Cultivate Contentment Instead of Negativity

grow-seedling

Do you ever feel sorry for yourself?

It’s a dark place where all you can see is negatives. One negative feeling leads to another just like blowing dandelion seeds to spread more weeds. It’s hard to find anything to lead you out of this dark and rooted place.

When you are cultivating worry and anger, it is hard to view life differently. While you may not feel happy and joy all the time, it is possible to change how you feel by changing your thoughts. You can go from negativity to contentment by cultivating different seeds of thought.

3 Steps to Cultivate Seeds of Contentment

It’s time to pull the weeds of negativity out by their roots.

Step 1: Recognize a Negative Mindset: A negative mindset is narrow, future predicting, or history repeating. It is not being fully present to what is, because you are so worried about what did happen or what could happen.

What is your personal marker for recognizing you are caught in over-focusing on the negative? It may sound something like this: no one cares about me, everyone leaves me, everything I do fails. This is a miserable place to stay and the roots may be deep.

Step 2: Challenge Your Negative Assumptions: There is another way to think about almost anything. If you challenge your thinking, your feelings will follow.

For instance, if your marker for negativity is feeling left out, isolated, and lonely. Then look at how your thinking leaves you out. The more you think negatively, the more you keep to yourself or act based on the assumption that others don’t want to be around you.

If you challenge this thinking, you can find a more objective way to think about others actions or inactions. Then you will be more open to making personal contact with others without presenting only negatives.

Step 3: Practice Gratitude: Focus on what you have more than what you don’t have. Embrace what is instead of what if.

Once you have poked holes in the negative thinking, you are ready to plant new seeds. Grab your journal and fill in the following until you run out of ideas: “I am grateful for ___________________________”

A few seeds that I am cultivating:

  • I am grateful for friends that don’t judge, criticize, or advise.
  • I am grateful for my children’s unconditional love and affection.
  • I am grateful for being debt free.
  • I am grateful for living in a house that we can afford.
  • I am grateful for doing work that I find challenging and interesting.
  • I am grateful for a spouse that works hard and accepts me.

When you get stuck in the negative, it’s so hard to see life any other way. But once you start digging up the negativity, it starts to crumble. Trickles of light are let into the darkness. And problems turn into opportunities, so that life can grow instead of weeds of negativity.

Please share the seeds of gratitude and contentment you are cultivating.

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Related Posts: Riding the Waves of Change; Grant Three Wishes for Joy

Photo Credit: “Child Tending Broken Baby Seedling” by Sharon Pruitt

4 responses to “Cultivate Contentment Instead of Negativity

  1. Marci, what a beautiful analogy . . . planting seeds of positivity in the hardened dirt where negativity lays stagnant. I love what you’ve described here and how you acknowledge that the willingness to insert the fresh seeds isn’t easy, especially if the field has been unattended. But a hoe or a trowel or even a stick holds an incredible amount of power when it comes to turning the earth. Thank you for your work!

    B Well!

    • Well said Beth. I love playing with metaphors to tell a story or visualize a process. I’ve found that it’s not enough to just plant new seeds, you have to do some weeding of the negative first. Thank you for adding to the planting of new seeds!

  2. Great post. I also find that cultivating a sense of wonder and awe at the majesty of the world around me makes it awfully difficult to be anything but positive. The world is so remarkable. So complex. So beautiful. Yet nature accomplishes all of its perfection with such a graceful lack of effort.

    • Andrew, thank you for sharing what makes you veer away from negativity. Being in nature almost always lifts my mood, and I love how beautifully you describe the world outside our walls.