Why Focus on the Positive?
Written by Melissa Kessler, MA, PCC
Negative images affect our energy level and our mood. Scientific research has proven that negative emotions actually change our blood chemistry and cause disease. (The Healing Field: Exploring Energy and Consciousness explains this phenomenon and ways to reverse it.) I stopped watching the news over 5 years ago because it is mostly negative, and it creates anxiety and anger within me. I replaced it with more positive activities like reading helpful books and articles, listening to inspiring podcasts, watching motivational TED talks, and listening to uplifting music. I have also opted to watch movies and TV shows that are positive and uplifting over those that depict violence.
In a time when we need all of the positive reserves available to overcome stress and difficulties, it’s critical to fuel ourselves with as much positive energy as we can, and avoid negative energy whenever possible. We are hard-wired to see the negative more easily than the positive. We have to train ourselves to focus on the positive and to shift our focus when we start expending energy on negative emotions. We can do this by noticing when we are experiencing stress, anger, fear or any negative emotion. Then switch our focus to something that makes us feel good such as a loved one or a favorite memory – anything that creates a sense of peace, love and gratitude within us. By doing this, we undo the harmful effects of the negative feelings that we experience.
One of most positive, uplifting, and energizing movies I have seen in a long time is “The Greatest Showman.” It’s about inclusion, acceptance, living your dreams, and appreciating what you have. These messages are delivered through beautiful and powerful musical performances. It has been playing in movie theaters since December 20 (an impressive 14 weeks), and it’s still playing in some theaters (there’s even a sing-along version). The soundtrack hit #1 on Billboard Top 200, and I listen to it every morning to put myself in a positive emotional state. The song, “This is Me” won a Golden Globe award, was nominated for an Oscar, and has become the anthem for anyone who has ever been bullied, put down, or felt like they weren’t enough. If you haven’t seen this incredible movie yet, give yourself and your kids this gift of positive energy and pure joy. It comes out on DVD on April 10, and is currently available on Amazon.
“Come alive. Come alive. Go and ride your light. Let it burn so bright. Reaching up to the sky, and it’s open wide. You’re electrified. When the world becomes a fantasy and you’re more than you could ever be. ‘Cause you’re dreaming with your eyes wide open.” – Hugh Jackman, “Come Alive” from The Greatest Showman
“When the sharpest words wanna cut me down, I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out. I am brave. I am bruised. I am who I’m meant to be. This is me. Look out ’cause here I come, and I’m marching on to the beat I drum. I’m not scared to be seen. I make no apologies. This is me.” – Keala Settle, “This is Me” from The Greatest Showman
“I think of what the world could be – a vision of the one I see. A million dreams is all it’s gonna take – a million dreams for the world we’re gonna make.” – Hugh Jackman, “A Million Dreams” from The Greatest Showman