2014 has been a tough year, judging from the number of aviation accidents, the worst flood in Malaysia in the last 40 years, Ebola epidemic, ISIS, and the list goes on. Against the backdrop of negative events and an uncertain global outlook, we have blog wars in Singapore and an exposé. What we have going on in Singapore’s blogging scene right now is really miniscule in comparison to these life-threatening global events and instead of jumping on the bandwagon to share my viewpoints on such issues, perhaps we can all take a step back, breathe and think about how we can protect ourselves against negativity as we strive to welcome the new year on a positive note.
Because after all, life is full of ups and downs and learning how to defend yourself against negativity is a life skill that can and will vastly change your quality of life. 
Here are a few tips that I’ve put into practice and internalized during the past year and I hope these would help you just as much as they have helped me:
1. Hang Out with Positive People (or try to influence your peers to be positive!)
I know for a fact from first-hand experience that hanging out with friends or family who enjoy complaining about every facet of their lives has a damaging impact on your thoughts and perspectives. Pessimism only breeds more pessimism, and when you are constantly surrounded by negativity, you will naturally be conditioned to think that that is the way to go. Negativity is contagious and it leads to a dangerous downward spiral.
is my source of positivity. He is grateful for everything he has in
life, sees meaning in his work and actively pursues activities that makes him happy. When you are
surrounded by people who are positive, driven and contented, your mind will be conditioned to think likewise.
Do you ditch the people around you if they happen to be negative? Well, sometimes people complain because deep inside, they are actually pleading for help. Before jumping to conclusions and judging them for their actions without truly figuring out what’s wrong, show them a little concern and support. It is always easier to overcome negative feelings when you have the support of loved ones.
2.  Change The Way You Think
Our thoughts are entirely within our control and we have the freedom to choose how we wish to think. More often than not, it’s the way in which we react to an event that makes it negative. In every situation, no matter how hopeless, there is a silver lining. I know it sounds easier said than done, but as cliche as this may sound, it is really all in the mind. 

 There was one point in my life when I was literally complaining about everything. Fortunately for me,
I have JW to thank for giving me a reality check and making me realize
that complaining is NOT normal and wouldn’t change anything. It’s a complete waste of time, unproductive and at the end of the day, you end up unhappy. Does it change the situation that you’re in? No, so what’s the point?
Now, I constantly remind myself to focus on searching for solutions and resolving problems instead of harping on what went wrong and complaining about issues or people that I cannot change because some of these things are just beyond my control. 
When you think positively, it changes your behaviour and attitude. It allows you to pursue activities that bring happiness and opens up your mind to opportunities that you never thought existed.
3. Pursue A Hobby
 I firmly believe that aside from work and family, we all need hobbies that we are passionate about to keep us sane. A hobby is a welcome distraction in times when you just need to take your mind off things that are bothering you. When you’re doing something that excites you and gives you happiness, negative thoughts are less likely to invade your mind. For me, blogging, styling and photography do just that. Do you have a hobby too? If not, perhaps it’s time to pursue one.
 I know it isn’t easy to stay positive amidst all the negativity, but we can all start somewhere and take baby steps as we go along. 
Always remember to let your smile change the world, but never let the world change your smile.
Here’s to a positive 2015!