Staying positive when surrounded by negativity

I know I said I wouldn’t ever talk about work here, but there are a few things I feel like I need to talk about, or talk through… I also know I’ve recently mentioned that things in the work world haven’t been too wonderful. In fact, it’s gotten to the point multiple times now that I’m either sitting alone wiping away tears, feel like I’m on the brink of an anxiety attack, or feel angry. It’s amazing to me how I’ve managed to be so happy outside of work, and had kept my head up for so long while at work.

I’m a pretty positive person. I like being happy, I like smiling, and I like laughing. I don’t like getting the feeling of being angry or sad for prolonged periods of time. I also believe that negative energy can really affect a person’s physical health in a bad way. So I try to keep that out and away from me. But how do you avoid negativity when you’re surrounded by it? How do you keep going?

I think for me one of the best things to do is to stop, breathe, and think about what is good in my life. Matt, the dogs, my friends… What I am able to have because of where I work. I’ve got a huge and beautiful house and we live comfortably. I think about the things I get to look forward to when I get out of work, what our plans are for weekends, and future trips in the summer. I think that’s what gets me through the most; having something to look forward to, something to keep me going. It’s the light at the end what can be a dark and gloomy tunnel.

Lately it’s been hard. However, I’m grateful that people understand where I’m coming from and that I do have support. I don’t know how much will change, or when it will change, but I can always have hope. I can hope that one day I will work in a very positive environment, where there’s not a constant feeling of drowning but rather a feeling of accomplishment and having a direction. A plan.

That’s what I’m struggling with. Not knowing what the plan and direction is for me, where I currently am. I’ve been patient, I’ve hung in there, I’ve helped as much as I possibly can to move things forward to the surface, and to allow for some fresh breaths of air… But somehow, I keep getting pushed back down; deep down into the dark and murky water, and we’re drowning. It’s hard to have hopes when you’ve been promised that things will change by a certain point, but then you pass that point and it’s still the same.

It’s also hard to lack a mentor. Someone you know you can rely on, who is stable and positive and calm and cool in difficult situations. It gives you confidence in your job, what you’re doing, and who you’re doing it for. When you don’t have that, you feel lost and you feel alone. It’s not a good feeling but I try to teach myself whatever I can.

And how about a teammate? Or just a team in general? It’s good to feel like you’re part of a group or a team, that you’re working towards a common goal together. But when you’re separated from each other, doors are shut, everyone is working on their own thing, where team meetings don’t seem to happen… It doesn’t breed positivity, it gives a feeling of isolation. It’s not a good feeling.

But I’m trying to keep my head up, to keep myself from getting too down. I don’t want other people to ruin my day, so I spend time working on whatever I can, learning as much as I can teach myself, and spend time socializing and getting to know other people around me who are more positive. I also listen to music while I work: Mumford and Sons, The New Pornographers, Guster, Ben Folds, Neko Case, Fleet Foxes… My music keeps my mood up. Focusing on good music, working on things that can only make me look better for the future… and knowing at the end of the day, I get to go home and be with Matt and the dogs, knowing our weekends hold adventures and relaxation together.

So yeah, work hasn’t been easy on me mentally or emotionally, but my life is too good outside of it to feel hopeless and negative. I refuse to let something like that take over my life. I can look at the situation and continue to be angry and upset about it or I can try to do something about it, or at least try to make it less crappy for the time being.

You have to be pro-active about fixing negative situations in your life, things that make you unhappy. It’s become a new mantra for me, I suppose. I was unhappy with the way I looked and the way I felt about my health, so I made a change. You have to be proactive about negative situations instead of sitting around, feeling like the world owes you and that your life sucks and wahwahwah.

It’s not easy, you should have a time to grieve and be pissed/angry/sad, and it will take time to fix some situations, but you can’t give into the negativity. It’s not worth it. And it’s definitely not worth spreading to those who surround you, either.

So I will keep my head up, I’ll get my work done, I’ll think about how good my life is outside of work, and I’ll smile that at least I have that.

Life could be a lot worse.

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Filed under Adulthood, Reflections

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