Okay, let's be real for a second.
Life's been kicking everyone's a** lately, hasn't it? It's been rough, to say the least. And sometimes we get stuck in an inescapable vortex of negative emotions because of our circumstances (relationships, family, financial, societal, professional, etc.)
No, I'm not here to preach to you about "the power of positive thinking", nor would I push that this blog post will be the answer to all of your problems.
HOWEVER, I will say that I believe in the power of positive doing.
In other words, we all have the ability to do something different to change our mood and our circumstances, aside from just trying to think it into existence or waiting for something miraculous to happen.
Before I dive in, I will say that I have divided these tips into two categories:
Internal negativity - relating to your personal feelings, circumstances.
External negativity - relating to someone else's feelings, circumstances.
1. Counteract - Fight against negatives by deliberately adding positives to your day.
Think of your favorite sports team playing against its biggest rival.
Now imagine there are two teams like that competing in your life. On one side you've got Team Negative and on the other is Team Positive. Assuming you enjoy being happy, then you are a HUGE fan of Team Positive and you would like to see them win EVERY game.
For everything bad thing in your day, Team Negative gets a point, and for every good thing Team Positive gets a point.
Unfortunately, bad things happen to us and sometimes they can't be avoided. It's life. So some points will go to Team Negative. This isn't a result of a poor defense on Team Positive, it's just sometimes Team Negative has great offense.
But what if I told you that you're not only a fan of Team Positive, but you're actually their most valuable player? The MVP! Why? Because you have the greatest ability to score points!
So that means you need to get out there and GET IN THE GAME!!!
Okay. Enough with the metaphor- When something bad happens to you, go do something good for you- something you like.
- take a walk in the park / on the beach
- read a book
- create, draw, paint
- take a hot bath
- watch the sunrise / sunset
- call an old friend
- watch a comedy
Run up the score for Team Positive!
Aim to win. But if you can't, make it close.
2. Transform - change negative energy into positive energy.
After something bad happens, you might be extremely irritated, upset, or sad. Usually the energy that you put into those feelings is not used in the best way.
Whether it be, pouting, scowling, sending angry text messages, talking behind someone's back, throwing objects, punching walls, or just replaying the negative scenario in your head over and over and over - they are all a WASTE of your energy.
Practice putting that energy to use for something productive.
- Get creative. Put your thoughts into writing! Stories, poetry, letters, song lyrics, etc.
(My best writing mostly comes from these times of frustration).
- Exercise! Best way to let go of frustration or anger.
- Research. Learn something new.
- Make an action-plan for your goals.
- Get organized!
- Clean. (I also clean when I'm stressed-out because it helps me relax. Two birds, one stone.).
You get it. Do something with purpose.
3. Separate - Remove yourself from negativity
Sometimes the negativity in our life isn't our own.
We've all come across people in our life that constantly complain or are always angry about something. Sometimes there are people that you're afraid to tell good news to because you know they will just find the negative in it!
Yes, if this is too often your environment, then SEPARATE yourself from it.
It's important to remember that you cannot help somebody that does not want to be helped. And if you find yourself less happy, less healthy, and less productive around this person, YOU ARE ALLOWED TO LEAVE.
Understand that you cannot bear everyone's burden.
Just like in the instructions for the oxygen mask on an airplane. They always tell passengers to put their OWN mask on before assisting someone else put theirs on.
Why is that?
Because you can't help anyone if you're dead.
Obviously this is a drastic analogy, but I think it does the job. Or, I guess I could have used "you can't pour into others from an empty cup".
You get it.
Separate yourself from perpetual negativity.
4. Be a Light - Help spread joy whenever you can.
On the complete opposite side of the spectrum, we have this tip.
We all need a shoulder to lean on from time to time- and that's okay! The message that I want us to remember is that on the days when we don't need it, that gives us two free shoulders to lend someone else.
Spreading joy can have a ripple effect - and quite honestly, serving others is already rewarding in and of itself.
"Being a light" can be as simple as:
- smiling & greeting someone walking by
- giving someone a nice compliment
- holding the door open
- letting someone into your lane on the road
- sharing the other half of your cookie
- praying for someone
- just listening
Or it can be things like:
- helping someone move
- carrying someone's groceries to their car
- leaving a larger tip for your waiter
- volunteering in your community
- taking care of someone when they're sick
No matter what you do on this list, it will be impactful. And I'm confident that it will make you happier too.
Well, there you have it. My 4 Tips for Combating Negativity. I hope you enjoyed.
Let me know which ones were your favorites or which ones you could relate to the most.
Thanks for reading!