Mind over matter. How to keep positive in a negative world.

From the desk of Lady Colleen Glaeser.

The brain is a powerful organ. The mind is a complex maze of neurons that help shape our identities and the way we look at life. Life, and more often or not, the world, are continuously bombarding us with negative information, negative situations and negative people. Sometimes, it’s tough to keep a positive outlook when everything around us feels extremely negative. However, our mindful attitude is key in determining whether or not we lead a good, positive-filled existence.

I have often heard that the world’s top athletes, who overcome severe physical and mental restrictions to reach their goals and achieve greatness, have a particular mindset which allows them to achieve what they set out to do, making it a reality. This particular mindset is what sets them apart from others, what determines ordinary versus extraordinary. They will stop at nothing to achieve their goals, pushing their minds and bodies to the extreme. Despite what other people may tell them, despite what their circumstances are, despite what the world throws at them, they refuse to let negativity get to them. Most importantly, they never let negativity grow and spread.

The world can be harsh and we can’t always control the cards dealt to us, but we can control the way in which we react to each and every single situation we experience or person we meet who says something untoward. We should never ignore our emotional response to experiences and people, of course it sometimes hurts and yes, sometimes it makes us angry. The thing with emotions is, they are fleeting. It is what comes after the emotion that truly allows us to stay strong, keep positive or continue in a perpetual cycle of negativity. It’s quite simple! It’s mind over matter. There is no merit in wallowing in self-pity and resentment, a harsh but very real statement. Take the moment to feel the emotion as it comes your way, but then ask yourself this unassuming question, “How can I take this experience or the harsh words said to me, and turn it into something positive?” Furthermore, ask yourself, “How can I - through what I have experienced - learn, grown and adapt, evolving into the person I would like to become?”

The truth about negativity, the beauty in it, is that we would not understand positivity or strive to achieve positive growth if we did not know the difference. This is an age old concept, the yin and yang of life, but we often forget about this as we get wrapped up in the annoying traffic on our daily commute to work and the hurtful comment our partner made three weeks ago etc.

A positive outlook is a mindset. It takes determination and a lot of self-development. It most certainly is achievable.