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What is negativity?
- Negativity is a tendency to be downbeat, disagreeable and skeptical. It’s a pessimistic attitude that always expects the worst.
- Negative outcomes are bad outcomes, like losing a game, getting a disease, suffering an injury, or getting something stolen. Negativity is an attitude that always expects such negative things to happen. “I bet it’ll rain during our picnic!” and “No one could ever love me!” are examples of negativity. “The world is getting worse and worse!” is negativity. Someone full of negativity is hard to cheer up, and they always expect the worst. The opposite of negativity is positivity.
Negativity can become a bad habit that makes your life seem drab and grey, colouring your entire world.. We need a lot more positivity in the world not less. With that in mind I have written the blog to show you 4 ways to overcome negativity and improve your life.
Are you becoming more negative?
Ultimately, how you look at your life, is what will make you happy or unhappy.
When your thoughts are constantly dwelling on the negative aspects of your life, it will make you unhappy. Eventually, your view of the world will become more and more negative and constant negativity will be your reality.
That’s why changing your mindset is important because it will make a huge difference to your entire life. Here are four signs that it’s time for you to change your mindset.
You Focus on All That’s Wrong
A sure sign its time to change is when you focus more on the things that disappoint and worry you. The problem with focussing on those thoughts is that it can become an endless spiral and can drag you downwards.
This can affect you making you feel unhappy, sad and miserable, it really lowers your mood. Once your mood becomes low, your thoughts then become even more negative creating that spiral. If you don’t put a stop to it, it just grows worse and can affect your health and life in general.
You Don’t Face the Truth
Complaining all the time about a variety of things you aren’t happy with, won’t change anything. By complaining you tell yourself that you are trying to change things, that other people need to change what they do or change whatever you feel is wrong.
In reality, people in your life either become immune to the constant litany of complaints or it drives them away.
Some things you won’t be able to change, so it’s better to let go of expectations concerning those, once you have identified them.
Anger When Your Expectations Aren’t Met
A large part of your mindset consists of your expectations. These are the ones you believe to be possible and those that are deemed necessary. If you are often angry with the people in your life because they aren’t meeting your expectations, it could mean that you have unrealistic expectations.
Many believe that having high expectations of themselves and others around them will improve their life. In reality, setting the bar too high can stop people even trying because they consider it impossible. Our expectations lay the groundwork for our experiences. Expecting too much of yourself and others means that you will never be happy or truly satisfied with your life.
Seeing Yourself as a Victim
Seeing yourself as a victim hinders your ability to change things and create a better life for yourself.
A victim mentality is often a by-product of low self-esteem. This is often caused by events and people in childhood and grows from then onwards. Your thoughts create your world and reflect back to you more of the same, confirming victimhood over and over.
To move away from this you need to realise what you are doing and stop playing the victim. It sounds easy but can be hard to overcome as these are thoughts and habits created over years, very often.
The way forward is to change your mindset from ‘poor me’ to look at me, I am amazing!
Changing your mindset isn’t that easy, but learning to recognise that you need to is half the battle. Also learning the signs that negativity is taking hold is key so you can make the adjustments to become more positive.
4 Ways to Remove Negativity
Having constant negative thoughts pouring through your mind will quickly put a stop to any creativity and tends to get in the way of realising your true potential. While we all know that being more positive and optimistic in our lives will help us reach a happier and successful life but many struggle to make the change from a negative to a positive mindset.
Negative thoughts can affect your body and general wellbeing too.
A few of the ways you can be affected
- Stomach aches
- Fatigue and exhaustion
- Confusion and tension
- Mood swings
- Anxiety or depression
So let’s look at ways to overcome negativity.
Recognising negative thoughts
We use negative thoughts to protect ourselves when we don’t want to do something or if we are being mocked.
The litany of negativity rears it’s head with phrases like:: “It won’t work,” or “I can’t do that,” before we even consider the options, it becomes an automatic response, rather than thinking “I can try”.
Remind yourself to stop before the habitual response comes out, to think first about whether you would actually like to try or have a go at something being suggested. Make a list of negatives and positives before you answer, even if it’s only in your head.
Start with the things you often take for granted, like a roof over your head, clothes to wear and food to eat. As your thoughts become more positive you will think of more things to be grateful for, family, friends, loved ones and then graduate to events that make you happy.
Make a list either in your head or on paper as you wake each morning, it will make you smile and start the day off well. You will feel happier and more positive beginning the day in a good frame of mind and it will have a more positive effect on the rest of the day. As you go to sleep be grateful for things that made you smile or laugh during the day, it helps to improve sleep too.
Use Black and White Thinking
Many people will say to you “Think Positive.” But we all know, it isn’t as easy as that. If it was everyone would always be feeling positive and happy, smiling all day long.
When you find yourself stuck in a cycle of negative thinking or are terrified of a negative outcome, trying to think positive thoughts is difficult and often don’t feel true.
When you find yourself worrying about anything negative, write down the worst thing that can happen. Then put down the best that could happen and follow that with others in between the two.
Laying out a variety of possible outcomes will make you feel less emotional and therefore able to think more clearly about the situation.
Observe Your Thoughts
It always seems easier to solve someone else’s problems rather than your own, doesn’t it? You can recognise when a friend or family member is struggling with something and losing sleep over anything isn’t going to help.
The thing is, when it’s your mind dealing with negative thoughts, it’s much harder to see what’s happening and stop it before it spirals out of control. When you decide you want to be more positive, you need to become more conscious of what you are thinking. It does take time and effort to keep those thoughts under control but it does get easier with practice
When you can step back and analyse your thoughts as an observer, you will find you have a shift in your focus. This will help you to be more mindful of how you are looking at the situation. Being able to focus more on positive thoughts will make you feel happier and more optimistic about your life in general. This will allow you to experience more joy, increased well-being, better sleep and overall better health. .
Negativity can impact all areas of your life, those were just 4 ways to overcome negativity, there are of course many more. I find that the simpler ways and ideas are usually easier to integrate into your life. This makes it more likely that you will at least try one or some of them, thereby helping yourself immensely.
It can become such a habit to always look on the negative side that it becomes something that is done without realising you are doing it. Once someone gets into a negative mindset any suggestions to help will be deflected with more negativity.
Some actually enjoy wallowing in negativity because it brings attention and help, as people do things for them trying to help. They aren’t interested in doing anything to help themselves however many helpful suggestions are given. In time, the kindest and most helpful of people will give up and then start to avoid that person. Don’t become THAT person.
Once you become more positive you give off a completely different energy and people are drawn to you, they want to be around you and spend time with you. Life, work, relationships go so much better and everything seems so much brighter.
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Questions and comments welcome.