How to Keep Negativity Out of Your Life
Are you the kind of person who often looks at the negative side of every story in life? Do you tend to focus more on how and why things could go wrong to an extent that you overlook the possibility of success? Then, perhaps, you are a negative thinker. Negative thoughts are an avoidable part of life that originates from ingrained patterns of a person’s perception of self-worth, security, wealth, people and life in general (Ehring et al. 225). According to Ehring et al., it is okay to experience failures and unfavorable encounters in life. These encounters may make a person worrisome and anxious for hours, days or weeks. However, some people tend to be continuously engaged in negative thoughts that they think undesirably all the time. While some negative thinkers may realize that they are out of control of their mind, the majority does not consider their attitude as negative thinking. Instead, many negative thinkers believe their tendency as “being realistic”. They feel that they are overly cautious about the negative possibilities because they are genuine. However, observing life in a practical standpoint does not necessarily mean that you have to be negative in thinking. Additionally, scholars have established that negative thinking is detrimental to both the physical and mental health (Drost et al. 177). Negativity makes life unfulfilling as it obstructs people’s ability to exploit their potential. Thus, it is necessary for individuals to learn how to tame adverse thoughts and eventually keep negativity out of their lives. The following are some of the ways of getting rid of negative thinking.
Self-evaluation is the first step towards getting out of the negativity bondage. It involves examining whether you are a negative thinker, so as to work towards eliminating the negativity. Often, negative thinkers do not consider themselves as so. However, admitting that you are a negative thinker will help you in realizing that the negative attitude is affecting your life (Williams 3). There are various ways of assessing your thinking attitude. These include simple steps such as re-examining your past position on various circumstances. For instance, you should assess whether you have been afraid of failures in the past that you had no room for considering a probable success. Additionally, you may incorporate the opinion of a friend in evaluating your thinking attitude. This may involve asking those close to you whether they think you are overly anxious about life and whether your anxiety may result from ingrained negative attitude.
In addition to identifying whether you are a negative thinker, you should also recognize your negative thinking patterns. According to Ehring et al., thinking patterns are different, and thus, negative thinking takes different forms (226). For instance, some people are overcome by guilt and regret, worry and anxiety, criticism, low self-esteem, among others. A person should first identify the negative patterns so as to seek an appropriate response to the specific thoughts.
Change Your Thinking Attitude
On self-evaluation, you may realize that you are a more negative than positive; change that attitude. According to Ehring et al., changing your thinking pattern may not be an easy task. It takes effort and practice to overcome negative attitudes (225). First, you have to be conscious of your thoughts so as to understand when the need to switch from a negative perspective to a positive one arises. Practicing simple tasks such as switching your attention from the things that make you worry and instead focus on what makes you happy. For instance, a person can simply replace the negatively worded thoughts such “I know I can’t make it”, to positive ones such as “I believe I’m capable”. In an example, consider people who are struggling with self-esteem issues as a result of excessive body weight, but enjoys holidays and traveling. They may dismiss the thought of being overweight, whenever it becomes active in their minds, by replacing it with the imagination of holidays. Similarly, any other negative aspect of thinking can be overcome by substituting it with positive thoughts.
Even though negative thinking involves what goes on in your mind, the things that you do in life may also aggravate the negativity. Therefore, it is paramount to take action, even as you change your thinking pattern. Actions involve addressing the conditions that may be contributing to negative thinking. For instance, maintaining a healthy weight may eradicate potential self-image related negative thoughts. Similarly, finding a job may help relieve the negativity that results from joblessness and financial challenges.
Interact with Positive People
Often, people who surround you impact on your thoughts and reactions to circumstances (Williams 6). Therefore, surrounding yourself with negative people will only increase your tendency to think negatively. While the positive thinkers encourage you and emphasize on your abilities, negative thinkers are keen on pointing out your weaknesses. Thus, negative people will not only increase your negativity but will also weaken your efforts to get rid of the negativity. On the contrary, positive people enable you to see things constructively, thus, nurtures your ability to get rid of negativity.
Be Grateful and Ready to Help Others
Negative thinking may overwhelm you and obstruct you from seeing the good things that life offers. However, showing gratitude may help in realizing that life is not only negative but have some positive aspects. The practice of appreciating the simple things that other people do for you may compel you to appreciate your self-worth as you try to understand why they extend favors to you. In addition to showing gratitude, you should also be willing to extend the favor to others. This eradicates the selfish attitude, which is a character of negative thinkers.
Take Full Responsibility for Your Life Outcomes
Often, negative people tend to blame someone or some situation for the adverse outcomes in their lives. They consider themselves as the helpless victims who are not in control of what befalls them. However, blaming other people or circumstance does not solve the problem, but only provide as a scapegoat for it. Contrastingly, taking full responsibility for life outcomes makes individuals take control of the thoughts and actions. As a result, it enables a person to influence their thinking pattern and adopt positive thinking.
It is no doubt that negative thinking may ruin an individual’s life. The above discussed are some of the techniques of getting rid of negative thinking. While these aspects work for many people, there are several other aspects that may be incorporated into a person’s life to enhance their positivity. Individuals should evaluate the specific elements that promote their negativity to identify effective ways of dealing with it.
Williams, Christopher. Overcoming Anxiety, Stress and Panic: A Five Areas Approach. Crc Press, 2012.Print.