I’m really struggling to stay positive in a certain area of my life at the moment — despite manifesting and writing in my gratitude journal daily — every time I encounter a hiccup I spiral into negativity again! Any advice on staying positive? I’m trying my best to work on blocks! Thank you.
I am so glad you asked this question. Let me answer it in 2 parts, beginning with a story.
Yesterday I went on a wonderful adventure with my love, scooting around the beautiful, tropical island of Penang in Malaysia, checking out rainforests, tropical fruit farms, a butterfly sanctuary and beautiful beaches. And even though everything was well in my world, I felt really, really, really cranky. I started having all sorts of horrible thoughts about life, and humans, and the environment — everything really — it all just sucked. I was spiralling into a world of negativity, even though I had no real reason to.
This is very, very normal. It’s called: being human.
Our current new-age spirituality movement is totally obsessed with being positive, and maintaining a constant artificial high of ‘happy’. Is it real? No. Is it healthy? Also, no.
How you feel is a direct indicator of what’s happening in your environment. It might be that something in your realm is out of balance. For example, that you’re tired and haven’t taken enough time to rest. Or that somebody has said or done something that doesn’t align with your truth or values. Perhaps your partner called you disorganised, for not getting to work on time. Or that you are tuning into feeling what’s happening in the world, in the bigger picture, and it’s impact on all of us as individuals. Like politics, pollution and global warming.
There is no right or wrong to the emotions that you are feeling. The need to feel positive all the time is an unnatural one. And the best way to get through feeling crappy and back to happy, naturally? By leaning in and sitting with those feelings, without judgement or attaching meaning to them. Feel what you feel. And then let it go.
This may seem like a paradox. In my popular course Manifest More, I harp on and on about how important it is to view life from the most positive perspective, because what you feel is what you manifest. And when you feel good, you attract more good into your life. So how does feeling crappy and being positive, work together?
From whatever place you find yourself in the present moment, you want to choose the next best viewpoint, in order to uplift your energy.
Yesterday, when I was feeling so crappy, I could attach a thousand logical reasons to explain how I was feeling. My boyfriend is sooooo slow in getting ready. The world is falling apart. The roads are so bad. People are such idiots. My friends don’t understand me. It’s too hot. There’s so much plastic and rubbish everywhere. The truth, however, was that I was just really, really tired and didn’t have the energy required to go on an adventure, no matter how magical it was.
This is called ‘projection’, when you project how you are felling on things and people outside of you, and is how you end up in a spiral of negative thinking. By following thought after thought with logical reasoning as to why life is not feeling or looking the way you want. Often, instead of addressing the very simple, practical, real-life issues that are affecting your mental state, you allow your mind to go hay-wire and choose reasoning for its madness.
As I noticed my mind trying to find reasons to blame for my cranky mood, I tuned out the mental noise, and despite feeling low in energy, accepted my current state, decided to just be very present with each moment. I sought to find beauty around me, even though I wasn’t feeling it. I sought appreciation for what I was experiencing, even though I wasn’t feeling it. I knew that my state of mind came from feeling tired and low in energy, and I accepted that this is where I found myself and allowed myself the space to feel the way I felt, without blowing it out of proportion. And I went to bed early.