Why is negativity bad and how to fight it?
Current times are challenging for most of us. We are not able to do the normal things we used to enjoy and our routines have been turned upside down. There are no events that mark our lives like holidays, weddings, get togethers with friends and family. On top of that we are confined mostly to our homes and seem to be chained to our jobs. Spontaneity and variety just aren’t a part of our vocabulary at the moment. No wonder we struggle with negativity!
Why is negativity really bad for us?
Being exposed to internal (self-induced) or external negativity has a massive impact on our physical and mental health, energy levels, relationships with others, personal growth and overall happiness and fulfilment in life. The longer we stay in the negativity, the more profound the consequences are.
Let’s do a little exercise…
Sit down, close your eyes and take yourself back to the last time you were being negative. How did your body feel? Did you feel tightness in the stomach and muscles, possibly a headache and some heart pain?
Now focus on what emotions you felt when exposed to negativity.
Frustrated, angry, bored, life was unfair, tolerance levels were low, small problems were becoming big very quickly, there was no happiness or upliftment?
Did your thoughts feel rushed, yet blurred with an underlying sense of hopelessness? Was it hard to see the next steps in life clearly and stay motivated?
Lastly, focus on your energy levels when you felt negative.
Did you feel energised and ready to tackle life challenges? Did you feel like you were beaming with energy and wanting to share it with others? I am pretty certain the answer is no…Your energy is more withdrawn and dull when in a negative state.
So can you image how being in a negative state for a long period of time will impact you on all levels. Not only it will remove any chance of happiness and hamper personal growth, but it will also make you miss out on opportunities. Remember, time is non-refundable!
Your negativity also affects others you come in contact with. It spreads like wildfire. No better way to make someone feel more depressed and hopeless than having a good discussion about everything that is wrong in the world today.
Lastly, like attracts like… Positive people like to spend time with positive people and negative people attract negative people. If you are looking for more friends and/or a new romantic partner, what kind of people will you be drawn to?
What does positivity do to you?
I don't want to take up time by stating the obvious and rewriting a list of all the opposites of the above so here are just a few benefits of positivity:
It enriches your daily life experiences. It allows you to feel at a deeper level.
It brings opportunities in life and propels personal growth.
It helps make better life decisions and gives clarity of mind.
It uplifts others around you. It takes a little to make a difference to someone’s life! Sharing of your positive energy and a few kind encouraging words can make a huge difference to someone’s day. We are all connected and it’s important to share our energy with others.
We all know that in life the only constant is change. So how does one navigate life’s challenges trying to stay positive?
Well, start off by having to closer look at your interactions with others, your thoughts and frustration levels to determine how negative you are at the moment? What topics do you choose to discuss? Do you tend to complain? Do you carry a lot of anger and unfairness? Be specific and very honest with yourself. Don’t judge yourself as it serves nothing. At this stage, there is no point punishing yourself for being negative. You are trying to change it after all!
Reflect on what has you in the negative state? Were you always like that? Or is it a phase? If it’s a phase, why could you be stuck in it?
Ponder on what kind of person do you want to be? How do you want to be remembered?
Do you have someone you look up to? Assuming the person you look up to is a positive person, look to them for examples of good positive behaviour you can copy.
Reflect on your values and what is important to you in life? Your values will drive your behaviour.
Ask yourself if being positive and enjoying life to the fullest is important to you?
Is personal growth important to you?
If you have answered yes to the above, make a decision to fight negativity in your life and to follow your values.
This must be a conscious decision and a commitment to yourself!
How do you put it in practice?
Now that you have decided that you want to be positive, how do you go about putting in practice?
A little digression firstly, if you don’t mind…Whilst I say positivity is paramount for a successful and happy life, it doesn’t mean you can’t feel negative feelings when you are feeling hurt, frustrated, disappointed etc. Feeling those emotions is totally okay. In fact, it’s good to acknowledge and feel them as they come up, just don’t get stuck on them. Feel it, recognise the origin and move forward by taking the learning from that feeling/situation.
People that avoid feeling negative feelings at any cost are supressing them, which doesn’t work that well even in the short run and always comes back to bite in the long run. It’s not realistic to be ‘Zen’ at all times. Life is all about a good balancing act!
So where do you start?
Stop complaining, full stop! You can express how you feel but if you keep repeating, it becomes complaining.
Watch how you interact with your friends/family/co-workers, don’t allow negative and 'let’s feel sorry for each other' topics to emerge.
Don’t allow others to drag you into negative conversations. Change the topic or simply explain that you are trying to be more positive and uplifted and discussing negative topics is not helping you at the moment.
Try to reduce the amount of time you spend in negative environments and find more positive people to hang out with. Positivity is contagious! If your best friend or partner is being negative, be honest and explain to them what you are trying to achieve. This may help them too as they chose to join you in search for a more positive life and you can grow together.
Do little things each day that give you pleasure. Be it a walk, good cup of coffee, reading a book... Do it mindfully, being present in the moment and focusing on that activity and the good feeling it brings. Multitasking has no place here! You are allowed to do nice things just for yourself!
Try to find positive in every situation. Could you learn something new about yourself or others from a negative situation you found yourself in? Could you grow as result? Could you react or do things differently in the future? Have you avoided a bigger disaster by encountering this situation?
When negative self-talk pops in, intercede your thoughts. Stop them before it gets too late. Remember your commitment to yourself to not go down the 'rabbit hole' of negativity?
Find like-minded tribe where you can share your feelings and be supported in your journey.
Keep reminding yourself of who you want to be and how you want to be remembered as a person.
I hope you found my article helpful and best of luck on your journey to becoming more positive and creating a life you want. You owe it to yourself to create a happy life and grow!
If you need help and support from like-minded people, check out a new Support Group I have started here. If it resonates with you, come and join us for free.