20 Tips to Rise Above Negativity and Live In the Light

by Tess


Life is difficult and it’s easy to lose hope, give up or become depressed. When negativity floats above like a dark cloud, it takes courage and determination to see the good in people and beauty in the world. Every now and then we need to be inspired. 

Read on for tips to inspire you to take the high road.

1. Be bold.  Acknowledge and embrace your fears. Dig deep for courage. Laugh at your fears.  Experiment with fear. Do what you’re tempted to avoid. Hold your ground and press on. Don’t be afraid to be afraid.

2. Offer to help someone. Ask a friend, a neighbor or a stranger, “How can I help you today? Later ask, “Is there anything more I can do for you?”

3. Apologize. When you make a mistake, own it. Let go of the story that you keep repeating to yourself. Wanting revenge is problematic for your mental health.

Read, listen to and repeat uplifting stories. Ignore media that is filled with stories of negativity and fear. What you take in with your senses is a choice that influences you mentally, physically and emotionally.

 Let go of obsessive thoughts. One way to do so is to catch yourself, silently say STOP. If you are alone you can say it out loud and put your hand up at the same time.

Refuse to complain, criticize or compare. It’s the fastest way to lower your energy.

Develop a deep love for others.  Speak kindly and think positively of family, friends, and strangers.  

Think highly of and praise yourself. Appreciate your uniqueness. It’s the highest form of love. Nobody has your thumb print, hand print, voice print or soul print. Don’t rely on others to validate you.

9. Appreciate life. It allows you to see the world a good place. Doing so asks for nothing and gives everything.

10. Repeatedly use these three magical words, ‘I appreciate you.’ It makes others feel valued and accepted.  Nobody gets enough appreciation. Difficult people need it the most and get it the least.

11. Live gratitude. Incorporate gratitude in every area of your life. Fill your entire being with appreciation 24/7. 

Seek to understand others. Let go of small things that bug you. When you catch yourself being bothered, immediately focus on a more loving thought about the person.

13. Be kind. Do one loving act for someone daily. Life is difficult and everyone needs a little help.

Be enthusiastic. If you want to put yourself in an enthusiastic state: choose it, feel it, think it and most importantly change your routine.

Be generous. You have so much to give. Give when you know you won’t get back. Give and don’t keep score. Give someone the benefit of the doubt. Give understanding and love. Give so others believe the world is a wonderful and generous place. You can’t out give God or the Universe.

Communicate with love.  All problems are due to lack of communicating with love. All conflict can be resolved with open and loving hearts. It’s all about love!

See greatness in yourself and others. Own your gifts and talents. Praise the gifts and talents of others.  Doing so allows for infinite possibilities for everyone. We can all move forward together. 

Accept others. Everyone has the right to be different and think differently than you and I. You can’t be loving and judgemental at the same time. Acceptance is about goodness and wholeness. We can’t afford to live without it. 

19. Forgive everyone. You will feel better and be less likely to make the same error. Forgiveness creates emotional healing. 

. Expect a miracle. Anything can change in an instant. Why not expect and believe that good things will happen? Why not believe that the world is changing for the better? We can’t see the whole picture. We don’t know what anything is for.  We do know that our perception influences our relationships, our actions, and our lives. Choose to see things differently.  Expect a miracle. 

Is there anything you'd like to add to the list? Please share below.

I also have a guest post on Write to Done," Recover from writing burn out: 18 tips for Writing with Gusto."

 photo credit: Marcus Spaapen 


{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Susie > Wise At Work April 28, 2011 at 8:42 pm


I love this statement “Nobody has your thumb print, hand print, voice print or soul print.” What a celebration of uniqueness and self-worth.

One more tip for folks like me — Demonstrate a compassionate heart and mind toward oneself. (We Westerners can be so harsh and critical of ourselves.)

Thanks for the upbeat tips.


Tess April 29, 2011 at 3:34 am

Thank you and I agree a compassionate heart makes all of the difference in the world!


Rand April 28, 2011 at 9:35 pm

Hi Tess!

What a wonderful list to lighten up our lives and to dim negativity with!

My evening was spent on my kyak paddling on a local lake, and at times stopping to appreciate it’s waterfowl. I believe your #9 works with this. How often are we in such a hurry as to not appreciate the splended living creations right before our eyes?

17. See greatness in yourself and others. Own your gifts and talents. Praise the gifts and talents of others. Doing so allows for infinite possibilities for everyone. We can all move forward together.

In the spirit of #17. Please… everyone that can, visit Adrienne’s lasted post and give genuine praise…


Thank you Tess!


Tess April 29, 2011 at 3:36 am

Hi Rand,
I love Adrienne and will check it out. Thanks for sharing your kayaking experience and favorites. I appreciate you.


Joseph Ch'ng April 28, 2011 at 10:36 pm

Hi Tess,
Thank you for a wonderful list of strategies. #2, #16 and #17 works very well for me.

Many times I start to implement change in my life, I notice that when I walk into life it is easy to get hit by all sorts of negativity. And I do sway.

I’d like to share a couple of lines that play in my head that helps me get over negativity.

Letting go. “This is not personal.”

Assume sympathy. “He is human like me too. He has his equal right to feel, eat, love. He might have his own problems too.”

Time will help me let go. “This will pass me by, and by the time I am eating my sandwich, I’d be so delighted that I will not remember this.”

Choosing happiness over striving for perfection. “When I am happy, it is easier for me to be a better person.”


Tess April 29, 2011 at 3:37 am

Oh that may be the most important of all. Don’t take it personally! Thanks for the reminder.


Marci | Liberating Choices April 29, 2011 at 6:46 am

If I’m negative, I’m anxious about something. I “rise above” when I embrace all sides, whether in myself or in the situation. The more neutral I get, the more I accept myself and accept others, and stop freaking out!
Marci | Liberating Choices´s last post…Nature’s Good Mood Drug


Tess April 30, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Thanks for your excellent example. You’re clients are blessed to have you as a therapist.


Hassanelaorf April 29, 2011 at 9:46 am

very wonderful list,to clear our mind from negative felling…
thanks a lot
Hassan from Morocco


Tess April 30, 2011 at 3:31 pm

I’m happy to help out. Thanks for visiting here today!


Rand April 29, 2011 at 2:59 pm

I knew there was a positive addition to your list that I could contribute…actually in my case ( O – ).

All life is a ‘miracle’. You may not see, or know the life that you give your blood to, but it is truely a ‘miracle’ to the receipient.

So…while ‘expecting a miracle’ take the time to be part of a ‘miracle’.

“Give the Gift of Life”. If you are capable of, call and make an apointment with your Blood Bank.


Tess April 30, 2011 at 3:32 pm

What a great suggestion and reminder. Thanks I appreciate you.


Angela Artemis April 29, 2011 at 5:46 pm

Hi Tess,
What a wonderful list. When I’m down I try to remember to appreciate the people in my life and of all I have and that really helps me to come out of it. Forgiveness is a good tip too as well as expecting a miracle!
Angela Artemis´s last post…How to Find Your Own Personal Pot of Gold


Tess May 1, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Friends and forgiveness what a great combo!


Little Lessons Under the Big Sky April 29, 2011 at 6:36 pm

I really love this list! Thank you for all the wonderful reminders.
One more I add for myself:

Celebrate creativity. Sing in the shower, Dance in the rain, drum like a thunderstorm, move and shake and howl at the moon. Celebrate this one life we have to live with abandon. If all else fails…smile:)

THanks Tess!
Little Lessons Under the Big Sky´s last post…Musings from the Mountain


Sandra / Always Well Within April 29, 2011 at 7:21 pm

Perfect timing, Tess! I had a big negative storm this morning. I always try to remember no matter how strong it is a storm will always pass.

These are all fantabulous, of course, but #5 resonates for me in particular. Adding the hand sign is a special magic tip! #10 also spoke to me because those are indeed magical words! I’m getting far better at appreciating others and that lifts me up as much as them. I love this important point, “Difficult people need it the most and get it the least.” It’s a wonderful aspiration and act of kindness to be able to appreciate a difficult person.

You get a 5-star rating for the absolute best lists. I appreciate you!
Sandra / Always Well Within´s last post…Are Ecology- Spirituality- &amp Love Connected


Tatianna April 30, 2011 at 10:23 pm

Thank you Tess :)
You always have such a great advice! I have problems with not always being the most positive person I should be. Because of my obsessive thoughts. They keep me awake every night. I guess I will live and learn.
Tatianna´s last post…Kale Chips Recipe a Healthy Snack


John Sherry May 3, 2011 at 12:20 pm

This list helped stop time when I read it Tess, that’s how good it was. I sat down and meandered through it nodding and feeling all of it and when I finished it I let out a happy, satisfied sigh so it truly was a balm for my brain. When reading through suddenly an old bit of advice came amazingly to mind from over 3o years ago that had lain buried…until now thanks to you. I think it fits perfeclty here – ‘Live like heaven on Earth’. Can’t go wrong if we do can we?
John Sherry´s last post…Self-Confidence And The Ten Day Triumphs Exercise


Tess The Bold Life May 3, 2011 at 3:58 pm

I’m happy you found meaning here. I believe we create heaven or hell in our lives regularly. And sometimes I’m stuck in hell and too stubborn to get out!


Betsy at Zen Mama May 4, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Great tips Tess! I tried to go through and find my favorites but I must say that everything resonated with me! But I loved, “Expect a Miracle”. I truly think that life can change on a dime and that we really are the masters of our own destinies. I love this quote by Thoreau: “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” ~Henry David Thoreau
You are very much part of your own miracle.


Salinya June 2, 2011 at 10:36 am

Hi Tess, thank you for these strategies! I love number 4,8,12, and 17.

Whenever I feel anxious about something negative, I always get back to mindfulness, and try to focus on that without any emotion or judgment. The more I am able to see all sides of that situation, the more I know what I should do and how I can succeed from it. I believe that its all just a matter of perspective. When life throws us lemons, let’s make lemonade!



Jay March 13, 2013 at 6:17 am

Great list! Created similar ones for myself many times. Some people see me as positive. Problem. Certain events put me into quick sand of negativity — one year ago, at age 70, rejection by partner of 18 years (and associated events) created a BIG deep pit that I keep falling into. Done everything on the list. Read book after book after book, write my own blog (considered to be positive — probably because I’m talking to myself and KNOW how to act / talk positive,) But still start and end each day with sense of loss, rejection, hopelessness (obviously all negative). Love my job and those with whom I work; but NOT first thing I think of when I wake up. And as I go to sleep am haunted by what’s gone. Are there any magic words or thoughts that I’m missing? Or must I just resign myself to being chased by this shadow? Trying to fake it ’til I make it, but will I ever make it? (Oh, also engage in too much self pity; I’m crying as I write this.)


Tess March 13, 2013 at 11:44 am

Did it ever occur to you that you may be depressed? Check with your physician today is my first advice. Also isn’t it a choice to live in the pain of your past. Stop! It hurts. So get to the doctor and get off the pity pot. It may sound like I don’t have compassion, I do. I just don’t think that’s what you need right now. And you asked. Good luck.


Jay March 14, 2013 at 7:52 am

I’m taking anti-depressants and seeing a therapist for CBT (find that the latter helps more than meds). You’re right that I don’t need “compassion.” Believe me I tell myself the same thing that you’ve said, so I appreciate the reminder. The more I hear it, the better.

Would to share the link to my web-site / blog with you, but not inclined to do it on this page, where my comments are so negative. (The blog is pretty positive.) Any way I can get it to you in a private e-mail?


Tess March 14, 2013 at 8:14 am


Give yourself a date and allow yourself to be on the pity pot until then…then choose to move on! And keep taking the meds. Both are good when you can’t move on.


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