Feelings can be passed on to others. Think of a time when you saw someone, especially a child, laughing out of pure joy. How did it make you feel? Didn’t it make you at least smile, even if you weren’t having a great day? I know that when I hear my niece or nephew laugh, I can’t help but smile! Or if someone approaches me genuinely happy and how it softens even a tough moment. It’s also true with negative feelings. Can you remember a time when someone walked into a room completely sour and how it brought down the mood in the room? Or when someone started yelling at you and how it changed how you felt?
We all have the ability to influence the feelings of people around us. If you express happiness, then you can uplift other peoples’ mood. If you express anger, people will respond to you with anger.
When you’re experiencing a strong emotion, either positive or negative, you’re wrapped up in the experience and don’t typically think about the impact on those around you.
Pay attention to it the next time you’re at work, school or out socially. Watch how people act if you’re mad. Do they become angrier? If you’re feeling good, do they become more talkative and smile more? Also, watch to see if their positive or negative mood impacts yours.
Do you want to know how to become more positive and spread positivity to others? Here are a few ways.
Try to stop complaining
Please note that I say “try”! I know at some point most people feel like complaining about something. But it’s a negative experience that affects everyone involved. If you feel like complaining, try to do it when you have a reasonable solution for the problem, or if you’re looking for advice on how to handle it. If you’re only going to say something negative about somebody or something, then try to keep it to yourself.
Look for things you can appreciate each day
At the end of the day, write down some things that pleased you. It could be as simple as your breakfast, catching your favorite show, like Murder She Wrote (sorry I couldn’t resist!), or bigger like something great that happened. Do it every day and think about it before you go to bed. It will help you go to sleep more hopeful and wake up with anticipation of what the next day can bring.
Consider your life journey
Look at your life and think through what is going well. Reflect on the past, present and what you hope for the future. Take stock of the great things that happened, even if you don’t feel like there were many; focus on them.
Look for laughter
Optimistic people seem to be able to laugh at situations and themselves. Try to find some fun in your work, school and personal life. If it’s difficult for you to find, watch something funny.
Remember your worth
Sometimes bad feelings come from how severely you judge yourself, or you may have people in your life that are the ones judging you harshly. Remember that you’re just as worthy as everyone else and deserve to be treated equally.
Some quick boosters
- Count backward from 100.
- Take four or five deep breaths.
- Stretch for 10-15 minutes.
Things to do
- Take a walk.
- Connect with friends or family.
- Play. If you have children or a pet, play with them. If you have none, play on your own!
- Take a warm bath.
- Read a book.
- Watch a movie.
- Listen to music.
The bottom line is that we have the capacity to influence our social world. So be conscious of how you’re making others feel and how they’re making you feel.
Check out some more of my positivity tips. Do you have any others?
Header photo of Ponte Vecchio in Florence from 2017.