The Arapahoe Pinnacle

Staying Positive In a Time of Negativity

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(Ashley Peoples/Creative Commons via Google)

(Ashley Peoples/Creative Commons via Google)

(Ashley Peoples/Creative Commons via Google)

Ashley Peoples, Reporter

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Winter. Winter is the time of year when we get stuck, when winter break was not long enough, the time when all the light-hearted vibes from the summer before halts. It seems we’re stuck in a rut, laboriously trudging through spring classes.

Additionally, we are bombarded by negativity, and it all can get discouraging. Yet another tragic school shooting makes its way into our social media feeds, making it among the 294 school shootings since 2013.

At some point, we are all stuck with that one class (or more!) that is far from enjoyable, a waste of time, or one in which you feel utterly lost. Now there are two choices: complain about it, do the least possible work, and stay clueless; or try to get the most you can from this class, ask for help, and still learn something from it no matter how useless it is.

(Ashley Peoples/ via Google)

By picking either choice, you remain in control of what the outcome is. You can choose to waste time or benefit from it. You can choose to overcome negative thinking, or allow the negative aspects of life to weigh you down and make you miserable.

Often it is not as simple as choosing to be positive, and professional help is needed. In that case, the following list may not be beneficial. Regardless, here are some ways to combat negativity, and stay positive throughout the year:

  • Keep a Thankful/Positivity Journal

Positivity starts in the mind. The mind is so powerful: it can be brainwashed, but it can also be guided and coached to think on the bright side. One way to do this is to keep a journal filled with positive things.

For a thankful journal, list daily what you are thankful for. It will help you find things, no matter how small, that are going right and appreciate them. With a positivity journal, fill it with happy, inspiring quotes or pictures to be encouraged in bad times.

Though the world is filled with hate and strife, a journal can help you feed on encouraging vibes instead of negativity in the news.

It can also help put things into perspective. Realize people are seldom mean for no reason, and often it is not you, it is issues within their own lives. Geraldine DeRuiter, writer in the Washington Post, reminds us in her article that we often forget there are two people hurting in a bullying situation. 

  • Release Frustrations

Whether this means writing them out in a journal, drawing them, singing them, telling them to a close friend, running, kick boxing—find your way to make the negativity exit your mind. When you do, you will feel freer.

Sometimes frustration turns into something beautiful that evokes change, like what happened after Parkland. Although a disturbed kid brought heartbreak to a high school, kids across the nation chose to stand up and bring a positive change to prevent others from experiencing the same.

  • Save Time For You

Taking time out for yourself is important because on top of all the other negativity, everyone has their own trials and pain to work through. Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu sums it up best: “Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster.

“Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster.”

— Sun Tzu

Mean individuals often bully others to make their lives miserable with their hurtful words. It can seem hopeless and terrible at times, but practicing self-love and realizing your worth can strengthen you to go on.

Some people have a free hour in their day, some barely 5 minutes. Length doesn’t matter, just that you do something by yourself at some point during the day. That could mean meditation, playing an instrument, yoga, exercising, creating art, dancing, singing, reading, or coloring with adult coloring books that have become popular in recent years. For outdoor enthusiasts, climbing a mountain can be therapeutic.  

  • Surround yourself with your close friends

Being engrossed in our troubles can mislead us to believe we are alone. In reality, that is not true.

There will always be someone who cares, someone who understands and has been through it. It just takes some digging to find that someone. Sometimes you may never know that someone, but they still are there.

If everything and everyone else has you down, it helps to stick close to those who matter most and who will encourage you no matter what. Having a support system helps keep us afloat when things become too much.

Enduring this cold, dreary part of the year can be daunting, but know that the semester will end, the cold will end, and all is not hopeless. Keep laboring on, and try to think positively, my fellow classmates.

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