Staying Positive in Today's World
Manish Behlis a mindfulness and emotional intelligence expert, trainer and PCC coach
Photo Credit: Manish Behl
- Manish is a mindfulness & emotional intelligence expert, and PCC coach
- He speaks about positive thinking
- Manish Behl reveals his positivity formula
Do you frequently experience negative thoughts, emotions, or interactions, or expose yourself to sensationalized media content or news?
Let's face it - staying positive in today's world can be a real challenge. We're bombarded with negative news and social media feeds that thrive on drama and disaster. And let's not forget about our struggles and problems that can weigh us down. It's no wonder that maintaining a positive outlook can feel like an uphill battle.
Research has found that our brains are wired to focus more on negative experiences, thoughts, and emotions than positive ones, thanks to a survival mechanism that's been hardwired into us over millions of years. That's why negative information can be more memorable and attention-grabbing, as it often signals danger or something that needs to be addressed now or in future.
Dr Rick Hanson, a renowned neuroscientist and psychologist, says that Negative experiences stick to the brain like Velcro while positive ones slide off like Teflon.
"Negative attitude adversely impacts our work and personal life by leading us to focus more on problems rather than opportunities. Which triggers a downward spiral and makes us overly sensitive to criticism or feedback while ignoring appreciation, leading to lower motivation, confidence, and performance" - Manish Behl
Hence, staying positive is extremely important for our mental, physical and emotional health, as well as our relationships, productivity, overall happiness and quality of life.
My Positivity Formula
Do you know that "We need five times more positive experiences to counter every single negative experience, just to balance our life to 50/50"
So here are a few ways to stay positive in a world that seems to be filled with negativity.
"Follow the five-to-one ratio formula for maintaining a healthy balance of positive and negative thinking".
Researchers and psychologist John Gottman have found that to maintain a healthy balance, we need at least five positive interactions for every negative one.
It's not just about avoiding the negative but actively seeking out and creating positive experiences. We can quickly feel unhappy and dissatisfied without enough positive interactions to balance the negative ones.
During my recent podcast "Manish Behl, " in conversation with Dr Ronald Siegel, assistant professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School, he said, "Positive psychology is not about denying difficult emotions. It's about opening to what is happening here and now and cultivating and savouring the good in your life,"
So, aim for that magical five-to-one ratio to keep your positivity quotient in balance; this is how you can do it.
5 Ways to Be More Positive
Be Mindful: It's time to try a little mindfulness! Make a conscious effort to seek out opportunities for positive interactions. Try to avoid these 3 C's criticizing, comparing and complaining in every conversation or thought. Start with just being a little more present in every moment of your life.
Be Thankful: One of the powerful ways is to practice gratitude. Each day, take a moment to reflect on three things that you are grateful for. It could be as simple as a kind gesture from a stranger, a delicious meal you enjoyed, or a warm hug from a loved one. By consciously focusing on these positive experiences, you can automatically rewire your brain to seek out and appreciate the good in your life.
Be Open: Mahatma Gandhi has said, "See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil. That is so true. Limit your exposure to negative influences that can drain your energy and mood. Don't spend your precious time watching negative news, scrolling through social media or talking to someone toxic. Instead, seek out positive sources of information and inspiration, such as uplifting talks, podcasts, books or a good coach or teacher.
Be Optimistic: Challenge negative thoughts or perspectives, and try to find the silver lining in every situation. We can reduce the impact of negative events and learn from them. Question and dispute your negative thoughts and beliefs and try to replace them with more realistic and optimistic ones. Find positive aspects in situations, how difficult or unpleasant it seems, like a traffic jam as an opportunity to listen to a favourite podcast, a rainy or sick day as a chance to cosy up with a book or catch up with your sleep, or a rejection as feedback and opportunity to improve.
Be Joyful: Actively seek out and engage in activities and experiences that bring you happiness and fulfilment. Cultivate positive relationships, spend mindful moments with people you love and take time to enjoy the beauty of the world around you.
We can also reduce negative interactions by practising better communication skills, learning to manage our emotions, and avoiding destructive behaviours like criticism, defensiveness, or stonewalling.
By incorporating these strategies into our daily lives, we can gradually shift ourselves towards a more positive and uplifting tone, helping us maintain healthy relationships with ourselves and others and a more positive outlook towards life.
BIO of Manish Behl
Manish Behl is a mindfulness and emotional intelligence expert, trainer and PCC coach who helps leaders and organizations achieve excellence and well-being.
He is the founder of Mindful Science Centre, a platform that offers evidence-based mindfulness and emotional intelligence programs for personal and professional growth. He also founded Mindfulness India Summit, Asia's largest platform for dialogue and learning on mindfulness, emotional intelligence, and neuroscience.
With over 25 years of experience in leadership, strategy, and innovation, Manish Behl is one of India's leading voices on mindfulness and emotional intelligence.