Lemons Into Lemonade: How To Turn Negative Events Into Positive Expression

lemonade

The fact is, many of us rely on creating to express our emotions. All of us on are especially familiar with this process. Creating to express our emotions in any form has potential to be a healthy and life-giving experience.

We can use art and creative writing as a means to turn our negative feelings into a reckoning for positivity. Here are some thoughts about negative experiences and how we can write them into a corner when they try to bully us.

The Dangers of Holding in Our Pain

Our culture glorifies the idea of holding in your emotions. Men are often called weak for being expressive, and women are called crazy for expressing their emotions in any way. Neither of these is fair, as emotions are simply a part of the human experience, and there’s nothing weak about admitting to what you feel.

Here’s the fact: suicide rates are on the rise. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the suicide rate in the United States increased 24 percent from 1999 to 2014. The amount of adolescents — and we are talking early adolescents — that contemplate ending their lives or do end their lives as a result of cyberbullying has increased as well. In a recent UK study, 26 percent of respondents had suicidal thoughts, as a result of cyberbullying.

We have to normalize emotions and offer people practical ways to handle their trials in life. Even social work professionals admit we need to start thinking out of the box. I propose one of the best outlets for pain is through creative writing.

Write It Off

There is something so satisfying about forming the perfect sentence to describe what you’re going through. As long as you’re doing it for you and not to impress others, I think being able to work hard on this transfer from mind to paper is therapeutic. By writing about your negative experiences, you can process them, and learn from them. If you’re comfortable with it — share and relate it to others.

Here are some suggestions to turn your negative experiences into lemonade, through the power of writing.

Poetry Exercises

Poetry, lyric writing, and the like are the best places to employ your artistic license, due to the common “show don’t tell" mentality that’s so popularized in these communities. I personally find it useful to use poetry prompts in order to challenge yourself. The point of doing these exercises is to force you to write down your thoughts in a different way than just “I feel sad" or “I am angry." You also are usually writing less — but it’s harder to get a good flow going. It’s a new form of expression for a lot of freelance writers and similar creatives and can influence your other writings as well.

Descriptive Nonfiction

This is something I struggled with originally due to my past writing song lyrics with metaphors. I had to drop all of that — which I now consider being mostly fluff — and switch to describing the actual scenes around me. Descriptive nonfiction lives in “show don’t tell," more strictly than poetry does.

Retell your story. Use color, shape, and other physical descriptions. How red was your face from embarrassment or hurt? What were other people doing? How they moved, their facial expressions, and how did their face change and move as well? What words were they using? Of course, “show don’t tell" can also make for a traumatic retelling of a hard time, so gauge yourself and see if you can handle it first.

Letters to Yourself

Years ago, during one of my first breakups, I found myself writing letters late before bed. These letters were addressed to me, oddly enough. I never called it journaling or felt like I was writing a diary. I was very clearly writing a letter. Even though I was the recipient of these letters.

Physically writing my thoughts down on paper felt like I was transferring my emotions — like they were physically leaving my body. This was one of my initial experiences with the therapeutic effects of writing, and since then I’ve used writing to help myself through other breakups, loss of friends and family, and stressful life events.

Freewriting

It has been said that “bad writing is good for you," and this may certainly be the case in your situation. Freewriting offers the comfort of no restrictions – just straight up word vomit until you need to eat again.

Some find this to be a positive and freeing experience. It offers them a way to put some elbow grease into releasing their emotions, but they don’t have to worry about anything else. This isn’t typically the writing you show people, but certainly, you can if you would like. It’s your lemonade.

Get a Little Abstract

Use weird prompts and exercises — and by “weird" I mean unusual to you — to stretch your writing and give you new ways to express yourself. The thing with writing prompts is that they work like writing games. You have to use them to finish a piece based on rules and restrictions you don’t typically adhere to. Some of the most satisfying pieces of writing I’ve done have been based on odd prompts, and it always feels like a new way to express my thoughts, feelings, and beliefs.

How To Encourage Others

As I mentioned earlier, we need to normalize negative emotions. Make them something to talk about, and make it usual to talk about them. Let’s innovate a bit and give struggling people healthy and positive ways to handle their pain.

We must live by example first, because telling people to talk about their issues doesn’t shut out the voices — external or internal — that make them feel uncomfortable doing so. Being encouraging and transparent, ourselves, can do that.

Now, how much more as a writer can we share our experiences tangibly, especially with other writers? We all struggle with life, so writing them down for others may actually give them something to lean on, and maybe vice versa. Make your own lemonade from life’s hardships.

Ultimately, transparency begets transparency

With that in mind, let’s strive for honesty and humility with each other, so we can destigmatize depression, formulate it into something positive, be it through writing or whatever other form of creation you choose, and gain something from it rather than lose everything to it.

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How have you used writing or creativity to cope with bad experiences? Let me know in the comments below!

Author’s Bio

Avery T. Phillips is a freelance human being with too much to say. She loves nature and examining human interactions with the world. Comment or tweet her @a_taylorian with any questions or suggestions. Avery lives in the United States.

Here at Positive Words Research, we are looking to share with our readers original content that hasn’t been published on other sites so if you are comfortable with Positive Words Research being your sole publisher, we are more than happy to share with our readers your inspiring and empowering story.

 

How Spirituality & Mindfulness Increase Positivity

spirituality

Focusing on one’s personal spirituality, practicing mindfulness and honoring self-care are known for naturally increasing positivity in your life. These three different acts can seem a bit ambiguous to those who are unfamiliar with the terms. This may be due to the fact that they can have many different meanings to different people, which is why they are personal to your own journey.

Spiritual traditions such as prayer, meditation, yoga, and journaling are meant to nourish the soul and allow time for self-reflection. Mindfulness is becoming more consciously aware of your thoughts and emotions in the present moment. Self-care is intentionally restoring your mind, body, and soul with activities such as disconnecting from the outside world, making yourself a cup of tea or treating yourself with a massage. Whatever act of self-service that helps you to reconnect with yourself with your own being and revive your inner light is good.

Physical Benefits

Our present-day culture tends to feed into the need to be fast-moving and overly productive. Refocusing your attention to your inner-self has the ability to positively transform your physical body, especially after a day of hard work. Using nothing more than your breath and focus, meditation has shown to greatly reduce stress and stress-related conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder, and fibromyalgia. If your work allows for you to escape to focus on your personal wellness, be sure to do so — even for as little as five minutes a day. Also, be sure to take advantage of communicating grievances to your manager. You’ll be surprised at how much more motivated and productive you’ll feel, after being honest.

Much like comparing a smoker to a non-smoker, personal choices and habits have an impact on our physical health and our ability to heal our own bodies. Healthcare-related research studies have found that having a connection with spirituality or religion helps ill patients better cope with stress and improves their quality of life. Giancarlo Lucchetti led a study that found that individuals with a strong spiritual connection have an 18 percent reduction in early mortality. This serves as evidence that establishing a spiritual life now may potentially prolong your life.

Positive Self-Image

The mind and body are inextricably connected. Treating the mind and body as a holistic system will aid in creating an overall positive self-image. When your physical body feels healthy and well, so does your mental health and vice versa. Practicing acts of self-care enable you to reinforce positive self-image by accepting that you deserve the best out of life. Self-care does not have to always look the same each time. Integrating routine exercise into your life’s schedule or simply looking at yourself in the mirror and saying the words “I love you" is as intensely impactful as treating yourself to something nice or going on vacation. By treating yourself with love and kindness you are simultaneously manifesting positivity and welcoming it into your life.

Start Young

A large percentage of a young person’s time is spent in school receiving their education. Integrating mindfulness practices into a child’s school day has proven to have many positive impacts. Millions of dollars have been invested into studies on the positive effects of mindfulness practices on students with results showing improved sleep, increased retention rates, and lower anxiety levels. Mindfulness practices not only have positive impacts on them at the time of the practice but the effects carry on throughout schooling into higher education. In one study by the University of California Santa Barbara, it was discovered that integrating mindfulness practices reduced mind-wandering, which helped to improve scores on the reading comprehension portion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

Adapting intentional practices that benefit your mind, body and soul will naturally allow positivity to find you and influence your life. The positive outcomes will spill over onto those who surround you, creating a waterfall effect on all aspects of your life. Welcome and embrace mindfulness, spirituality, and self-care into your everyday routine — at work, school and at home. Every movement, encounter, and thought is an opportunity to intentionally be positive in the present moment.

Author’s Bio

Avery T. Phillips is a freelance human being with too much to say. She loves nature and examining human interactions with the world. Comment or tweet her @a_taylorian with any questions or suggestions. Avery lives in the United States.

Here at Positive Words Research, we are looking to share with our readers original content that hasn’t been published on other sites so if you are comfortable with Positive Words Research being your sole publisher, we are more than happy to share with our readers your inspiring and empowering story.

 

Money May Not Buy Happiness, But Financial Stability Certainly Helps

financial stability

Your parents likely told you once or twice when you were young that money doesn’t buy happiness. Not to say they were wrong, but as we age we begin to understand the importance of peace of mind and that being caught between a rock and a hard place is a lot easier to squeeze out of if you’ve got the right funds stored away.

While money may not buy happiness, there is something to be said about the positive effects budgeting your income (and debts) affords you. Creating stability within your finances can reduce stress and create more opportunities for the funnier things in life. As adults, this financial stability can come in many forms. In particular, saving up for your first home and refinancing your student loans are pretty common, important milestones. Keeping a positive mindset and utilizing habits for success will be essential when working through these challenges.

Adjustment Is Sometimes Necessary

Considering how many graduating adults finish school with debt, refinancing your student loans is a great option that can help provide more financial stability and create more flexibility within your monthly budget. Refinancing can seem like a hassle, but the process is fairly simple and oftentimes easier than you think.

Refinancing can also provide a much-needed mental break considering the negative, stressful feelings that arise when you watch your saving get drained by those huge monthly payments. It’s also important to keep in mind that refinancing doesn’t necessarily mean you’re incapable of paying back your loans. Rather, it’s like tailoring your payments to better fit your current place in life.

Financial stability

There are a few things to consider before refinancing. As the experts at LendKey explain, “When making any financial decision, timing is everything, and refinancing student loans is no different. There are several factors to this – some a student can control and others they cannot – that affect when they should refinance student loans. This includes the timing of graduation, interest rates, employment, and credit score."

Refinancing also depends on which lender your loans are through as the requirements vary company to company. Either way, it’s definitely worth investigating to see if you qualify. Adjusting your payments to better suit your income makes it easier for you to pay in full and on time each month, which is good news for your credit score and stress levels.

Confidence Is Key

Another significant milestone, buying your first home, is a financial goal that many adults are currently working towards. The process of becoming a homeowner can often seem intimidating, especially if you’re unsure if you’re actually ready for that kind of commitment. It can be fairly easy to focus on the negative feelings that arise when approached with a significant milestone such as this. However, you’re likely not giving yourself enough credit, and although the process can be tricky to navigate at times, it’s important to not deflate your own dreams of owning a home one day.

Of course, there is definitely a lot to consider when it comes to buying your first home: mortgage rates, down payments, property taxes, etc. You also need to ask yourself if you are in a position to stay in your home for an extended period of time. As Quicken Loan suggests: “Generally, we recommend you only consider buying a house if you plan to live there for at least five years, but this depends on a lot of factors, like the housing market, rental prices and how much equity you have in the house."

Create a goal for yourself

While you may not be able to afford or find your dream home right now, it’s still worth creating a goal for yourself and begin working towards it. With that in mind, shopping for a new home can certainly drain you mentally and physically, which means it can be tempting to give up. Nevertheless, with the right budgeting, discipline, and determination, buying your first home doesn’t have to be so scary.

As we mature, financial stability becomes more and more important. Finishing school, owning a home, and finding the right career are all valuable goals the majority of us all hope to achieve one day. While money may not buy happiness, when we are able to better manage our time and money, we can worry less and enjoy our spectacular life even more.

Author’s Bio

Avery T. Phillips is a freelance human being with too much to say. She loves nature and examining human interactions with the world. Comment or tweet her @a_taylorian with any questions or suggestions.

Here at Positive Words Research, we are looking to share with our readers original content that hasn’t been published on other sites so if you are comfortable with Positive Words Research being your sole publisher, we are more than happy to share with our readers your inspiring and empowering story.

 

How To Enjoy Your Wedding Day

wedding day

There are many standards and traditions when it comes to weddings. The dress should be white. The venue should be picturesque. The tablecloths need to go with the plates, which need to go with the flowers, which need to go with the bridesmaid dresses … The list goes on.

Getting caught up in the stress is natural when there are so many expectations, especially after you’ve spent months planning your big day. However, when the day finally arrives, it’s important to step back, take a deep breath, let go of potential mishaps, and enjoy your day.

Doing so can take quite a bit of work, but when you look back at your wedding day, you’ll remember how you felt. Though there will be a lot going on, preparing yourself to stay positive on your wedding day will ensure that you enjoy it.

Keep Your Priorities in Check

You have done all the planning. You have the perfect photographer, a conflict-free seating chart, and you’ve even hand printed the calligraphy on every invitation. You’ve personally attended to every detail, so it can be hard not to focus on them on the wedding day — but you have to stop yourself from doing that.

You can plan out down to the second, down to the smallest of details, and still, something will go wrong. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you won’t have a perfect wedding, it just means that you need to stay in the moment and let some of the mishaps slide.

To help you get through some of the moments when it’s difficult not to focus on the details, you can have a few phrases ready to help you focus on what’s important. You can try laughing at it and saying something like “c’est la vie", or you can ignore it and go find something else to think about, like your new spouse or talking to some family members. It’s best to have a mental list of a few different phrases or options that you can turn to so that you can truly enjoy every moment.

Bridal Party Responsibilities

Even after you’ve prepared yourself for the fact that not everything will run smoothly, it’s impossible to be ignorant of any last-minute hiccups or sudden issues that come up. Yes, you should enjoy your day, but that doesn’t mean you can’t tend to these problems in some way.

You can make sure everything runs smoothly by assigning different members of the wedding party — or other trusted invitees — specific responsibilities to be in charge of. This can also make your wedding a more positive family get-together by making more people feel involved.

For example, you can assign one of your bridesmaids the job of making sure everything goes well with the catering. You can assign one of the groomsmen the job of making sure no one eats the cake before you have the first bite.

Whatever details you are worried could go wrong, assign them out to someone else so that you don’t need to worry about it on your day. Be sure to make a list of everything you can think of, assign them out, and choose one person to be the go-to for unforeseen issues so that you don’t have to worry about them.

Money Can’t Buy Everything

Unless you have that much money. Or at least a wealthy relative willing to grant your every-wedding-day desire. However, it is especially advised not to use a credit card to fund your wedding. The day should be about pronouncing your love for your new life partner and making lasting memories, not having a reception that will rival the Kardashian’s. Besides, having to pay back hundreds or thousands of dollars during your first months as a married couple can put a strain on what should be a happy time in your relationship.

Another reason to reevaluate your budget is that a higher budget may overshadow a happy marriage. The Hustle reported that couples who spend less than $1,000 on their wedding tend to have happier, lasting marriages. Of course, you should take this — and any other statistic that tries to predict future happiness — with a grain of salt.

If knowing this relieves some of the pressure you feel to have a perfect wedding, then it’s a sign that you shouldn’t worry about having an expensive, fairytale wedding. However, your wedding day is for you and your fiance, and as long as you put the health of your relationship and future happiness first, then do whatever the heck you want. Even if your new mother-in-law may not approve.

Weddings can be stressful, which is why preparing yourself mentally is just as important as buying your wedding dress. Rely on your family, focus on what’s happening in the present, and try to remain in a positive frame of mind as much as possible. With a little bit of preparation and a little bit of letting go, you can truly enjoy your wedding day.

Author’s Bio

Avery T. Phillips is a freelance human being with too much to say. She loves nature and examining human interactions with the world. Comment or tweet her @a_taylorian with any questions or suggestions.

Here at Positive Words Research, we are looking to share with our readers original content that hasn’t been published on other sites so if you are comfortable with Positive Words Research being your sole publisher, we are more than happy to share with our readers your inspiring and empowering story.

How To Decorate With Happiness In Mind

happiness in mind

When you move into a new space or feel that it’s time to rearrange, it can be easy to focus only on the aesthetics of a room. However, a great way to really exercise some more creativity with a room and make it more functional overall is to decorate with happiness in mind. Decorate in an attempt to give yourself the best possible experience in every room of your house. The last thing you want is a cluttered, erratic looking room that feels small, confined, and barely usable. So, we’re going to go over some tips that will help you achieve a perfectly styled and practical room that fills you with happiness.

How Feng Shui Can Help You

You’ve probably heard of the term feng shui before, but maybe you aren’t quite sure how it can actually benefit a room. Well, feng shui is the practice of bringing balance into your home. The goal is to create rooms that allow you a lot of living and working space. If done properly, you should feel as though there is a perfect flow to your decor, that every piece is working together for a particular function, and that you have ample space to use it realistically.

To start, think about the color of your walls, furniture, and decor. Color plays a big part in feng shui, and it’s all about how the room makes you feel. Think about how you’re going to use the room and what colors will inspire you to work happily. From there you can create a color scheme that will help you more easily identify pieces of furniture and decor that work with what you’ve planned to go on the walls.

Another huge aspect of feng shui has to do with decluttering your living spaces. This doesn’t only apply to your living room, but to all rooms. Think about your bedroom and office and any other rooms in your home. You should think about systems of organization that will truly make your life as easy as possible. A system that promotes more clutter instead of a clear workspace and headspace is not an effective one. So, do some shopping around to find some great organizational pieces that work for what you’re trying to accomplish in each room. Your methods will likely look different in each space and that’s totally normal. There is no cookie cutter way to organize a home and honestly, that’s a good thing. It allows you much more creativity in the process. Have fun with it!

Make Sure Your Bedroom Actually Calms You

Now that you have some separate ideas about organization, inspirational colors, and functionality in mind for each room, let’s talk about an incredibly important room in your house that gets much less love than it deserves — the bedroom. Yes, you might have a big comfy bed and a few pieces of nice furniture, but for many of us, the bedroom is just an afterthought. We think of it as a place to rest our heads at the end of the day and not much else. It doesn’t have to be glamorous if it’s just the place we’re sleeping right? Wrong.

First and foremost, you may have heard the idea that most of us will spend about ⅓ of our lives sleeping, which is true. So, having the comfy bed is important, but you really should think about optimizing this room for maximum comfort and creating a room that encourages peaceful rest.

How much time do we spend in the bedroom?

Lots of Americans are using their bedrooms for so much more than just sleep. In one survey, about 130 people were asked how much time they spend in their bedroom. Fifty-seven people said that they spend at least the required ⅓ of their time. Fifty people said as much as possible. And 12 individuals answered, “and the reason to get out of bed is?". As you can see, most people demand quite a lot out of their bedroom. This is often a place of relaxation, entertainment, and sometimes it doubles as an office. You watch TV in there in an attempt to relax and be entertained after a long day at work. You might even have a small desk in there so you’ll never be far away from your work. All of these things are great, but you shouldn’t forget the main purpose of this room. It’s so important to furnish and decorate your bedroom in a way that inspires comfort and sleep.

So, how do we do that?

Dissect your bedroom using all five senses. Think about what colors say “sleep" to you and start to paint and decorate accordingly. Make sure that when you get in bed, the feel of it gives you that nice, warm, sleepy feeling. What do you smell? Well, that’s something you should think about too. Maybe try out some aromatherapy with candles or a diffuser with scents that relax your mind. Lastly, make sure that you can say no to the TV when it’s time to rest. Perhaps adding a device that plays soft white noise or some other natural sounds can take your mind off of stressful thoughts and focus them on tranquility.

In my opinion, the most effective way to get what you want out of every room is to think about its basic function. What’s more, keep it organized, use colors that inspire you, and use all five of your senses to create an experience in each room that suits your needs. Your home should work for you, you shouldn’t have to work so hard to get your home to work practically. If you keep these ideas in mind, you can decorate your home with happiness in mind, which will inspire you to experience each room with joy every time you enter.

Author’s Bio

Avery T. Phillips is a freelance human being with too much to say. She loves nature and examining human interactions with the world. Comment or tweet her @a_taylorian with any questions or suggestions.

Here at Positive Words Research, we are looking to share with our readers original content that hasn’t been published on other sites so if you are comfortable with Positive Words Research being your sole publisher, we are more than happy to share with our readers your inspiring and empowering story.