Surround yourself with positive people 2020.03.12
As a human, life can be complicated. We do not usually choose our circumstances from the onset. We are born into different environments and learn what we see and are exposed to. We do have our own intrinsic personality but over time (speaking from person experience) we develop habits and thought patterns based on external influences (family, friends, media) as well. We often do not realise how we are or how we affect people. We just think it is 'normal'. For a long time, my basic personality was and still is, kind, helpful, thoughtful and analytical. I had some other traits as well that I adopted from constant interaction with my family - impatience, ignorance and defensiveness.
Whenever we face a traumatic incident, it is difficult to pull ourselves out of a negative state. As for me, my best friend supported me as best she could and slowly the spiritual side of me was reawakened a couple of years ago. My positivity returned, at a level that superseded all others from the past. I realised that I had control over my life and I could decide how I wanted to live. I did not have to hold on to pessimistic characteristics that made me feel hollow and guilty. Someone once said to me, "Happiness is a choice." From that day, I chose to live that way. It is difficult of course but possible. Just keep heading towards the 'you' you want to be. Bearing this in mind, when there are situations that start to pull negative energy out of you, you should avoid the situations and be kind to yourself. It is also very true that we are all human and no matter what, it is sometimes difficult to be the better person. I often enjoy reading motivational material to get me back on track.
My friend shared this article with me about kindness and I share some tips here today. Your life depends on it it seems. "Why being kind can help you live longer."
During former US president Barack Obama's eulogy of veteran US Democrat Elijah Cummings, he shared, "Being a strong man includes being kind. There's nothing weak about kindness and compassion," he said. "There's nothing weak about looking out for others. You're not a sucker to have integrity and to treat others with respect."
Some of the benefits mentioned in the article were:
Living with people who treat you with disregard and a lack of concern is bad for you. On the other hand, both receiving kindness from others, and providing kindness, are the converse of this toxic stress situation. Just someone asking how you are can improve your wellbeing.
Practising kindness lowers blood pressure and there are benefits for treating depression and anxiety.
Tips for living a kinder life from kindness expert Gabriella Van Rij
- Truly start listening to others (instead of already formulating the answer in your head)
- Answer rudeness with kindness (think of someone being extremely snippy to you, then say in a friendly tone "did you have a hard day?". You will have already diffused the moment)
- Include someone who is on the sidelines. By doing this, you have valued them - it's dehumanising to go through life unnoticed, unwanted and unloved
- Action/reaction. Understand when there is unkindness, it is not about you. When you are triggered, take a deep breath and step back
Always make an effort when you live in a sharehouse with many strangers who are far away from home. Honestly, some people prefer to be left alone and that should be respected but at least try to be polite and friendly. Surround yourself with positive people.
Last week, my sharehouse mate and I went on a picnic at the park. It was wonderful to share the experience with her. We talked and enjoyed each other's company. It was a nice afternoon out and I certainly felt a whole lot happier and healthier!
I'm like a chihuahua. Small but fierce and full of energy. I'm generally a positive person and try to make the best of each day.