Negativity is everywhere. Without even realizing it’s happening, negativity can bring you down, drain your energy, slow down your productivity, and hinder your creative process. It can even lead to illness.
Negativity can also become a habit. Humans love their routines and most people don’t stop to think about where their habits came from or if they are healthy habits. This makes us more susceptible to having negativity seep its way into our routines. It may be in the thoughts we have, the people we surround ourselves with, the places we go, or the entertainment we seek.
Take a look at your habits and routines. If you feel trapped in a negative world and you’re ready for a change, you can raise the level of positivity in your life with a few simple steps.
The first thought of your day sets the tone for hours to come. As you open your eyes, be conscious of that first thought. Say something positive to yourself like, “I feel great,” or “It’s a beautiful day.” This may feel silly at first, but it helps reprogram the brain from negative mode to positive thinking.
In a media-driven world, your impulse might be to get up and turn something on—the TV, radio, Internet, talk shows—but what are those shows telling you? Do the stories, songs, or reports make you feel good or do they incite worry and concern? If the answer isn’t positive, consider starting the day in silence. Greet the sun and complete your morning routine in peace and quiet. If silence makes you uneasy, choose something positive to play in the background. Just be sure to choose a feel-good show or music station. Even if you have it on as background noise, your brain still listens and records what it hears.
If you don’t already do so, incorporate a morning yoga and meditation practice into your daily routine. Both practices have been proven time and again to increase health and vitality, in turn creating positivity.
Dealing With Negative People
Sometimes you just can’t avoid people who love drama. There will always be someone who likes to report the negative news, complain about work, or dump all of his or her problems on anyone who listens. It may even be a close friend or family member who you don’t want to offend.
There’s a simple way to make Negative Nancy stop knocking on your door. Listen to him or her, but don’t offer solutions or feedback. Respond with positivity; find the silver lining for them. If you stay focused on your mission, after a while, this person will stop talking to you about so many negative topics. As a bonus you may even help raise their positivity quotient.
In a social-media-rich world you probably have a few online accounts and profiles. Use them to spread positivity. The more positivity you put out in the world, the more you’ll receive. Follow pages and people that are funny, encouraging, and empowering, and share the posts that make you smile. You’ll begin to see a change in your friends and connections. Just by posting good thoughts, you’ll become a source of positivity for others. Your network of friends will look forward to your posts, and by “teaching” your social media connections, you’ll learn to be more positive yourself. Also take advantage of the inspiring pages you find to brighten up your day when the negative thoughts try to creep in.
Movies and entertainment have a lingering effect on the viewer. If you’re mindful of the movies you watch and the entertainment you seek out, it can save you a lot of worry, depression, and nightmares in your future.
Let’s say your best friend loves horror movies and you’re always the first on the invite list. She can sit through all the gore and screams without any afterthought. You, on the other hand, find the gory scenes disturbing and replay them in your mind long after the movie ends. This is where it pays to be honest. Tell your friend that you’d love to spend time with her, but that horror movies don’t sit well with you. Suggest an alternate activity that aligns with your positivity goals and supports a healthier mind-body state.
Build Yourself Up During Down Time
Your kid’s soccer practice, the train ride home from work, the doctor’s office—there’s a lot of sitting around and waiting in daily life. Why not turn this down time into an opportunity for positive reinforcement? Carry a book that’s about a positive topic—something that makes you happy, motivates you, or stimulates your brain in some way. Stimulation of the brain creates self-confidence, good health, and happiness … all positive outcomes.
Don’t Be So Serious
As adults, we’re programmed to believe that we should act accordingly. What does that even mean? Don’t be afraid to dance, be silly, and enjoy all that life throws your way. It’s easy to get wrapped up in your job, bills, house, or laundry. But you can find ways to make those daily tasks just a little more fun. Play loud music or dance your way through the house while cleaning. Laugh at yourself when you feel you’ve made a mistake, and don’t beat yourself up if others laugh too.
Last Thoughts of the Day
As you wind down for the night and the thoughts of the day zoom through your head, allow them to replay without judgment. If some part of your day did not go as planned, acknowledge it, take your lesson, then detach from it. This will help you get a better night of sleep, which is always positive.
Just as you did in the morning, kick-start your evening with a few positive statements. These affirmations could focus on what you want more of in your life or what you would like to keep. Start your statements with the words “I am,” regardless of whether or not the statement is a reality yet. An evening meditation will also help you stay positive. If you’re new to meditation, try the free Oprah and Deepak 21-Day Meditation Experience to begin your journey.
These steps to positive change don’t happen overnight, but the act of awareness helps to start the process. Remind yourself of your goals, implement one change at a time, and don’t get upset if you slip—adding stress to any situation takes away a positive result.
Sending positivity from my computer to yours.