Decreasing Stress, Encouragement, Karate, Learn to Appreciate, Motivational, Philosophy

How to Combat a Negative World

Positivity and hope only go so far. The hard, cold truth is that we live in an unpredictable world that we cannot control. Crazy people do as they please, and we are either victims or observers, neither of which is ideal. How do we keep these harmful actions in our society today from turning us inside out, and burdening us with worry? I do not think that there is any easy answer to that, but if I have learned anything in my 54 years on this planet, it is that good still exists, even if we need to search high and low for it.

Here are some ways that you can combat a negative world, and allow positivity to filter into your life when you need it the most.


When a frightening incident happens in our world today, our senses are heightened, and rightly so. No one wants to be a part of a dangerous attack or have to face difficult situations without warning. When tragedy strikes, mourn. Be compassionate and caring. But, do not allow it to consume you. There is nothing you can do to change it. If you allow it to infiltrate every thought, it will chew you up and spit you out as relentlessly as a lion.  Your countenance matters. You cannot help any situation if you are so forlorn that you cannot function.

What you can do is make small changes in yourself, and even in your community, in the aftermath. Be there for those who really need you. Volunteer in some capacity, pray, or flood your social media by sending messages of love to those who need it.

Allow yourself to be a conduit through which others can heal. Be the source that reminds them that through the tunnel there is still light. Collect money for victims, write inspiring messages, remind people that you are thinking of them. These are the ways you can help to combat a negative world. Be a shining light, because I can promise you, many are searching for a ray of hope in the midst of chaos.

Neither life nor death are predictable. What you can predict, and even control, is how you react to the situations in life. Fear allows the haters to win. Worry allows them to control you. You can make a positive difference if you help instead of hinder.


Every single day, you and I have many things for which to be grateful. They can be small things, such as the scent of summer flowers, or bigger, like the sun rising every day. Imagine the kiss of your child upon your cheek, or his small soft hand cradled in yours. Perhaps a memory of significance rises to the surface. For me, sitting on the front porch on my father’s lap as a young girl while listening to a baseball game on the radio often brings a smile to my face.

Even when tragedy strikes, there is still goodness around you. You shut it down because you are engrossed in sad emotions and anger. While these difficult feelings may overshadow all, they do not eliminate good things or happy moments from happening. They exist whether tragedy strikes or not.

The first thing I ask myself when something negative happens, is “For what am I grateful right this moment?” It takes the emphasis off the trouble and redirects my energy to a positive place before I face the bad news. I am always grateful, first and foremost, to still be here, with the chance to love and cherish my family, and to have another opportunity to make a difference. I carry that gratefulness with me as the news unfolds around me.


How many of you think to yourselves, “I feel so guilty for not being able to do something for these people,” or “I feel guilty that I get to live a great life when so many people are suffering?” Guilt is a go-to response when we realize that we are lucky to escape face to face interactions with incredibly devastating scenarios.

In the big scheme of things, everyone has a purpose, and a certain amount of time on this earth. You have choices. You can wallow in the difficulties that present themselves, or you can rise up and remain steadfast in your mission, with the time that you are allotted here. I know that for me, I do not want to waste a precious moment by giving up, or wallowing. I have to know that I am doing the very best that I can do in the time that I have.

I cannot control the ending of my life, but I can definitely control the living of my life.

Do not get me wrong. Compassion and heartfelt feelings are necessary for healing, and each of us deserves time to grieve through life’s hardships and devastation. I bow my head every day and pray for each one of you, and this world. I wish, from the bottom of my heart, that things could be better. It does not end there for me, though. I take the opportunity to learn from what has happened, and mold my words and actions toward something better, for us all.

There is no time for guilt. There is only time to forge ahead and create the best world that we can with what we have. What do we have? We have each other.

WHAT inspires ME?

Among many things, martial arts give me the confidence to step up to be a motivator and inspirational voice in a world filled with tragedy. These fighting arts taught me to fight back mentally, as much as they taught me to defend or fight back physically. Although the actual kicks and punches are important, my ability to combat negativity, using kicks as a metaphor, is even more important. I visualize myself kicking hate into outer space. I work diligently to keep my mind focused on making the world better, and not contributing the negative energy that naturally erupts in times of crisis. There is already enough of that. May those who suffer and die in reckless tragedies rest in peace, and may their families be comforted by our love.

We cannot change the past. Today, however, is a new beginning and we all need to move forward, heal, and repair. Strength and positive energy grows rapidly when we all work together. If there is any combat that should be taking place right this minute, it is you and I fighting diligently against  a negative world.




The Martial Arts Woman book is now available. Purchase through my e-commerce store: or on Amazon:

This book shares the stories and insights of more than twenty-five women in the martial arts, and how they apply martial arts to their lives.

Andrea F. Harkins is a writer, motivator, life coach, martial artist, and public speaker. She was inducted into the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame in July, 2017. Her book, The Martial Arts Woman, is now available at

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