Finding Positivity In A Negative World

11/21/2017 - 12:54pm
Everyone faces adversity at some point in life, so learning how to cope is extremely important.

“Dancing in the rain” — the phrase that kept coming to mind as I sat in a room filled with my closest friends. As the hours went by, eyes watered and voices cracked, we continued to think about those four words. Inspirational story after story, chills started running up and down my body as we spoke about the deceased. The group healing was helpful and allowed us to think about how we can dance in a world that is filled with rain; how can we have a positive perspective on life when all we see is the negative.

Recently, my close friend’s mother passed away. To help with the grieving process, many of my friends and I attended a discussion group, which focused on how to recover from emotional damage. We concluded that often the most helpful method is to try to make a positive change in society, the ideas behind chesed and performing mitzvot.

Today’s world consists of about 7.442 billion people. This is 7.442 billion individuals with 7.442 billion issues. Whether significant or minor, tragedies can happen to nations, cities, towns, communities or individuals. In each situation, these difficult experiences can lead to an array of emotions and reactions. After experiencing a personal tragedy, I realized that I cope in several different ways.

For me, being active is a contributing factor to my positivity. Time is necessary to process and comprehend the tragedy, but my next step is always to act. Helping those who were directly impacted by the tragedy is a very important thing to do; whenever possible, I try to be compassionate and donate my time or money to those in need of comforting. Seeing the reactions from those I help, be it a ‘thank you’ or a smile, immediately makes me feel better.

Additionally, spending time with family is extremely important to me, especially as a morale booster when difficulties arise. Being surrounded by people who love me unconditionally always seems to cheer me up. Whether I am eating a family meal, spending time with extended family during the holidays or playing with my dog at the park, my attitude is automatically uplifted and I am immediately distracted from the negativity that lingers.

Finally, making an impact on someone else’s life out of the goodness of your heart can be very beneficial to your own mental health. Think back to the last time someone did something you appreciated, be it a smile or simply saying “good morning.” How did that make you feel? These small gestures can make a person’s day. Being a part of someone else’s happiness is extremely rewarding.

So while it might seem that world is filled with challenges and misfortune, I have learned that there are ways in which you can cope and even put your own positive spin on things.

 

author's bio: 
Sheila Levy is a junior at Yeshivah of Flatbush in Brooklyn, N.Y.