There is nothing I find less attractive than a negative attitude.
If I go on 2 dates with someone, and all they do is complain, it's a no from me dawg. I will give them the benefit of the doubt on the first one if everything else is good, because everyone has hard days. After that, you are on your own toots. I want to feel uplifted and inspired after hanging out with people, I don't want to feel like a lifeless slug.
I grew up with a daddio who people called "Eyeore." I love him so much, but the man can mope around. So while it may be easy for me to claim that "it's just the way I was brought up," I know better. We all have the option to decide how we react to every situation.
Before I get started, I want you to know that I graduated with honours from Western University in a program called "Media In The Public Interest." This program included how media conglomerates pretty much run the world, and how we see it. It also had a severe focus on social justice issues. I took courses on the toxicity in the food industry, sexism in television, systemic racism, crime - like sexual assault, and more horrible shit.
I am fully aware there are MANY problems in our society. I am not ignorant to all of this, nor am I an advocate of toxic positivity (pretending to be happy at all costs, and suppressing all "negative" emotions).
What I do know is that stewing in all the world's issues kept me STUCK as fuck. I am so lucky I didn't experience anxiety back then, because I am not sure I would be able to make it through if I had. Learning this stuff back-to-back for years on end is what panic attacks are made of (no joke).
While I have developed some symptoms of anxiety since then, (hello COVID, starting a business, and attaining a mortgage), I have also found many mindfulness techniques that work for me, so I don't spiral out of control.
Here's 3 things you can do, so you don't drop into a depressive, anxious state by getting bogged down by the whoas of society.
Gratitude (I know, I know - so basic, and boring, right?).
Bear with me. I know I am being basic. I truly believe it works though, or I wouldn't be telling you this for the 300th time! Writing down 3 things I am grateful for, starts and ends my day with some positives - even on the darkest days.
It can be as simple as the sun shining through your window, a place to lay your head, or your morning coffee. Remember, these are all privileges. Start noticing the small moments of MAGIC, and it will start to slowly change your mindset - I promise.
2. Look at it from a different perspective.
Yo, listen... some things straight up SUCK. I get it. But, just like I had to do in University, can you look at it from another point of view, or can you find a tiny silver lining?
For example, the forest fires have been horrible in North America this year. The air quality was at a 9/10 danger risk yesterday. It's easy to complain and blame "stupid Canadians" for starting the fires. However, can you take a tiny second, and look at it from a different perspective? For example, when forest fires happen, it can also trigger regeneration in our forests.Additionally, when the smoke passes, we are reminded what an absolute privilege it is to have the fresh air we usually have. It feels extra good to be outside.
When tragedies happen, I find one of the easiest positives to see is how groups of people come together to support one another. Does it make the problem ok or "all better"? No, I am not an idiot! Lol, I am saying just take a SECOND and see something beautiful coming from it all.
Think there is no positive to the problem you see? Then take some action. Keep reading the next point.
3. Find the hill you'll die on, and take action!
I don't wanna say, "shut up and do something about it then," but that's what comes to mind first.
Pick the thing that bothers you most about society, and DO SOMETHING about it. Your verbal complaints to friends and sighs in the background do literally nothing. I don't wanna hear it, unless you plan on taking action.
Action dispels overwhelm. Action makes you feel like you have a hand in something bigger. Action makes the world a better place.
So what hill you will you die on? What is the thing you want to improve more than anything else for future generations? Pick that thing and dive in!
For me, it's improving women's mindsets and confidence - especially around their body image and food. This is what my purpose in this world is right now. So THIS is where I will focus my energy, time, and resources right now.
This doesn't mean that I can't care about more than one thing. I have many shits to give. I really care about survivors of sexual abuse, being anti-racist, supporting small businesses, rights for the queer community, global warming, etc. And I can care about all this and more, while focusing on my main purpose. I can still donate time, money and resources towards the other causes I care about. I can share their messages. AND I can be a bigger voice in my space, because in my humble opinion, being an all-in expert in one thing has a greater impact than having my hand in 12 different pots.
Bonus Controversial Tip: If the news hurts you more than it helps you, I give you permission to shut it off. I personally don't watch the news unless it is a story I care about deeply. In past generations, they had no way of knowing about every single tragedy in every city and country around the world. I truly don't think it's that useful to know (again, unless you are going to do something about it). Am I claiming ignorance is bliss? I don't know. What I am saying is that if you can't or won't take action to improving this, you are simply dulling your light.
And we need you bright and shining, so you can do the work YOU are here to do.
You don't have to agree with me in totality. I simply want you to consider my points and see if anything lands and resonates.
I realize I have extreme privilege in many aspects of my life. I am a mid-sized, white, and cis-gender. I was raised in Canada by two loving parents, who supported me financially to get an education. I am coming to this from that stance, and I don't think that completely mutes my arguments. I am helping from the hand I was dealt and you can do the same.