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May 25, 2023

"Shake it off."

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Although it may seem like it, today’s positivity quote was not influenced by Taylor Swift… Too much.

Living a positive life is equally about finding productive ways to work through the negative as it is creating more positive. With that in mind, today’s positivity quote is “Shake if off”.

When someone dumps their negative energy on you, shake it off. When you tried something that didn’t go as well as you’d expected, shake it off. When start doubting yourself and take a hit to your self-esteem, shake it off. It’s a very physical expression but it serves an emotional purpose. 

The expression tells you to literally move your body so that you can displace the emotional energy you’re feeling that doesn’t belong, and it suggests that there’s a quick fix to it too. Just a quick maneuver is all it takes to remove  whatever it is that’s causing you to feel a certain way so that you can return to the way you were feeling before it.

“Shaking it off” is a skill and those who can do it quickly and effectively can move forward faster than other people. But oddly, the alternative of “keeping it on” can be more comfortable. It feels good to make excuses, feel bad for ourselves, and complain. It’s easier than doing something about it. But it doesn’t serve you and your pursuit toward your best self.

So when it comes time to ‘shake it off’, here are a few ways to do it. The first is to change your physiology. Instead of stewing in bad news you can choose to get moving, go for a walk, reorient your emotions and come back to a rational mind. Another thing you can do is introspect. Feel into the root of the emotion, learn about what might be causing it, and find ways to soothe the source that is causing the negative emotional response to surface.

Keep in mind, this works for emotional experiences that are quick onset and distracting. This is not a recommendation to push away your feelings but rather a way of handling emotions in the moment so that you can do deeper work later if it’s required. It’s best used in times when you need to restore your previous energy quickly because your life demands it. If there’s more to the emotion you were experiencing, it’s very important to honor it and explore it in an environment that is more appropriate.

In sports, you shake off a bad play so that you can quickly refocus on the next. At work you shake off rejection so that you can get back to work to get your next win. In relationships you shake off a poorly timed slight that didn’t sit well with you.

Our emotions serve a very important purpose, but they also can lead to poor decision making and prolonged dissatisfaction. It serves us to find ways to control our emotions, and one of those ways is to shake them off.

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