Do you find yourself often wishing you hadn’t even gotten out of bed in the morning? Do you feel down, frustrated and argumentative often during your day? Do you find yourself blaming, criticizing, and complaining too much?
This, my dear reader, is negativity. Negativity is a habit and a tough one at that! We are not intentionally negative. Most of us don’t wake up in the morning and say to ourselves, “I wonder whose day I can ruin today.” No. We want to be happy. We want to feel good. For some though, that is extremely difficult. You may be thinking how would she know how I feel. She’s not me. You would be right. I am not you, but I have gone through periods of extreme negativity, where I simply felt that the whole world was out to get me and I could do nothing right. My vehicle would break down, my home would need a sudden major repair, I was broke, and my boss got on my case, and on and on. If something went wrong, and it usually did, then I would want to blame, criticize, and complain instead of fixing the problem. I was stuck in the “poor me” box. There is good news! I changed ALL of that and YOU can to if you are willing to put in the effort.
One of the greatest diseases humanity inflicts upon itself is negativity – unknown
BREAKING THE HABIT: Overcoming Negativity
Like most habits, putting an end to the habit of negativity will take time and effort. Remember, anything worth doing does take time and effort.
The first step to ending the habit is to become aware of what negativity really means not just the literal meaning but what it means to you. How does it make you feel? What does negativity look like to you? If you are not sure, get a pen and paper and start writing about it. Write a paragraph on what negativity is to you. When you start this writing exercise, your brain will take over and you will soon find yourself with a very specific explanation of your own negativity.
Next, once you are able to recognize your negative thoughts, speech, and actions you are able to stop them, and change them. Yes, you have to change them! One habit replaces another habit. That is the conditioning of the human brain. We are going to STOP the negativity habit and CREATE the positivity habit! Sounds great doesn’t it!
HOW TO STOP NEGATIVE THOUGHTS
- When you realize you are being negative, or you notice a negative thought pop into your head, hold your hand up, visualize a giant, bright red, flashing stop sign.
- Say aloud STOP! (You can say it silently to yourself but it is much more effective to say STOP out loud.)
Good! You recognized the thought and you STOPPED it. The instant you told that thought to stop; it no longer had control of you! Now, change your mind! Change your thought. Put a positive spin onto whatever you are thinking.
Example: I received a letter last night (Sunday) that caused instant anxiety and negativity. It was a letter that needed proactive action! That old negativity habit bit me in the butt and I started thinking, “These things always happen to me! It’s not fair.” I felt stressed and grouchy. THEN I realized what I was doing! I was letting the negativity control me instead of ME controlling ME! I held my hand up like a crossing guard and said very loudly STOP! I saw in my mind a giant red flashing stop sign (after practice this becomes automatic). I put a positive spin on the situation. I told myself, “Hey, yeah it is a problem but you know what? It is SUNDAY! I cannot fix it today, so I do not have to deal with it today!” I took a deep cleansing breath and imagined myself inhaling all of that negativity then I blew the air and negativity out as hard as I could (like blowing out a candle). I proceeded straight to my desk, and on my Monday To-Do list, I put in large letters at the top of the list CALL BUSINESS TAKE CARE OF SITUATION. There, it was finished. It was an issue to be scheduled and handled at a more appropriate time. I evicted it from my mind for the rest of the day. Along with it, all the stress and negativity that had been activated by the existence of the letter. I then went on to enjoy the rest of my Sunday.
For every single negative thought, action, word repeat steps 1-3.
RECOGNIZE, STOP, AND CHANGE DIRECTION!
It takes time to change! You have to want to change. If you want it bad, enough you will put in the effort to change. The process to stop each negative behavior when repeated over and over will work, but what if you find yourself in a rut one day? What if you are just feeling down and you’re finding yourself constantly RECOGNIZING, STOPPING, AND CHANGING? Well here are a few more suggestions that have helped me and several other people I associate with overcome a bad day.
- TALK TO POSITIVE PEOPLE: Talking to people who are generally upbeat, positive, and happy will make you feel better in general. Remember, emotions are contagious. When you talk to those people who you find positive or even motivational, instead of talking about problems, talk about anything but the problems. Talk about your pets, your kids, your vacation plans, and your new book anything that is pleasing to you!
- READ POSITIVE AND MOTIVATIONAL QUOTES. Reading positive material is inspirational. It will literally help you to get out of your funk. This works on the same basis that positive affirmations work.
- READ A BOOK THAT INSPIRES YOU or WATCH A COMEDY. Again, this falls under the fact that emotions are contagious. When you put yourself into the shoes of a character that is happy and positive, you feel what the character feels! Try it! It works!
- CHANGE YOUR SCENERY. Sometimes we just need to get a fresh perspective. Maybe you have been in front of that computer for too long, or the television. Get up, stretch, and go for a walk! If you are unable to get outside, maybe it is raining, or you have pain or illness, you can still move to another room! When I was growing up and my brother, sister, and I would start bickering, my mom would always say, “Go outside and do something!” It always worked. We would get out there and wander around or play hide and go seek. Always we ended up laughing and feeling good.
Some of you may still be skeptical and that is Ok! Nevertheless, if you really want to improve every aspect of your life put an end to negativity! I have given you steps to start this journey! All you have to do is take the first stepJ. In addition, some of you may think, “What if I can’t stop?” Well, whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right. Hold up your giant stop sign now, SAY STOP! Then tell yourself YES YOU CAN! After all, who is in charge of you, you, or your negativity? You have the power to change your mind. You have the right to say, “I choose positivity! Negativity you are evicted!” YES! You and ONLY you have complete control over everything you think, say, and do!
Are you ready to take that leap? Are you ready to tell negativity to take a hike? WOO HOO GREAT FOR YOU! I know you can do it!
RECOGNIZE STOP CHANGE DIRECTION!
How have you overcome negativity in your own life? Can you remember a time when you were able to turn a negative into a positive? Please share! J Examples such as these will help other become more positive about becoming more positive! One of the best ways to feel better is to help others feel better!