Moderate the Plus and Minus of Emotion

The drain on my mental health is made worse by negativity and bad news. One feeds off the other into a vicious cycle that throws me into a downward spiral of depression, agitation, and anger over time. I feel mad all the time with no tolerance for anything.

Finding a positive in any situation seems not to interest most people anymore. That is my perception anyway. My perception is influenced by what I allow into my psyche, which I control, and I have decided to alter that flow of negativity.

When 2022 arrived, I was already into a schedule that put me at my desk by 9:00 am each day. I generally get up around 5:00 am, make my morning cup of coffee, and watch the local news broadcast while I play my game on my tablet. This broadcast begins to repeat, but I can tune it out with a greater focus on the game. The national news morning show starts at 7:00 am, and by 7:30 am, I am already feeling drained. So that is my queue to get up, make breakfast, get dressed, and be at my desk on time.

This morning (yesterday), I realized how the focus of the news broadcast affected my mood when the routine short segment of the broadcast presented lighter topics. The positive or humorous stories made me smile, and I said how refreshing it would be if more of this were part of the news. But, unfortunately, the hope of that happening is slim as we as a society prefer the bad news, the negative tone, and elevating the worst of us to center stage.

How we got here is a debate that spans the gamut of opinions. I have mine, and that crux of it may be a surprise. It is not pointing the finger at one aspect of our society but rather our behavior. Behavior that we have control over and make a choice not to change, and that is moderation. Anything to excess has the potential to affect us negatively. How could reading too many books, drinking too much water, or exercising be a bad thing? Even something good taken to excess impacts other parts of our lives if you think about it. I am not here to argue the value of reading books, drinking water, or exercising. If that was your first thought, you have gone the negative thinking route, and I win.

Finding the positive is not an easy task while swimming in an ocean of negative energy. The water is dark and deep with a strong undercurrent. So this morning, when I got up a little late, I decided to change up the already altered routine a bit, and I left the television off. I had already missed the local news, so I figured why to bother as it is the only reason I turn it on. So I put the dishes in the drainer away, started the water to boil for coffee, sat in my chair, and had a few positive affirmations. It took no time, and I felt like I had an excellent start to my day.

Admitting out loud that I woke up and sat with positive thoughts might make many people laugh at the stupidity. However, the hard part for me is not thinking about being a laughing stock. I could have quickly filled those first moments with plenty of sad or negative thoughts because they are the easiest to come by these days, but it is up to me to create the order of my thoughts. I am sad often these days, but I am prioritizing addressing my grief and trying to move past it. I feel actual pain in my chest from its sheer weight, and I know this is not good for my overall health.

I lost my train of thought and will pick this up tomorrow.

It is tomorrow, today, so where was I? Oh yes, the pain of negativity. When I started feeling actual chest pains, I knew I needed to snap out of my doldrums. It is far easier to dwell on the negative than finding the positive, but it begins with the start of each day. I have to set the trend early, lest I fail in the end. That sounds negative, but it is my path to positivity, I promise.

There is another way that is helping to squash the negative, and that is daily journaling. Taking a pen to paper feels genuine and heartfelt. Staring back at you is the indelible ink that weirdly represents the mind bleeding out its most visceral thoughts. The bleeding becomes a cleansing, making room for the positive that I have found to follow these bleeds. It is as if a bloodletting of toxicity has occurred. Once the toxicity is gone, there is room for the good to fill the void left behind, and at that moment, I have found a rush that I can only describe as enlightenment.

Enlightenment then leads to clarity and then absolute honesty. Negative parts of life do exist, that is true. Moderating how much space in your mind you allow it to occupy along with the positive is up to you. And it requires work. This suggestion sounds like living in denial, which would be a valid point, but each of us shares some responsibility for the world we all live.

One of my biggest struggles is coming off as an emotional Polyanna. I would agree except to say that there is always something to be despondent about, and I am simply choosing to balance that out with something light, refreshing, or happy. Even if it is seemingly trivial or unimportant, I am happy I woke up without a headache today. It seems silly, but it is not trivial if you have experienced a lifetime of headaches.

When tomorrow morning comes, and your first thought is negative, stop yourself. Remember that you woke up. That is a positive.

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When governments legislate morality, no one is safe. Division among us destroys all of us.