Are you struggling to stay positive in what may feel like a negative world? Negative energy can manifest itself in damaging ways that we don’t always recognize. Here are some suggestions that might help you turn that negative energy into something more positive.

If you’re engaged in a contentious conversation, avoid being critical of the other person and what he says. Seek to understand by asking probing questions, using a respectful tone. Ask, “How can we create an approach that works better for everyone? What can we do to focus our efforts constructively and make good choices for moving forward?”

Thank that thing that annoys you. It’s stimulating a desire to create change. Focus your energy there.

And, if you think small actions won’t make a difference, remember this. Rosa Parks didn’t set out to launch the Civil Rights Movement. She was tired, she sat down. Her local action led to big, national consequences.