How to Be Positive in a World of Negativity
- Jennifer Heeren Crosswalk Contributing Writer
- 2019 2 Sep
Positivity is the practice of being optimistic in attitude. Things will be basically okay, but even when they aren’t, that’ll be okay too. It doesn’t mean that I believe that everything will always work out perfectly, one hundred percent of the time. It also doesn’t mean that I can have anything that I want if I just think positively about it. (Not everything I want is good for me.)
Even though bad things happen, and people don’t always act like they should, I tend to see the world in a positive light. In the beginning, God created a beautiful world even though sin taints it horribly now. As I walk out this sometimes-difficult life, God will be with me to comfort, encourage, and prod me into my best living.
Proverbs 17:22 says that a cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength. A cheerful thought life does help me to live better. My thought life matters, and I want the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart to be pleasing to my Father in heaven (Psalm 19:14).
My favorite passage on positive living is Philippians 4:8: “One final thing, fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”
How do I remain positive in a world full of negativity? Here are my top ten ways.
1. Listen to Music Often
Music can change a sour mood into a cheerful one, or at least leave me more contented. Some music can increase my energy. Other music can calm me as stress floats away with each note. Studies show that it may even increase IQ.
The Bible speaks of singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs and making music to the Lord in your heart (Ephesians 5:19). God loves it when we sing. He tells us in Psalm 98:4 to make a joyful noise to Him. It doesn’t matter how it sounds or what key it is in as long as you’re joyous and praise filled.
If you are worried about the tone (or lack of tone) in your voice, you can learn to play an instrument. Playing musical instruments is another way to celebrate the goodness of the Lord. Or simply sing with all your heart when you’re alone.
2. Be Grateful
I am thankful for people, places, and things that God has blessed me with. Counting my blessings. Meditating on having an attitude of gratitude every morning when I wake up. Each morning is a new chance for whatever you need to do. Breathe in God’s goodness and let that instill strength and peace in you for the day.
“Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God, and keep the vows you made to the Most High. And know that you can call on Him any time you’re in trouble. He will rescue you.” (Psalm 50:14-15)
Every morning I can truly say, “With God, I’ve got this!”
3. Spend Time in Nature
There’s something about looking at green grass, rolling hills, brilliant flowers, and majestic trees. Feeling a light rain on my face. Watching the waves roll in. And taking in a glorious, high-level view of a whole setting.
When Jesus was here on earth, he went up into the hills by Himself periodically to meditate and pray to His heavenly Father. Time in nature for reflection and worshipping the Creator of everything you see is essential for a proper perspective of life. Stepping away from all of the hubbub and busyness of life into the quiet wonder of nature. Sometimes I hear God’s still, small, and gentle whisper (1 Kings 19:12) calming my soul.
4. Fill Your Mind with Scripture
Read a little bit of God’s Word each day. I often read about just the right idea that I am needing that day. The Bible can be a valuable life coach. Take advantage of this great gift.
"The Word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires." (Hebrews 4:12)
You may even want to memorize some lines that help you the most. When you hide the Word in your heart, you keep sin further from your door (Psalm 119:11).
5. Pray Often
Get on your knees, sometimes physically and sometimes within your soul. Talk with God in the morning, in the afternoon, and in the evening. Ask questions and tell Him your heart’s desires. You can close your eyes or leave them open. The important thing is that you’re willing to hear a new perspective. Your opinions aren’t always the most important thing. The Potter always knows better than his clay.
Then, be alert for people around you that need help and pray for them too. When you fill your mind with God’s Word and pray, you’ll be able to fight the tendency to worry.
6. Do Not Worry
Worry seems like a very natural and normal thing. Everyone worries about something, but Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).” He didn’t say that we should fret and complain until we drum up the courage to clear it away from our lives.
“Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” (Matthew 6:26-27)
Focus on the things you can do and leave the rest to God for He loves you very much.
7. Go to a Bible-Driven Church
Professional commentaries or sermons on the Bible can help you to understand things that you couldn’t comprehend by yourself. Pastors and other leaders in the church can also be available for one-on-one counseling when you are going through big problems.
But you don’t just go to a church to get knowledge, you also go to help other people get through problems as well. You pray for them. You encourage them. You are simply there for them the more you get to know them. Hebrews 10:24-25 compels us to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. It also warns us not to neglect meeting together with other believers. The more I link arms with others, the stronger I become.
8. Really Talk to People
Sometimes I can get comfortable with only connecting with people about business matters and small talk. Although necessary, neither of these things are completely fulfilling. Fulfillment comes when I take the time to sit down with another person, listen to them, share deeply with them, and find all the things I have in common despite also having differences.
I put my need to impress on hold. I think about what another is going through and how I may be able to do to help. Showing genuine love and honor for another is a beautiful thing. Getting along with and caring for others is the gist of why we’re here.
9. Eat Healthy and Get Enough Sleep
It’s also important to eat healthy as often as I can. What goes into me affects my energy and mood. And the fact that I need to sleep every single day, is God’s way of humbling me. We don’t have an infinite supply of energy. We can’t work 24/7 or we will collapse.
“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
10. Don’t Forget to Laugh
Life is hard. Sometimes I need a laugh break. Laughter increases Gamma-interferon and T-cells, which help fight disease and even tumors. It also relieves stress and pain. It was genius of God to equip us with such a simple way to improve our health. Laughter also lessens our inhibitions and helps induce an atmosphere to connect with other people. It can literally bring people together.
Sometimes people have trouble laughing. They may be too busy or care worn. They may fear the possibility of looking foolish. Let down your hair, drop your pride, and share a laugh with someone else. A good, healthy laugh comes out easier when you’re filled with joy. Follow these ten steps and your joy will increase. Joy comes from the Lord.
“We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy. And the other nations said, ‘What amazing things the Lord has done for them.’” (Psalm 126:2)
Jennifer Heeren loves to write and wants to live in such a way that people are encouraged by her writing and her attitude. She loves to write devotional articles and stories that bring people hope and encouragement. Her cup is always at least half-full, even when circumstances aren’t ideal. She regularly contributes to Crosswalk. Her debut novel is available on Amazon. She lives near Atlanta, Georgia with her husband. Visit her at her website and/or on Facebook.
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/Deagreez