About a month ago, I read an article on Facebook called 12 toxic behaviours that push people away from you. It was a great article. It really nailed the types of behaviours which will create distance in relationships.
I'm an incredibly curious person and I've spent years learning what was different about people who had easy relationships, achieved their goals, were joyful and easy going. Now I know some of the characteristics of those people and practice embodying them in my own life. I've become a person who is usually more happy than not, I see the gift in challenging moments and I am creating more closeness in my relationships.
Life lesson from my mother
But it wasn't easy. At least not at first. So don't lose heart if it feels like an overwhelming task, or if you are tired of it always being a struggle, because I can tell you that I have changed my life for the better and there was a time where I didn't believe it was possible. I did have hope though. A glimpse of hope given to me by my mother who smiled and laughed at moments where others might have cried and given up. I learned that if she can have hope and joy in those moments it's possible, and if it's possible for one person, it's possible for anyone.
So let's get to it. The big secret that all these happy, successful people have in common. The ones that people flock to and love and always seem to have a kind word. They always focus on the positive.
How to stay positive
Sounds easy right? It's not. Not at all. Our brains are hardwired to look for the negative and the dangerous. It's what's kept us all alive for thousands of years. But guess what? The dangers are a little different today than they were in prehistoric times. So here's our amazing brain working hard to keep us safe in situations it is perceiving as dangerous and yet what is actually happening is our brain is separating us from joy, love and meaning. Neuroscientists are now proving that if you consciously and consistently focusing on happy thoughts and activities, you will be more happy. If you consciously and consistently focus on depressing thoughts and activities, guess what happens? You become depressed!
In order to move towards being a positive and loving person, you focus on...? Positivity and love! Not what is stopping positivity and love! So if you want less distance in your relationship, focus on feeling closer to the people you love instead of how to stop pushing people away. If you want to have more money, focus on making and keeping more money instead of how to stop losing money. As you automatically focus on loving behaviours you will have to stop the behaviours which drive people away from you. It's not possible to behave two ways in one moment.
If you are finding it difficult to switch to a positive outlook don't lose hope. It isn't that you can't do it. It's just that you likely have been hurt enough in the past that your brain is unwilling to let go of the negativity because in it's own unique way it is keeping you safe.
If you try on your own and it's not working, get support. Join a group, find some friends you can talk to, find a coach or counsellor, hypnotherapist, energy worker, doctor... It doesn't matter who it is as long as you feel heard and supported by them. If you can commit yourself to this path with self love, self acceptance and self compassion you will get there.
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments!