Have you ever come away from a conversation with a friend feeling down, empty or alone, in spite of being in a good mood at the beginning of the discussion? Do you find that you are more concerned with the drawbacks of doing something than actually doing it? Or, does the thought of going into your office make you feel sick? If you said yes to any of these questions, you are most likely in the presence of negativity.
Negativity is all around us and doesn’t always present itself in an obvious way. Is a matter of fact, there are three sources from which negativity usually breeds: Negativity in your relationships, negativity within yourself and negativity within your environment. Whether you are receiving it from one or all sources, here are some things you can do to reduce the negativity in your life:
Negativity in Your Relationships
- Minimize Toxic Relationships. You all have heard me say this before: Remove toxicity from your life. Toxic relationships often come hand-in-hand with negativity. If an individual makes you feel bad about yourself, what you do, how you are, then the person is toxic. Toxic people often make others feel badly in order to feel better about themselves. Unfortunately, these individuals can be family, making it difficult to completely remove them from your life. In these cases, minimize the time you spend with them and work on cultivating healthier, happier relationships.
- Set Clear Boundaries. Set boundaries with the negative people in your life. If they cross a line and they go too far with their commentary, then let them know that although you love them and care for them, their negativity isn’t welcome. Explain to them that if they can’t be positive or respectful, then you can’t be around them.
- Find Positive People. The more you surround yourself with positive, high energy people, the less room you have for those who are negative. Have you ever had a friend who made you feel special, gave you more confidence, even made you feel empowered? This is the type of person who brings positivity into your life.
Negativity within Yourself
- Focus on the Whats and Not the What ifs. Many of us let fear and anxiety impair our ability to move forward and achieve the things that will bring happiness into our lives. Negativity feeds on fear and anxiety. As a result, focus on the things you want to do and imagine yourself doing them. Push out the fear and the anxiety and instead, imagine the positive feelings and happiness you’ll get from doing the things you want to do.
- Meditate. Meditation can come in many forms. You can meditate through more traditional formats such as yoga or deep breathing, or just by carving in some “alone” time by yourself. The goal here is to spend some time on a daily basis, clearing your mind, ridding it of negative thoughts and refocusing it on those that are positive.
- Do What You Love. Enjoying the things you love allows you to feel positive, happy and joyful. When we do things that feel good and that bring us happiness, we disengage negativity.
- Think Positively. Although I’m not that well versed in the “law of attraction,” there is a lot of truth to being the master of your own destiny. You may have heard the saying, “positive thoughts beget positive results.” The more negatively we think, the more negative things will happen. However, the more positive we are and the more we believe in ourselves, the more positive things will come our way.
Negativity within Your Environment
- Love What You Do and Where You Do it. Granted, when times are tough, we may not have the luxury of being too picky in this area. But, when we work with people who are negative, it can be draining. Further, if the morale of the company is really low, your work environment can have a tremendously negative impact on you and your overall outlook. If this is the case, look for a new job and seek out a company that is known for having a healthy, positive culture. There may even be an opportunity in another department within your existing company.
Love Where You Live. Our neighborhood can have a big impact on our outlook. Whether something distasteful has happened in your community or you just don’t get positive vibes from your neighbors, it may be time to move.
Get Involved. Get involved in your local community. Do some charity work. Get involved with a non-profit. Be a big brother or sister. Getting involved in philanthropic programs makes a positive impact on the world around you, ultimately making you feel positive about yourself and about life.
Don’t let negativity bring you down. Make it a thing of the past and see how positive life can be! Have you conquered negatively recently? What did you have to do?