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mw editorial

accentuate the positive

April 8, 2020

It has long been understood that emotions can cloud our judgment and make it difficult to think clearly and logically.  This is especially true for negative emotions.  They can draw our attention away from everything else and we may begin to dwell. It can be so easy to focus solely on the negative moments in our lives.  They seem to pile up around us, and if we’re not careful, they can overtake us.  But most times, we are faced with positive moments, too.  For some reason, many of us have a hard time focusing on the many positive encounters we have throughout the day.

Our minds have the power to hold onto certain moments, and they can shape our outlook on the day.  So if you focus on the one negative moment, everything else that happens can have a negative tone.  Even things that have already happened can have a negative feeling cast over them.  And this can be a vicious cycle.

These patterns of negative thinking are what keep us in this loop.  Various mind traps make it nearly impossible to escape.  Doubt, emptiness, and irritation, along with many others, can eventually become debilitating.  And, as we know, negative emotions can make it difficult to assess things in a logical way.

However, with some self-reflection, we can begin to recognize common mind traps that we fall into.  And when we start to recognize patterns, it will become easier to avoid them.  Little by little, we will be able to combat the negative emotions and remember that you are not these thoughts.

Aside from addressing our negative thinking patterns, it is also helpful to create new positive habits.  We need to focus on the positive moments one at a time.  Whether we do this when they happen, or later in the day if we start to feel that negative energy again, highlighting the positives will create a healthy outlook.

Focusing on the good in our lives will help everything around us seem positive again.  When we do this, it will be easy to see that the positive moments do, in fact, outweigh the negative ones.

So we need to take a line or two from Ella Fitzgerald and “Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, and latch on to the affirmative.”


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