Negativity can be defined as the expression of criticism of or pessimism about something. It has a great influence on how we all live our daily lives, and it is important to learn how to control it.
I personally - like every other human being - have been a victim of negative thoughts and negative people around me, which did nothing but bring me down most of the time. At some stage in our lives, one must make a turning point and focus on the positive aspects in life, in order to succeed and use your mind as efficiently as you possibly can.
I have tried to educate myself on the psychology of negative thinking, and read several books on how to maintain a positive lifestyle and way of thinking; from the period which I spent reading on this, I realized several methods which can be implemented by anybody to decrease the influence of negativity in one's life. I do not in any shape or form claim that I am an expert in this field, I simply read and implemented several ways and found out what works best for me personally, and decided to share it with my readers today.
Before I get into anything, I would like to refer to the Placebo effect which is a commonly used medical procedure which is designed to seem like a 'real' medical treatment, but it actually isn't. I would like to just appoint fingers to it because it is an amazing example of how powerful your mind can be (If you don't understand much on it, look it up on google I promise its interesting to read about). I am currently reading The Charisma Myth by Olivia Fox Cabane and the book mentions the Placebo effect from the very beginning of the book (click here to read my thoughts on the book).
Firstly, I will list down several real physical influences of negativity on the body, hoping that it becomes an eye opener to many of you falling due to negativity:
- Negativity is known to cause fatigue
- Negativity affects your respiratory system, which again can cause fatigue due to shallow breathing
- Negativity is a fundamental cause of stress, which influences the heart's function. Many cardiac diseases are caused from stress
- Negative emotions and thinking cause the amygdala (what I like to call the center of emotions in the limbic brain) to release some form of alert to the rest of the body, to prepare it for a 'fight or flight' mode, causing stress. If the nervous system is in this mode, the body's self-repair mechanisms no longer function as efficiently as they usually do
Those were a few points that I personally read on, but the topic of negativity and its physical effects on our health has countless articles and books to read from.
So what measures can you implement on your life to reduce this negative effect? I have put together some of the tips that worked for me in the last few years, and will continue to use for the rest of my life in order to minimize negativity around me; as I have come to noticing that staying positive brings out the best in me.
- One of my favorite ways to get rid or control negativity is to choose to focus on the most valuable reality that I have in my life. I have so many things that I dislike in my life, which are a source of negativity. However, whenever I get negative thoughts I always shift my focus on the most valuable reality that I am grateful for: such as the ability to talk, spend time with my family and friends, and the ability to travel and see the world. Always remember the most valuable reality which you have, and embrace it.
- Sometimes, physical exercise is the key to getting rid of negative thoughts. I have experienced many times where I felt extremely negative and it was possible to eliminate those thoughts by hitting the gym! I also observed a noticeable mood change every-time I begin my day with a workout. I find myself much more productive during the day, and far less negative. Exercise is great food for the brain, it has the ability to remove any tension or stress by increasing levels of "soothing" brain chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Try it out whenever you feel stressed or controlled by negative thoughts, you will notice the difference!
- Keeping positive company is also a very efficient way of removing any negative thoughts. I always tell those who I care about to surround themselves with people who bring the best out of them, and not try to bring you down in any way. I have figured out who my real friends are, and decided to remain surrounded by them as they do make me feel happiest. My family, especially my sisters, also plays an important role in this. My advice to all of you is to stay connected with people who make you happy, laugh, and feel special and not those who bring you down by negativity, or mean comments and such.
- Fixing the negative thoughts by working on whatever is making you feel and think negatively is probably the most valuable advice I have ever received. Identify why you have those negative thoughts, and work on them in order to eliminate them permanently. One quick example is negativity due to body image or physical discomfort; if you have such thoughts then work hard to achieve the body goal you aim for yourself. It may be difficult at the time being, but in the long run you will be most thankful that you worked on it instead of having negative thoughts about it.
- Starting the day with positive thoughts has a tremendous effect on how you proceed with your day. This again brings us back to the Placebo effect and its power on us physically; the mind is something you should never underestimate. Negative thoughts closes off your brain, making it focus only on the negatives in the life surrounding you and this leads to missing many chances or opportunities of happiness; on the other hand, positive thinking reduces many health risks such as cardiac disease, increases life span, lowers level of stress, etc.
Please do share with me your thoughts and opinion on how you control negativity, I'd be delighted to learn.