Monday, March 14, 2011


by Kate Collins

I’ve never read the book, “The Power of Positive Thinking,” but I understand the principles. Think positive and your life will be positive. Negative thinking brings negative results. As Leann Sweeney mentioned in her blog yesterday, when you are in physical pain, or in my case, mental anguish brought on by grief, it’s incredibly easy to slip into negative thinking. And if you don’t change your mindset right away, you just get deeper and deeper into it, affecting your work product and your life.

I’ve had a real battle with that recently. Too much time alone, too much time to think back on my wonderful marriage, too many doubts about my future, worries about family members, making deadlines --- it all played into a very dark time for me this past week that resulted in being physically ill. But thanks to the loving support of my friends and family, I’m pulling out of it.

In talking about negative thinking with my best friend, she saw incidents of that in her own life. As a teacher, she has dealt with all kinds of children, but this year she has one student who is almost making her nuts. Nothing is working on him. She has gotten to the point of disliking this child, which is unusual for her. After we talked about how negativity can influence your thoughts and behavior, she is going back to school to look at this child with clear eyes.

I’ve read that when you’re around negative people, they give off such strong negativity that it will make you irritable and uncomfortable. When you’re around positive people, you feel full of energy and have a cheerful outlook. Do you know anyone who is so negative that s/he affects your mood? Are you attracted to people who are naturally cheerful and enthusiastic? It’s something to think about, isn’t it?

Wishing you positive thoughts,



Anonymous said...

Yes i like being around postive people. Some people suck the energy out of you just being around like a vampire.

Linda said...

I'm sending positive vibes your way, Kate, that the difficult time will continue to yield to the positive effects of the love of your family and friends.

Tonya Kappes said...

Awwww...Kate. I'm sorry you are having some difficult times. I'm a super positive person, but I also get down at times. Of course the old addage of exercise, but who is happy about that? It does work--only I found being around more positive people, taking a bible study, going back to someplace that always brought me joy, posting positive sayings around my desk/house are just a few things I have found helpful. Also your mind can be so vicious. Repeat positive sayings in your mind or envision what you would look like or what you see as happy/healthy etc...

Heather Webber said...

Kate, I hope you're feeling better. (((hugs)))

I've really tried to distance myself from negative people in the past year after realizing the effect they were having on me. Very difficult to do, but I think I'm a better person for it.

Dru said...

I try my best to be around positive people and on the off-chance that I'm around a negative person, I do my best to avoid falling into their negativity.

Everyone has a time in their life when they feel a little negative and when that happens to me, I try to do something that will make me happy.


Barbara said...

The hardest thing (one that I'm coping with) is when a person you love has become moody and negative because of a disease. You can't avoid the person and you want to help but are unable to. That's when it's hard to be positive, but it's making me closer to my positive friends.

Debra said...

I hope you are getting through today and feeling even a little better. I like quiet positive people.

signlady217 said...

I do automatically tend toward the negative, but I'm working on it, trying to at least keep it to myself and not bug other people. And I do have a couple of acquaintances that are so negative they even get on my nerves! I can only endure them for very short periods of time, and then I have to find an escape route! :)

I'm sorry you've been unwell, and it's understandable. I'm also very glad that your family and friends are being a help to you. We are here for you when needed.

Gayle Carline said...

Kate, you could have written this post for me today. I have a friend who is struggling with a lot of things she can't control (family illnesses, hubby's desire to change jobs, general chaos of running a business and owning a home), and I'm watching her tailspin into negativity. Attempts to help her are rebuffed while she tries to strong-arm her life to a better place, nitpicking at everything and everything else as she goes. I find myself feeling cranky and difficult when I see her, even though I know why she's in this funk and I'm trying to cut her as much slack as possible.

It's hard not to see the glass half-empty when you've been hit with hard times. But let friends help you, and try to surround yourself with the people who'll lift you up instead of weighing you down.

Aurian said...

Never really thought about it, but I did have a friend who took so much energy trying to cheer her up, I started avoiding talking to her on msn. Not again, call me when you have something positive to say! The friendship has ended after years, and though I miss her occasionally, my life is busy as it is.

Kate Collins said...

All of your comments just reinforce the belief that negative thinking brings bad things in your life, and those who have to be around negative "vampires" as was said, are also affected. My family has encouraged me to go to a grief support group because they could see where I was heading, and so I shall. I have not "let go" of my husband, but I am working on it. Painful as it is, I can't move forward until I do. Thank you all for your loving support. Please encourage anyone you know who is trapped in a dark place to get counseling from a knowledgeable person.
Happy thoughts to you all!

Lynda said...

My father is with a "companion" who is the most negative person I have ever known. I can't remember ever hearing a positive thing from her mouth. Unfortunately, it is bringing my dad down to her level and the change in him is heartbreaking. We try to counter the affect by being positive when with him, but he's with her more than us, so it's difficult. It's so hard seeing someone you love turn into someone you don't even want to be around. Unfortunately, he cannot (or doesn't want to) see what's happening.

However, that said, their situation is different from your's, in that they don't have a heartbreaking event to deal with. They are just negative about life in general. I went through a depression about 10 years ago after a personal loss, and I know that it is not an easy thing to work through. I recognized my negativity, but was having trouble getting past it. Having close family and friends who understand and stick with you helps a lot - but in the end, you have to find the strength within yourself (which is not easy). I wish you luck Kate, and will keep you in my prayers.

ev said...

I try to be positive, especially at work. I have an example to set and it's not always easy. We work in close confines and as the boss, I know my attitude sets it for the office.

The last week and a half have been extremely stressful there, so today, with the office closed I took myself off for a day of pampering. Mani, pedi, and some retail therapy. Cause when you shop and go places that they know you- there is always positive energy. Ever know a salesperson who had a crappy attitude have a good sales record? I walked into Lane Bryant and the two working (new people) were singing and laughing. They kept me involved int he conversation but didn't bug me- I told them I probably know the store better than them!

I came home with new clothes (sales baby!!), fresh nails and a fresh attitude. I even made dinner. And the positive energy kept me going to do other stuff too. And for me there's nothing like buying a pretty, sexy new bra or two for a pick me up! Pun intended!! :)

Kate Collins said...

Lynda, thank you so much for your kind words of support. I truly hope the best for your dad. Would a talk with his companion help or make things more difficult?
Ev, good for you!! A new bra is definitely "uplifting."

Sandy said...

Kate -
You know I've been thinking so much about you lately. I don't even know you, but yet I think about what you're going through and am so awed by your spirit. I would probably still be under my bed..
I'm also so affected by people's energy, and it can impact us - good or bad. I hope you surround yourself with good energy and heal at your own speed. I think you've got a lot of good thoughts that are with you even if you don't know it.

Fiona L. Woods said...


I'm not an expert on grief by any means but in the past two years I have lost my mother and my youngest son, so I do have some experience. If I could give just a little advice, I would say don't try to get over your grief too soon. Each of us has to travel our own path to healing, whether it's six months, two years, however long it takes. And don't rush into letting "go" too soon. I celebrated mother's day for my mother last year and I celebrated my son's birthday this year. Just because our loved ones have passed on does not mean we should forget them as if they never existed or not continue to celebrate their lives.

Your life will get better and you will feel better; but in your own time frame, not on someone else's time frame.


StitchenTigger said...

No advice, but lots of warm hugs going you way. It's not easy, I wouldn't even begin to think you would believe that, but with time the immediate pain will become more bearable and the good memories will wrap you in their arms.

Please try to look at the positive side of things, it is so important in the healing process (and this had been a very serious wound you've suffered).

One thing I always try to do at work when I answer phone calls from my students (I place people in classes they need) is to smile just before I say hello. It's amazing how that smile actually does come through the phone lines. Can't say the smile lasts through to the end of every call, but I've found that a lot of the time it makes the conversation a little more pleasant. Just my way of trying to be a positive influence on my little section of the world.

Tiffany0227 said...

I like to be around energetic people. People who talk a lot or people who like to listen to people talk (I can talk someone's leg off) I can't help it.

I have had somewhat of a rough life. I lived in a very domestically violent home growing up. I seen my mother get beat time and time again. I also had an absent father, or a sometime father. (sometimes he would be there and sometimes he wouldn't and it is still the same way) So that led me to grow up with a lot of angry and negative feelings. But, getting older I have learned how to control and channel these feelings. One thing that helped me was taking Karate as a child.

My main personality trait in a person is a sense of humor. You have to make me laugh. If you can always make me laugh or smile I will be your friend forever.

I have had to learn over the years to not let someone else's negativity ruin my day. Always end a negative comment with a positive. Something I learned from my years of training in education is when you must give negative feedback always sandwhich it. Start with something positive, give the negative, and then end with a positive. For every negative give two positive. It is amazing how well it works with children.

I have also had those children in my preschool classes to deal with. It is hard to deal with. I am more than happy to share any information I have with your friend. I have many resources, links, not to mention all my behavioral issues work from school. Please tell her to feel free to email me.

I also found the cutest thing at dollar store today, It is a flower shop bird house. Super cute!!