(Lauren Martin / For The Times)
Valencia High School

Opinion: How to crack the positive code

Positivity, such a simple, yet perplexing term. Every person strives to be positive in every situation. We want to be happy-go-lucky and take every circumstance in stride. But not every situation lends itself to a positive reaction.

People, from childhood to adulthood, are faced with countless circumstances that are less than ideal. We are expected to face our challenges with a guise of positivity 

How are we supposed to personify the epitome of a positive person during a global pandemic, amongst negative feedback from our peers, family friends and those who abuse the anonymity of social media to criticize others? Is it wrong for individuals to do this? Yes! But is everyone in this world a noble, humble, altruistic person? Absolutely not.

Every society has a mixture of bad and good people, however, we as humans need to know how to handle both parties. Our parents always tell us to “ just be happy,” but it’s easier said than done. 

Positivity isn’t something that dawns upon you in a day or a trait to develop overnight, but can only come over time. Though difficult scenarios can take a toll on even the best of us, allowing it to take over your life is meaningless. Focusing on the negativity is a mere waste of time and in fact counterproductive. Those who dwell upon the difficult circumstances must rise with indefinite strength. But it’s so hard. When our morale is low, it feels as if it is us against the world 

As a senior in Valencia High School’s International Baccalaureate and Technology Program, I often feel like the toxicity of high school competition. Not only are we always out to outperform each other, but also undermine our abilities when someone else comes out on top.

However, I am a firm believer in the idea that more than one person can be successful. One person’s success does not diminish the accomplishments of another. These are some ways I have personally combatted the inevitable negativity:

  1. Knowing my worth: Understanding ourselves can be humbling, but painful. It is human nature to avoid pain. Pain for the driver on the road can be just as painful, if not more for the passenger. We must tap into our strengths and abilities, and, most of all, bring them to light. We must know who is worth and not worth our time, and most of all be cognizant of all situations rather than oblivious. Being honest with ourselves, despite the potential hurt feelings can truly contribute to a long-lasting positive mindset.
  2. Surrounding myself around those who uplift me: Building a strong relationship with those who uplift me facilitates a healing process for me when I’m facing difficulties. Those who have proven their loyalty to me in the past or those who help me focus on the bright side of situations and bring the light out in the dark.
  3. Being self-reliant: Self-reliance is exactly what it sounds like, but much harder to implement. In simplistic, clear cut terms, it is being reliant on one’s own efforts and abilities. Self-reliance has strong theoretical benefits on my degree of happiness. The implications not only results in an increase of positivity, but resilience, self-worth, and self-expression.
  4. Practicing mindfulness and positive affirmation: Hearing it’s theorized benefits, initially I felt as if it was a “too good to be true” concept, however, I started to see myself gain an improved mental clarity, emotional intelligence and the ability to relate to others with compassion and kindness. And surprisingly enough, the steps were simple. All I had to do was a digital detox and live in the present, rather than preoccupying myself with events of the past or future.
  5. Meditation, Breathing: Going hand in hand with mindfulness, meditating, though unpreferable to many, allows me to go into a deep state of relaxation and carry on with tranquility. Eliminating the jumbled thoughts streaming in my head not only allows me to focus more on inapplicable scenarios but also enhances my physical and emotional well- being.

In hindsight, all of these seem simple, yet so hard to implement. Enforcing such practices can truly boost the morale of individuals and bring happiness into one’s life.