“You cannot have a positive life and a negative mind.”
~ Joyce Meyer, Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind
I am reading Joyce’s Battlefield book for a Sunday School class. I am pondering how to have a positive mind and life while living in a negative world. Let’s get real – we can’t always avoid negative people and negative events. Our attitude does affect those around us and vice versa.
So…what to do when negatives are bombarding us more quickly than we can swat them away? I am making a list! Some I’ve garnered from my few chapters into the book; others I’ve just plain ol’ made up because they make me laugh and some, I’ve actually learned through personal experience.
1. Prayer and praise! If I say, “Lord help me/us.” then mean it! Put some gusto in it. Sometimes I mutter it, but I really don’t have the right attitude. Maybe if I pause for dramatic effect after I say, “Lord!” ~~ “Help me!” I should probably also remember to say, “Thank you!” after all those times I’ve asked for help … and then not hurt anyone.
2. I have often wanted to carry a paintball gun with me. Then, when someone is whining for the umpteenth time or using an annoying tone of voice, I could just pop them with a paintball. It would put an immediate stop to the annoyingness and get their mind off their complaint(s) for a few minutes. At least until the stinging subsided and while they inspected the welt and washed the paint away. Maybe they would be like, “Hey, I guess it isn’t as bad as getting pelted with a paintball!” By the way, under no circumstances, even under a cold-medicine-induced fog, did I glean this idea from Joyce’s book. I came up with it all on my own. 😉
3. Take a walk. Even a short one. Even if it is too cold/hot/blah/blah/blah out. However, do not take a walk with a negative person. Unless you can lose them on the walk.
4. Enjoy nature. If you can’t get outside, look at some pictures. I love the sound of “summer night” on my sound machine.
5. Take a minute to daydream about what you could do to dodge the negatives coming your way. How do you think I came up with #2, after all? It may put a smile on your face or you may look like you have a secret.
6. Imagine shaking the negatives right out of your mind, as though your mind is an Etch-a-Sketch.
7. Avoidance. If you can, avoid situations that you know will have negative people. Some people are drawn to negative-drama as though it is their oxygen. If you can’t avoid those situations, sing La-La-La in your head (or out loud) until they get the hint that you aren’t participating.
8. Think of ways your current situation could be worse. I know, this sounds negative … but you can put a funny spin on it. For example: Maybe you learn that someone said something negative about you. How could it be worse? Imagine it being a sitcom – The Office? and they said it on speakerphone? Or maybe you just tell yourself, “Well, if they are talking about me, at least they are leaving someone else alone!”
9. Remind yourself of a goal you are working towards. Focus your energy toward achieving your goal.