Peg Fitzpatrick

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  1. Actually, in “nani gigantum humeris insidentes” the verb meaning is closer to “perching annoyingly, like a mosquito”.
    Some of us *do* speak Latin.

  2. I love this idea. I try my best to be cognizant of everything I put out. There’s so much negativity and I feel the need to counter and not contribute to it. I will definitely be participating, tomorrow. Thanks for the heads up. 

    1.  @EmeliaSam Awesome!
      There is no benefit in a counter response. I think that Mark Twain said “Don’t argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.”

      1.  @PegFitzpatrick Agreed. I meant counter the negativity by adding to the pool of positivity. Engaging a fool is never a good idea. 🙂 

  3. Peggy, 
    Point taken, will do. (My bad for not noticing it was an extended quotation.)

  4. Peggy,
    I really believe this is true. Life is about making choices. Choose to be a grouchy jerk and the rest of your day/life will follow suit.
    Every day is something special. We are only allotted so many. Each one we waste being negative and sorry is one less that we have to spend. I am thankful (gratitude) for the sunrise that begins each day. I am thankful for waking and breathing and seeing and smelling and tasting and hearing. All things we should never take for granted lest they be taken away. I am thankful for the people in my life who make it better; family and friends whom I could not live without.
    I recall Bonnie Rait’s song “Nick of Time” and find her lyrics truly inspiring. It helped me realize just how special each day is, how lucky I am to be part of it, and to remember that tomorrow is not a guarantee.

  5. Accepting positivity changed my life. I still have anxieties, so I tell myself to expect the best. When I realize that then nothing else matters. If it goes well or not, fretting doesn’t make a difference. I can’t change anyone else. I might as well change my attitude about things. 
    I do believe it is a choice and one that we can make no matter where we are or what we are doing. We just have to make ourselves aware of it. You know that I am a big believer in the gratitude exercise because it works!

    1.  @susansilver Amen! This is perfect “If it goes well or not, fretting doesn’t make a difference. I can’t change anyone else.” Worrying about things does not make them better, it just makes you stressed. Of course we all have problems to solve and lots of things to do but planning when possible and looking at the bright side always help for me.
      I think I am going to do the gratitude exercise again. Just because. 🙂

  6. I choose to be positive and you can count on me to join you in #PositivelySocial today and every day. No reason to waste life’s energy on being negative.

  7. @dbvickery Of course you do! Don’t you think your positive attitude improves your life? And your family as well?

    It was a pretty good showing of positivity. Hopefully things will even out a bit and people won’t be so negative.

  8. I’m a week late to the #positivelysocial party but I’m just happy to be here! As expected, you’ve laid out a very realistic roadmap on how to make the right choice. I, too, am a firm believer in attraction and how your outlook impacts your outcome. I keep preaching this to my eeyor-like 8 yr old… Change the way you look at things and the things you look at will begin to change. It’ll sink in one of these days! I read your last few posts after this one and I feel better for it. Thanks for keeping it positively real, Peggy 🙂

    1.  @SociallyGenius What a kind comment, I so appreciate your thoughts. 
      I need to read about the law of attraction and really dig into that, I really believe that it is true as well. Thankfully the negative people are few and far between. Thank you for reading and commenting. 🙂

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