11 Ways To Stay Upbeat When Everyone Around You Is Negative

Sometimes hard to keep yourself in good spirits in the best of circumstances, let alone when things are as out of whack as they are right now. The world is experiencing some stressful times right now, but that doesn’t mean your inner world can’t be your happy place. Even if everyone around you is down and negative, you can still keep your smile. Here’s how.

  1. Remember that attitude is a choice. It’s easy to forget that your mood is largely your choice. You don’t have to feel bad about life or yourself just because your partner is upset. Likewise, you don’t have to be anxious just because your best friend is filled with fear. Ultimately, you own your own feelings. (Of course, if you legitimately have a clinical mental health condition like depression or anxiety, it’s obviously not that easy.)
  2. Embrace the reality that it’s just a feeling.¬†You might feel stressed out, anxious, fearful, or irritated when your friends are super-negative, but try to remember that those are just feelings. Let them come, acknowledge them, but remember that they don’t have to stick around all day and become a mood.
  3. Look for happiness around you. Yes, you’re just seeing negativity all around you, but there are little pockets of happiness too. Maybe it’s a cool song that always boosts your mood or a funny meme that makes you LOL for real. Little things like that might not seem like much, but they can help you distress and keep perspective.
  4. Stop reading the news. This is one of the best things you can do to stop feeling negative. While it’s essential to stay informed about what’s going on in your country and the world, you really don’t need to check your news apps every hour so that you can feel down with your friends. When you focus on all the sadness that’s out there, it’s easy to ignore all the good stuff that’s also happening but which isn’t sensational enough to become headlines.
  5. Steal some time for yourself. If everyone’s low mood is bringing you down, see that as a sign that you need to do something for yourself by yourself. What makes you feel happy? It could be spending half an hour playing with your cat or reading a juicy book or binge-watching your favorite shows for a few hours. Whatever it is, see it as a way of giving yourself much-needed self-care.
  6. Switch off your phone. You might feel guilty to go AWOL for a while in the virtual world, but honestly? It could be the best way to get you to stop staring at all those negative messages on Twitter and grab some sunshine, a delicious meal, or a quick meditation sesh to re-center yourself.
  7. Balance out with some gratitude. If you’ve caught the negative bug and you’re consumed by anxious thoughts, you can balance them out with grateful thoughts. So if you worry that you’re not being productive enough/why you have no energy, think about what you have to be thankful for. Even the feeling of the breeze on your skin is something to shoot up a prayer of thanks for. Gratitude holds within it much positivity.
  8. Set mental boundaries. If your friend is feeling their confidence tank, it’s easy to start feeling the same thing. But remind yourself that you don’t have to take on their feelings, thoughts, and journey. That’s their path for today, not yours if you don’t want it. Not only do you own your own feelings as mentioned earlier but you have the right to mentally distance yourself from feelings you don’t want.
  9. Do something kind for yourself. Maybe laughing with another, more upbeat friend soothes your soul. Or, perhaps jogging on the spot or in your garden for half an hour boosts your endorphins. Whatever makes you feel good is an act of kindness to yourself. Be the friend you need who makes you feel better. It might also help to give yourself a pep talk to remind yourself why you’re awesome.
  10. Pretend you’re watching a movie. Here’s a tip that might help you to feel less wrapped up in others’ negative mindsets: pretend you’re watching them from the comfort of your sofa. If you had to watch how they’re pissing themselves and each other off with their mental energies in a comedy on Netflix, you’d probably find it funny!
  11. See it as an opportunity for growth. Another good way to deal with negativity that surrounds you is to see how it can make you rise above it. What is that negativity teaching you? Is this an opportunity to be kinder to yourself or others? Is this a test to make you more resilient? When you see the negativity as a chance to grow, you instantly turn it into a positive experience.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.