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Positive Energy in the Middle of Bad News

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How does the endless supply of bad news pouring over the airwaves day after day make you feel? Is your exposure to this pervasive influence beginning to take a toll on your positive energy?

Admittedly, it can be extremely challenging to maintain an optimistic attitude when you are surrounded by bad news and uncertainty. So, how is it that some people manage to maintain their positive energy in this environment while others give in to fear and uncertainty?

Have you done this?

Have you personally made a decision to focus primarily on positive energy even when others are preaching doom and gloom?  Making that decision can completely change the way you respond to negative external influences.

The main thing to understand here is that your attitude, outlook, mood, and happiness are all personal decisions. For some reason, that doesn’t seem to be common knowledge, but just because others allow outside influences to rain on their parade doesn’t mean that you have to.

When it comes to perception you are the boss

Maybe you didn’t realize that you have the freedom to decide your response to everything. Maybe you thought you had no choice except to be pushed around by the negative headlines. Perhaps you believed that your feelings were somehow determined by forces beyond your control. They’re not!

The truth is, you get to decide your own feelings.  I know it doesn’t always feel like you have a choice, but you do. Sure, you can always follow the crowd, but how would that serve you?  Wouldn’t you be better served by making the choice to maintain your positive energy, and to remain optimistic and resourceful instead?

There may be some internal struggle involved

Your own mind may not like this idea because there is often a degree of internal resistance when it comes to taking responsibility for your own feelings. It seems to be easier for your mind to believe that your feelings are beyond your control. This may be especially true if you’ve always been susceptible to the influence of others. In that case your mind will probably try to resist change.

Deciding to run your life on positive energy in spite of popular opinion is like making a decision to be happy, successful, abundant and peaceful. Once you decide to be positive you won’t need to listen to the talking heads on the news because their version of the world no longer applies to you.

What is your mind telling you?

Check and see what your mind has been telling you. Has it been telling you to take in as much news as you can, as if more details will lead you to a solution? Does it tell you to talk to everybody you know about how bad things are? All that does is reinforce a negative view of reality.

If you follow that course you’ll soon become convinced that you should worry day and night about everything that’s going on. You’ll feel like you should be doing something about it and that will lead to further frustration because you won’t know what to do.

You can think about it until you are blue in the face, but it simply will not help. How does it help you to get all tied up in knots worrying about things you cannot change? How does it help you to be nervous and scared over anything?

Don’t give your positive energy to the negative side

If you take a really close look, you will find that it does not help at all. It never helps to beat yourself up. It never helps to be negative about any person, place or situation.

Negativity draws more negativity, like a magnet. Beating yourself up and being negative will only move you further and further from a solution.

Bad news can only get you down if you let it. Only if you are paying attention to it and letting it push you around. Only if you are allowing it to make you feel scared and negative. You decide how much power it has over you.

Blame is completely irrelevant

Whatever you do, do not let yourself get caught up in the blame game. No matter what happens in your life don’t go looking for someone to blame. Don’t waste time trying to figure out whose fault it is. Blame is nothing but an emotional dead end.

Along the same line, don’t expect someone else to make everything better. It is totally unrealistic to think that anyone else is going to make much of a difference. Stop looking for other people to change your outlook; it is entirely up to you.

Claim your independence and shine

Nobody controls your feelings except you. If you decide to run your life on positive energy in spite of what’s going on around you, your energy levels will go up, your attitude will improve, and your feelings will become increasingly more positive.

Granted, sometimes terrible things happen and I am not suggesting that we ignore them as if nothing was wrong. Denial is not a solution! What I am saying is that projecting negative emotional energy will not help the situation. The worse a situation is the more it needs your positive energy.

Your outlook on life is your decision. Decide to be positive in spite of everything, and watch what happens. You can decide in favor of yourself even in the face of bad news. It’s a decision, your decision. Don’t take my word for it, try it out for yourself.

Find out that being positive in spite of the noise will bring you more and more things to feel happy and positive about. Become a magnet for positive energy by being positive and optimistic. Make it your goal to become the most positive person you know and influence others for the good. Become an inspirational lighthouse of positive energy.  You have the power, so don’t be afraid to use it.

Are you ready to reject the negative noise?
Do you feel comfortable being positive in the face of bad news?
The lines are open!

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38 Comments

  1. catherine March 9, 2011 Reply

    I like the article because it’s straightforward and sounds simple – except that it’s not. Deciding to have a positive outlook on things and actually having one are two very different things…

    • Jonathan March 11, 2011 Reply

      That’s so true Catherine, this is one of those thing that involves mastering certain life skills that most people have never learned. But that doesn’t mean that it’s a difficult process. Like any new skill, once we learn how to do it, then we need to practice until we get comfortable with it.

      • John Duffield March 14, 2011 Reply

        Hi Jonathan and Catherine. Here’s a spin on “deciding to have a positive outlook”. To make it ours we can reflect on a magical feature of the world called “wholeness”. Wholeness is why every cloud has a silver lining, and lets us mine the endless veins of silver…..if we CHOOSE to. To see what I’m getting at, let’s consider that famous half-empty glass for a moment. There’s two ways to see the whole glass. Half-full is the more “positive” way we’re all familiar with, and anyone can choose to see it that way…..in an instant. But choosing to see it half-full doesn’t make the half-empty part go away. In fact, we NEED the half-empty part to make the glass half-full. You can’t HAVE a half-full glass without its half-empty twin. Much like winners NEED losers to play a game with. Now let’s turn our attention to the real world. Wholeness means we can find a positive/half-full/silver lining in anything…..and choose to make it ours. This is so, because everything in the world is a mysterious Yin-Yang mixture of positive and negative…just like the famous glass is. Keep in mind this though. Sometimes we’ll need to “see we’re part of a bigger whole” to find a positive to take home with us. Here’s some examples. Imagine you have a basket of ten apples and one is rotten. You can be sad over the bad apple, or be happy you’ve got nine nice ones. Okay, but what if all the apples in your basket are bad? Expand the “whole” to include your basket. You can be miserable because you’ve got no apples. Or be happy because you still have a basket to collect more in. Alright, but imagine somebody stole the basket of apples right off your back porch. What the heck is good about that? Expand your horizons to see your whole house….back porch and all. Choose to see you still have a house….and let the apples go. If your house burns down, choose to see your whole life. Rejoice about still being here. You can CHOOSE to find silver linings if you keep making the whole bigger. Eventually you’ll realize that you and the world are One whole….and there’s a gazillion positive things to rejoice in. Ciao Jonathan and Catherine. John Duffield

        • Jonathan March 21, 2011 Reply

          Hey John, focus is one of my favorite topics. Our perception is determined by what we choose to focus on. This means that we can use our ability to focus our attention in a way that causes an empowering shift in our perception. It doesn’t matter whether we are looking at a person, situation, or an experience. We can control what our picture looks like by controlling what we choose to focus on.

          In a forest there are always a few dying trees. If we narrow or field of vision to an unhealthy tree we might conclude that the forest is not really all that beautiful. However, when we change our vantage point to include the whole forest, we see a much different picture.

    • Jonathan October 14, 2013 Reply

      Hi Catherine, that is very true and precisely why we all need to learn advanced life skills.

  2. Galen Pearl March 11, 2011 Reply

    For one thing, I quit reading or watching the news. I do pay attention to headlines and know generally what is going on, but rather than seek out the details, I send prayers to those in need (and practical assistance when possible). We can develop a habit of a positive outlook. Thanks for an inspiring post.

    • Jonathan March 11, 2011 Reply

      Hi Galen, it sounds like you have things pretty well in hand. My approach to the news is much like yours. I can always find it online if I really need to know. Television news is extremely sensationalized to increase the drama. But what can you do, they are in the entertainment field.

  3. Nancy March 12, 2011 Reply

    Jonathan,

    Your words are so right on! To be caught up in the negative energy will lead you to more negative so why do that to ourselves?

    Being a lighthouse of positive energy is where it’s at – why not? What do we have to lose by being positive? We do all it ALL to lose by being negative.

    One good way to stay positive is by hanging out with Balcony Friends instead of Basement Friends. Surround yourself with positive affirmations and go to our Source for energy….

    In gratitude to your wisdom,
    Nancy

    • Jonathan March 12, 2011 Reply

      Greetings Nancy, “hanging out with Balcony Friends instead of Basement Friends.” What a descriptive way to put it. I hadn’t heard that phrase before, but I won’t be forgetting it anytime soon. I feel that our efforts to be as positive as possible is a gift we give ourselves and everyone around us. Thanks for being here!

      • Jonathan March 14, 2011 Reply

        Thank you Jonathan and glad you liked the term balcony friends vs. basement friends – use it as much as you wish…
        In love and light,
        Nancy

  4. Rocket Bunny March 12, 2011 Reply

    I love what Nancy says here”One good way to stay positive is by hanging out with Balcony Friends instead of Basement Friends. Surround yourself with positive affirmations and go to our Source for energy”.
    If you surround yourself with happy positive friends it helps you stay upbeat.

    • Jonathan March 12, 2011 Reply

      Hi Bunny, the value of keeping company with positive people can’t be overstated. We become part of a shared energy that supports a positive attitude for everyone involved. Of course, we all go negative on occasion and we all rub shoulders with those who seem to be stuck on the negative side, but having positive people in our lives really helps keep things in the proper perspective. One sincere smile can overpower a room full of frowns.

  5. Steve March 13, 2011 Reply

    Jonathan, great advice. I love the concept of taking personal responsibility for what we are going to give our energy to. It’s so much more productive to give our energy to positivity, faith, courage, rather than to anger, bitterness, or fear. It’s life giving, and goes out, rather than festering inside.

    • Jonathan March 21, 2011 Reply

      Hi Steve, the concept of accepting responsibility for, well everything really, is not a very popular notion. Many think of responsibility as confining and thus avoid it. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Taking full responsibility is liberating because it allows us to exercise maximum control over our perception of life without wasting time looking for someone or something to blame.

  6. Robin Easton March 14, 2011 Reply

    Dear Jonathan,

    This reminds me of something you once told me. You said that what we focus on was a bit like holding a remote and I could change the channel.

    My Stephen said something the other day. He said, “Every day we are going to consciously choose what we focus on.” Now every morning and every night we share with each other what we are focusing on. Or we share incidents from our day where we chose what to focus on, and what we let go. It is really making it more conscious for both of us.

    You have written some very powerful posts on this topic and I always remember certain lines/insights from them. Reading this made me think that we are our own “jailer”, and we can either set ourselves free or keep ourselves locked up (or focused on a lot of life robbing negativity).

    Thank you for sharing my friend. It’s good!!
    Hugs to you and Pattie.
    Robin

    • Jonathan March 21, 2011 Reply

      Hi Robin, how ironic is the idea that we could “be our own jailer” and also be the only person with a key to our cell? And yet, that really is the case!

      Sounds like you and Stephen have adopted a very empowering daily habit. That is so awesome. What a great habit to share with all of us, thanks for that.

  7. Stephen March 14, 2011 Reply

    Hi Jonathan!

    There is something called the “availability heuristic” which means that the more readily you can call examples to mind, your brain will believe it to be more common and likely to occur in the future. So when we are blasted by negative news from all over the world our brains which are designed for a world of a few hundred just don’t compute correctly. It’s even worse when there are dramatic pictures involved because they are more easily brought to mind.

    Because of this I think it is nearly impossible to not be affected. All this makes it harder to maintain your positive outlook. Therefore it is more important than ever that we do those things you suggest to mitigate the warping of our minds that is inevitable in our modern connected and negative world of media.

    • Jonathan March 21, 2011 Reply

      Stephen, you know I just love it when you talk on this level. To be honest, I had to look up “availability heuristic.” I really appreciated this definition: “Availability is a cognitive heuristic in which a decision maker relies upon knowledge that is readily available rather than examine other alternatives or procedures.” I thought it went well with the rest of your comment. One thing that has helped me maintain a positive attitude over the years is the fact that we NEVER watch the news (in fact we haven’t watched any form of network programming for about 28 years).

  8. Karen March 15, 2011 Reply

    Hi Jonathan

    Thank you. I really enjoyed this article – your timing was perfect for me!

    I am pretty much the glass is half full person. (And I like being that person!) But last week I took a severe – rather personal and vicious – bashing which was a very negative and draining experience.

    I have lots of tools which have helped me manage how it made me feel. But an interesting outcome for me is that I am feeling guilty for having a privileged life. And this feeling is compounded whenever I hear about bad things happening to other people.

    I somehow feel guilty because I am that positive person and enjoy my life. Would love to get your advice on this.

    Thank you…xx

    • Jonathan March 21, 2011 Reply

      Hi Karen, it is easy to let our thoughts go in that direction because we feel the suffering of others and it hurts. That is compassion and it is a beautiful thing. Here’s a little example that might help. We all experience illness from time to time, but some people struggle with it constantly and to a much greater degree. Our hearts go out to those people and we would like to help somehow, but we also know that our being ill would not eliminate or even ease their suffering. How much better to be grateful and appreciative for our health (or advantageous situation) while looking for ways to encourage those who are facing challenges. If some day the roles were reversed, think how much we would appreciate their kindness.

  9. michelle March 16, 2011 Reply

    Hi Karen, I felt moved by your words and want to support you in fully claiming and owning your life as it is. You have great strengths and you share them with others freely. Believing that using up your share of positivity means that others become depleted or deprived is like saying that there isn’t enough air to go around. When you breathe, it doesn’t mean you are taking the air that belongs to another, you are doing what comes naturally and benefiting from it. I grew up in a big family where I learned that often there was not enough to go around when it came to treats. This is something I have worked on in recent years especially in relation to money, and positive emotions! Let yourself off the hook and once again feel gratitude for all you have and all you can share. Breathe freely and easily. You have been bashed, but you have survived, you have opened up and shared your experience with us here, and this gives you an opportunity to heal and to get back in the driving seat! Go for it! Our hearts go out to the people who are suffering, and wonder why it has to be that way….
    I live in New Zealand, where we as fellow human beings feel for the suffering of others, as you do. We are all human, and all we can do is spread the message of love, and give as much as we can.

    • Karen March 17, 2011 Reply

      Michelle

      I just want to say how touched I am that you have taken the time to reply. Thank you.

      I have just woken up to some more vicious blog attacking so your timing is wonderful! This is a great perspective and one I am going to reflect on. I have read The Secret which talks about this kind of philosophy – I guess I just need to remind myself of this approach.

      Thank you for spreading love. I can safely say that I much prefer receiving it to hate!

      xxxx

      • Jonathan March 21, 2011 Reply

        One more thought Karen. Even though it his difficult to understand, there are those who are always looking for someone to blame. If they decide to aim their poison arrows at you it’s not because you’ve done anything to deserve it. If you go to a place where unbalanced people are being institutionalized all you can feel is sad for their situation. If they insulted you, you wouldn’t take it personally because you would make allowances for their condition. Well, there are plenty of unbalanced people running free. You can try to extent them the same consideration, and then block them so you don’t have to put up with needless abuse.

        PS. Michelle, how kind and loving your response to Karen was. Thank you!

  10. Karen March 22, 2011 Reply

    Thank you so much Jonathan for taking the time to give me really wonderful advice. Yes, there does appear to be plenty of unbalanced people running free!

    And yes, Michelle was very loving. I like it on here – love is so much better than negativity! xx

  11. Penny April 2, 2012 Reply

    I have read so many things about being positive. Sometimes when things happen to you for no other reason than because it can and you have no control over it it is very hard to be positive. I have always been the most positve person I know and have taught how like attracts like. But sometimes all the positive feelings I can muster up don’t let me get pass the feelings I have of anger. Somethings things in life you just have to learn to accept, you don’t have to be happy about it you just go on. Nothing I can do can change what has happened. So being all Happy and Positive about aren’t going to make it better. I just have to accept it and go on. Thanks for letting me vent.

    • Jonathan April 2, 2012 Reply

      Hi Penny, even when all you can do is accept something, there are still ways to have a positive outlook. For example, was there a positive lesson in the negative experience? Did you learn how to avoid or minimize the likelihood of having this experience again? Can you use what you learned to help others avoid a similar experience? And if none of those apply, is this just a perfect opportunity to practice letting go?

  12. steven June 4, 2012 Reply

    we are born with inherent fear responses. Our senses are always in protection mode and can lead what I feel is an unconscious draw in protecting ourselves by fear. Fear leads to numerous negative effects that ultimately lead to negativity.

    As a human with a brain and great memory retention, we have the ability to make conscious decisions to alter our lives and resist some of our programmed attributes. There’s a reason why we are on this blog and there are countless books to help. We unconsciously continually drift into a negative state of fear and will always have relapse. I think the key is to ensure you keep an observation of yourself and reduce your tendency to be negative.

  13. Anne August 23, 2012 Reply

    I can say for certain that I’ve made a personal decision to be positive. I have things in my life each day, all the time that could make me negative, but I refuse to give in. I won’t give in!

    I feel quite at home with being positive in the face of negativity. I’ve been doing it for so long, it’s almost second nature to me now.

    Thanks for a fantastic post.

  14. Tess Denton December 22, 2012 Reply

    This is a fantastic post. It embodies my own philosophy about happiness, hope and “positivity”. This is a message that I can share with others, particularly in light of the atmosphere of non-compromise, tragedy and insistence that is prevalent in the U.S. and its media today. THANK YOU articulating the options so well.

  15. Ryan Biddulph October 15, 2013 Reply

    Hi Jonathan,

    Become a perception master. Awesome tips. Learn to shift your focus despite the appearance of bad news.

    Thanks,

    Ryan

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