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Happy Wednesday, y’all!! Gosh, living in the South must finally be getting to me :-) A few weeks ago, I mentioned in my newsletter that I had been voted “Most Pessimistic” in 8th grade. Many people asked me how that was possible, since I now seem so much the opposite now. Simple. I made a conscious decision to change. Simple, but not easy... I believe that we are all basically born happy and naturally optimistic...until well-meaning parents, teachers, religious leaders and the media start feeding us a steady stream of negative thoughts. “The world is a scary place,” “You gotta protect yourself,” “Money doesn’t grow on trees,” “Love is hard,” “Children should be seen, not heard.” Ever hear one (or more) of these? When you hear these messages day after day, and watch the new portrayals of violence, sickness and poverty all over the world, it’s hard to keep your natural happy-go-lucky outlook on life, isn't it? Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 6.26.29 PM So how exactly did I make the switch from Debbie Downer to Susie Sunshine? Here are my tips for looking on the bright side: 1) Do a news cleanse: Let’s face it, the news industry thrives on telling us what’s wrong in the world. They hunt down stories of war, chaos and death, set it to music, and put it on a 24-hour loop on your TV and computer. How can anyone stay positive if they are constantly being told how bad things are “out there”? Try taking a week off from the news. Turn off CNN (aka "Constantly Negative News"), Fox News, MSNBC and your local news for 7 days (and put down the newspaper, too). Trust me, you won’t die. You also won’t be as uninformed as you think. I have not followed one news outlet for over 5 years and I am still aware of major stories due to emails, word of mouth, and Facebook. You know what you’ll feel? Peaceful, lighter, and happier. My happiness level raised significantly when I got rid of my TV and focused on what good I was bringing to the world, instead of the bad other people might be doing. 2) Focus on the good news: If the world was as bad off as we are told it is, there is no way the planet and mankind would have lasted as long as we have. The fact is, there’s less war today than in any time in human history. Things are getting better all around - but the thing is, you have to train yourself to look for the evidence of it. To prove it to you, here are a bunch of recent headlines that gave me the warm fuzzies:) NYC Vegetarian Schools Are Flourishing Kraft Set to Remove Fake Colors from Mac & Cheese 100% Vegan and Gluten-Free Bakery Set to Open at Disney Fast Food Chains Drop Sugary Drink in Marketing to Kids ⅓ of Americans Now Seek Complementary Healthcare Food Blogger Forces Positive Change at Chipolte Now I know these might not be as titillating as the “if it bleeds, it leads” stories on the nightly news, but they are proof that shift is happening. And if what you look at grows, then I’d would rather pay attention to the good things going on in the world. 3) Keep it up! To overcome a life-long diet of negativity, we need to constantly feed ourselves the good stuff. And to help get you started, here are a list of websites that can help you stay on the Happy Train: Daily Good Positive News Huffington Post's Positive News section Good News Network Raw Food World News These awesome outlets look out for the good in the world and keep you posted about it. And when you start to look for the good in life, believe me, good things start showing up! 4. Choose Happiness Everyday: Becoming a more optimistic, happy person is a daily practice. When I wake up, the first thoughts I consciously think are, “Today is a happy day,” and “Today is the best day ever.” And when my feet hit the floor, I think “thank you.” I promise you, if you keep it up, you will definitely start feeling and seeing results. Make the choice to attract positive people into your life. If you walk up to someone at the office, only to hear them going off about what a jerk the boss is, KEEP WALKING!!!! You get to choose who and what enters your sphere, so choose wisely. Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 6.53.36 PM So, how do you stay upbeat in today’s non-stop negative news atmosphere? Please go on over to our Facebook page and share. And be sure to like us while you're there - I'm always looking for happy new peeps!!! Choosin' the happy, Emily