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Are you negative?
Negativity can come across in lots of different, and surprising ways. Do any of the following apply to you?
- You go over past mistakes
- You think that the good things that happen are ‘too good to be true’
- Your high-standards make you critical of others
- You can’t accept compliments
- Your internal dialogue can’t see positives
- You see problems, not solutions
- You don’t envisage the future as exciting.
Is negativity a problem?
If any of the above apply to you, then it’s likely you have some negative tendencies. It’s important to know its completely normal and healthy to feel sad, angry or irritated occasionally. However, when negativity is your first reaction, when sarcasm or cynicism is your comfort zone, then it may be time to change your approach.
Multiple studies have proven that negativity can have a detrimental effect on your health, relationships and even lifespan. For example, negative thoughts can turn into ‘learned helplessness’ such as thinking you will get ill may mean you become sick. One study showed this negativity pattern could reduce lifespan by up to five years. Furthermore, even a small amount of negativity can weaken your immune system which can cause significant health problems.
What’s more, your negativity may not just be affecting your own health and wellbeing but also the health of others around you. Negativity is contagious, and the more negative you are, the more you could be adversely impacting the ones you love.
By channeling negativity with a less negative, neutral or hopefully positive approach, it can dramatically improve your relationships with yourself, others and the world around you as well as significantly benefitting your physical and mental health. Small, simple changes can help you to take gradual steps from a negative to neutral to an eventually positive outlook that can change your life for the better.
How to deal with negativity
To combat negativity, you firstly need address the negativity and secondly, quit it once and for all. You can start managing negativity by;
Recognising your thought pattern
Our minds do a clever job of making us believe something that isn’t true that can help to enforce the negative thought pattern. Seeing things as black or white, or one way or another without the possibility of aspects in between is one common thought distortion. Another popular trait is where we personalise everything to blame ourselves. For example, if someone does not reply to your message, you assume it is because you have upset them.
When you notice that your mind is leading you to assume the worst or to turn neutral or positive situations into negative, it is time to change your outlook.
Getting rid of judgement
When judgement is all around, especially with the rise of social media, it can be hard to take a step back and stop comparing yourself to others. It is crucial to realise negatively judging yourself against others will create a downward spiral. This can be hard to come out of. It can be easy to judge ourselves after an event has taken place, whether it was a presentation at work or social activity. We will often replay the event in our minds and distort what happened for the worse.
We may also distort our perspective of future events, perhaps that something will go wrong which changes our behaviour. It can lead us to make judgements as a forecast of how an event will turn out. This can potentially mean missing out on potentially exciting opportunities and stop us from enjoying or looking forward to future plans.
When this occurs, it is important to take a step back to gain a wider perspective. It can be useful to consider the perspective from other points of view. It may help to take yourself out of the situation and having a fly on the wall perspective. By removing yourself from the situation, you can see that there are lots of different perspectives. Your negative perspective or judgement of yourself isn’t necessarily the case and there are lots of other positive or neutral aspects that you can take away from the event.
Do something to feel good
It becomes too easy to dwell on negative thoughts or replay negative moments in our internal films. Instead, it is best to switch off from what is causing your negativity and do something that you enjoy and makes you feel good. Doing things that make you happy will help to quell the negative thoughts. After all, happy people generally aren’t negative. Find your passion and allow it to make you feel good.
How to stop being negative for good
Secondly, to combat negativity once and for all;
A gratitude journal, an app on your phone or just a piece of paper can be an excellent way to start a positive daily habit. Documenting the good things, however big or small, can be a great way to bring positivity to the forefront of your mind.
Compliments not complaints
Try to deliver a compliment to someone every single day. Telling someone you love their earrings or that they gave an impressive pitch at work is a fantastic way to spread positive energy. At the same time, be mindful of complaining to others. It is easy to complain that your bus was late or that you couldn’t find a parking space, although the more you do this, the more people will associate you and your complaints with negative energy.
Consider your relationships
As mentioned earlier, negativity is contagious. Your own negativity may be brought on by the people you surround yourself with. A toxic person in your life is often the biggest detriment to your success. It is worthwhile considering the people you spend time with to see if they are a positive person you can learn from. Oprah Winfrey is an advocate of this and says; “Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.”
You may find there are several people in your life that cause you to feel negatively. It is often the best thing for both of you to distance yourself from that person for as long as you think is best. This can help you both remove a negative aspect. It also allows you to surround yourself with the people that can be a positive influence.
4. Get help
Reinvention hypnotherapy and therapy techniques such as NLP can help to recognise and retrain negative thinking into a positive outlook that really can change your life for the better. Many of my clients have seen noticeable success through a combined approach of therapy to help with all aspects of negativity;
“Through Mindy, I experienced what it feels like when you don’t connect to your mind but to your true essence, your real self. Also understanding how the mind can play funny games with us and how to not identify myself with that, because in the end most of it are just conditioned patterns from my past and other people. Loving myself, feeling and knowing there are no limits, we are creating our own life because everything is energy and we all have access to this incredible, joyful experience which is life – I’ll always be grateful to her for showing me how open the door and walk through it.” – A trusted customer.
Book your free 15-minute consultation today and banish negativity for good.
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Medium. (2018). Why Negative People Are Literally Killing You (and How to Protect Your Positivity). [online] Available at: https://medium.com/the-mission/why-negative-people-are-literally-killing-you-and-how-to-obliterate-pessimism-from-your-life-eb85fadced87 [Accessed 6 Aug. 2018].
mindbodygreen. (2018). Scientific Proof That Negative Beliefs Harm Your Health. [online] Available at: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-9690/scientific-proof-that-negative-beliefs-harm-your-health.html [Accessed 6 Aug. 2018].
Psychology Today. (2018). 7 Ways to Deal With Negative Thoughts. [online] Available at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/women-s-mental-health-matters/201509/7-ways-deal-negative-thoughts [Accessed 6 Aug. 2018].
(2018). The Science of Happiness: Why complaining is literally killing you.. [online] Psychpedia.blogspot.com. Available at: https://psychpedia.blogspot.com/2015/11/the-science-of-happiness-why.html [Accessed 6 Aug. 2018].