I try to be positive in everything that I write. Stuff going on in the world right now is depressing enough without me adding to it. It isn’t always possible to put a positive spin on news but alternative viewpoints usually offer the possibility of positivity. Perhaps there is an agency that is tackling human trafficking. Instead of writing about the dreadful, heartwrenching plight of the individuals concerned; write about the agencies methods of tackling the problem, or highlight success stories. Cover the same topic from an angle that offers the chance of positivity.

In my advocacy work (see mefoggydog.org), I regularly ask other Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E) sufferers, whose plight hasn’t been heard before, to write Foggy a blog post. I always ask that it not be too negative as I find negativity stops people from engaging. I feel simply telling their story from a human perspective is hard-hitting enough. This week, a potential blogger queried my request for positivity. He couldn’t understand how anyone could write positively about M.E. I explained that there is so much anger surrounding our fight that I steer well-clear to make sure I raise as much awareness as possible. I 100% understand that M.E is a life-destroying illness but there are ways of talking about it that don’t make readers turn off. I know that people disengage because I am one of those people. I have the illness myself and turn to social media for light relief. I don’t want to be bombarded with hate messages for healthcare workers and politicians. Luckily, I have a sense of humour that allows me to poke fun at my own health situation. I am still raising awareness but in a lighthearted way. I use a teddy to raise awareness for goodness sake…I am hardly controversial! My method is working, I am now a negativity-free global brand.

I don’t want to read articles that are full of negativity and anger. I once went to a talk given by Andy Cope on ‘The Art of Being Brilliant’. I would thoroughly recommend his talks to anyone. He told the audience that there is no need to be grumpy on a Monday and pointed out the ‘Mood Hoovers’ in our midst. Don’t be a ‘Mood Hoover’. Since then, I am very aware of negativity in others and that is why I try my hardest to steer clear. Tackle the subject from a different angle. I promise you will get more engagement and much better feedback.