By Peggy Jo Goodfellow, Arizona Farm Bureau: My Monday through Friday morning routine includes watching the news. Sometimes the news stories are so depressing I wonder why I bothered watching. It seems that negative energy can be not only be influencing but it can also be contagious. How can we combat it? How can we live our best and avoid negativity?

Five steps to living life in the positive:

  1. It’s a choice. I have found that if I choose to focus on what’s good about a situation or to find the humor in it, I’m able to turn the conversation around from complaining to focusing on a solution. As for gossip….well you know what to do and what not to do.

  1. You can change your perspective.This isn’t always easy but if you feel helpless, hopeless or sad, stop and try looking at the situation a different way. For instance, the middle seat on a plane can be a little annoying. But if you got the last seat on a flight that gets you home to your family, its cause for celebration. I remind myself that problems I have could be prayers answered for someone less fortunate.

  1. Remember the good times. I sometimes stop and think about the joys of everyday life, such as the smile on my grandsons face as he plays catch with his granddad. I make it a habit to count my blessings and write down the positive things around me.You can do this too. Make a goal to add 2 positive things to your list every day. After awhile, you’ll automatically start to see things and think, “Oh that would be great to add to my list!” The nice thing about this list is that soon you’ll have evidence of postive happening around you.

  1. Write a letter.  A handwritten letter of gratitude, thanks, appreciation, acknowledgement or ‘just because’ to a person you think is special. Handwritten notes are a dying art, but it doesn’t have to be. Taking the time to write to someone feels so good and they will not expect it. It works both ways.You’ll brighten up their day and you’ll feel better too.

  1. Volunteer. No matter what your circumstances are or where you live, take time to offer assistance, the rewards are immense. Farm Bureau is a grassroots organization dedicated to preserving and improving the Agriculture industry through member involvement in education, political activites, programs and services. We value the time and assistance our volunteers give to the organization. There may be people in your neighborhood that may need help. Take time to offer assistance. When you donate your time, even for an hour a week, you’ll re-energize your spirit.

Turn these five steps into habits and you’ll soon be living life in the positive!

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