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Mind Over Matter: Finding Positivity in Chaos

A happy face among and above sad faces with text that reads "think positive."

It's often difficult to find positivity in the aspects of life that tend to rain negative energy. Whether that be at work, school, or home, we tend to allow ourselves to focus more on the negative than the positive. We think more about worst case scenarios than best case scenarios. Especially those of us with anxiety disorders. But there are ways to try to overcome this and see the positives.

"Yes, But..."

Example: Maybe you're living paycheck-to-paycheck. You've just paid the bills, bought groceries for the week, and filled up your car. You look at your bank account and realize that you only have a few bucks left. This, of course, is going to negatively impact your mood. But what if you changed the way you looked at it? You see you have a few bucks left... yes, but... your bills are paid, your gas tank is full, and you have food for the week. That's a positive.

Example: You did your best in school, got good grades, participated in extracurriculars, all so you could apply to a college that you've been wanting to attend since you were younger. You also have a second-choice school that you'd be happy to attend as well. Unfortunately, because your first choice only accepts a select number of applicants each year, they were unable to accept your application at this time. Negative. Yes, but... you also just received a letter of acceptance from your second-choice school. Positive.

Do Something That Makes You Happy

When we let negativity impact is, we tend to feel "stuck." Like we're in a rut. And it can be difficult to dig ourselves out of that rut. One way is to do something that makes you happy. It's hard to be negative when you're happy. Take your kiddos to the park and run around. Have a date night with your partner. Got to the gym. Go fishing. Whatever it is that makes you happy, do that.

"I'm So Excited."

This one is actually my favorite. This is one that the doctor I work for has started having us use at the beginning of our workdays. Before we get started for the day, she'll say, "I'm so excited," and we (my work partner and I) will repeat: "I'm so excited." What this does is manipulate our brains into believing that we aren't stressed about the day ahead. If, at any point throughout the day we begin to feel stressed again, we repeat the mantra: "I'm so excited." This really does help. And it helps us release the negative energy from the stress and focus more on the positive.


It's difficult to be human. But we can turn negatives into positives. We just have to know how to and be willing to do it. We can find happiness in the messiest aspects of life. And we can find joy in chaos.

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