Updated: Sep 15
I can’t remember the last time I woke up to good news. Can you? From the second I turn my phone, computer or TV on, each headline seems to get more and more devastating as the day goes on. Mass shootings, suicide, morally corrupt world leaders, international financial lows – it never ends. If you’re like me, you take a lot of it personally; you feel it all and it genuinely hurts your heart. Also, if you’re like me, you are committed to being optimistic; not allowing the external circumstances rattle your insides, still seeing the good in people and trying to spread love & light wherever you can.
I’m not under the shallow impression that one small act of kindness and love changes the world, but I do believe that it makes an impact and shifts the narrative for the better. It’s hard not to get caught up in – and even depressed by – the daily turmoil that our world seems to constantly be in, but it is possible. It is possible to keep your head above it; it is possible to choose to see more of the good than the bad, it is possible to preserve your heart and most importantly, it is possible then radiate all of that good, pure love back into the world. Here are a few ways that I have managed stay in the light, even when things seem so dark.
MANAGE YOUR MEDIA
I stopped watching & listening to the news years ago because I found it was affecting my subconscious more than I realized. Now, I will read the news throughout the day, either in print form (newspaper) or on apps on my phone. Wonder why you’re having nightmares? When we listen & watch the news, we get visuals, sounds and repeated phrases stuck in our head (it’s the same as if we listened to a catchy song & got it stuck in our head). The impact is far less if we stick solely to reading and turn off our other senses bad news. Plus, you can still stay equally as informed.
MANAGE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA
Just as we control what we put on our social media accounts; we control what we see. Unfollow the negative people/news outlets/trolls & start following the accounts that show you the good that is going on in the world. It’s not about being oblivious, it’s about filling your head with positivity instead of negativity.
TAKE TIME TO REFLECT
We see & hear about so much going on in the world all day that sometimes it is complete system overload. Some people meditate, some people journal, some people take naps…do what you need to do to allow your mind to process all of the information that you are given each day.
Walk down the street and smile. I read a story years ago that has stuck with me ever since. The story went like this; a journalist who had been struggling silently with depression for years felt like he couldn’t go on any longer and was going to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge. He left a suicide note that said, “if anyone on my walk to the bridge looks at me and smiles, I will turn around and I won’t jump”. The journalist later included this note in the column he wrote about his attempt to shed light on how important that one smile was. Luckily, on his way to the bridge one person looked him in the eye and smiled at him. ONLY ONE. He passed thousands of people on the street and the one person that smiled at him saved his life. The one smile was enough to make him feel like someone saw him, cared about him and thus, restored his faith in humanity. You never know who needs the simplicity of a smile; it costs nothing to give and could mean everything.
LOOK FOR THE GOOD
It’s easy to spot a yellow car when you’re looking for a yellow car. It’s easy to spot an opportunity when you are always thinking of opportunity. It’s easy to spot reasons to be mad when you are always thinking about being mad. – Seneca
You become what you constantly think about, so watch yourself. When you look for the good in everything, you find the good in everything. When you look for love, you find love. When you look for the light, you find the light. When you are always full of good, love and light, that’s what you become.
Devyn Penney is a certified life & intimacy coach and the author of, "Mastering the Art of Internal Intimacy". This blog is dedicated to ending small talk by having Big Conversations, "the only way we connect is through love, empathy and an open line of communication".