Be Positive Amidst Negativity with these 4 Tips
If you have been reading my other articles or listening to my podcast, you know that I am a big believer in controlling your thoughts and staying solution-oriented. As a life coach for entrepreneurs, I can tell you for a fact that your mindset can lead to the success or failure of your business.
However, I know that positive thinking may be difficult at times. In this article, we will discuss why it is tempting to be negative and provide tips to stay positive amidst a challenging environment.
The appeal of negativity
As a human, you are attracted to pessimistic or negative thoughts due to several reasons.
- Hardwired into your genes. Back in the caveman days your ancestors constantly were on high alert. This behavior helped them stay safe. The survivors passed on their personality traits, encoded into your genes.
- Negative feelings are more relatable than positive feelings. Consequently, most people default to sharing bad, difficult, and unpleasant things.
- Pessimism can give you a false form of superiority. It shifts the blame to someone or something other than you. False superiority can cause you or someone else to say things like:
- You see it wasn’t MY fault!
- If they did it THIS way, we wouldn’t have these problems!
The bodies response to stress and negativity
When your body experiences stressful or difficult situations, your sympathetic nervous system immediately launches into survival mode. At that moment you can choose to:
- Fight -engage in physical or verbal attacks
- Flop – pass out from exhaustion or sleep for an extended period of time
- Flight – avoid the negative stimuli (person, place or thing)
- Fawn – use flattery to appeal to a person that intimidates or scares you
- Freeze – sit and do not nothing. When you freeze, you allow the shame and self-pity to reinforce your already low feelings about yourself and your situation.
Engaging in negativity is neither cute nor innocent. Just like everything else in the word, there is a price to pay for it. Next, let’s discuss the cost of negative thinking.
The high cost of negativity
It will get you sick, literally
Negativity and chronic stress is cancer-inducing. When you focus on distressing or upsetting things, it fuels your body with stress hormones like cortisol and norepinephrine, which kills off your fighter T-cells, mutates other cells, and can lead to cancer or other diseases.
Emotional pain is addictive
You can and will be seduced into negativity through constant and repeated exposure. The pain is addictive and is no different from addictions to money, fame, sex, or drugs.
Your subconscious plays back all the negative things people say and do. As a result, you will repeat it in one form or another because your brain works like an awesome supercomputer. Engaging with pessimistic, judgmental, critical, and suspicious ideas reinforces them with each exposure.
I hope this emphasizes the point. You cannot afford the luxury of negativity. Let’s discuss how you can stay positive, even during moments of trial or frustration.
Let me tell you the unsexy part of healing.— Denise Lee (@DeniseGLee) August 8, 2023
And that includes something that is simple, yet so darn hard to do:
Paying attention to the words you tell yourself.
If you were raised in a painful childhood, you were routinely exposed it criticism and negativity.
How to stay positive in a negative environment
Limit your exposure to negativity
Just because someone wants to be negative, it doesn’t mean you need to participate as an audience member. The moment your business is over with them, politely excuse yourself from their presence. Don’t poison your mind with their distorted thinking.
I understand this may not be possible, but you can remedy it by confronting the issue directly. You can say, “Hey, I know you feel upset about this. We have been talking about this for a long time. Are you interested in finding a solution? Otherwise, I don’t think this conversation is helpful to you or me.”
Protecting your mental health is just as important as your physical or spiritual health.
Telling someone this fact may make them aware of their own self-destructive tendencies. Don’t be upset if they respond negatively; emotionally wounded people may lack the clarity to understand how their behavior affects others.
Embrace somatic healing
“Somatic healing” refers to anything related to the body. You are a soul encased in a physical body, and you need to send messages to your body that everything is alright. This will help soothe your vagus nerve and free your body from a sympathetic nervous system response.
Meditation and breathwork are methods that can assist you. They will help you shift your thoughts from negativity towards positivity. You can also consider low-impact exercises like yoga, tai chi, or walking.
Paying attention to your inner dialog
If you experienced a painful childhood, you were usually exposed to criticism and negativity regularly. Everyone around you would be negative, making you negative too. As a result, you may have developed self-defeating behavior such as overeating, procrastination, and condemning people online who don’t agree with you.
When you reflect on it, it all leads back to the words you tell yourself, such as “it’s impossible” or “I can’t do it.” Your words hold immense power and can affect you more than you think. So, don’t use them to destroy your ambitions, rather use them to build the life you desire.
Zoom into solutions
Finally, instead of looking at things globally and fixating on the problems and obstacles, focus on your opportunities.
Get curious and explore all the ways you can take advantage of a seemingly impossible situation.
I want look at each and every way you can improve yourself or your situation. Write them down. Discuss them with our mentor, coach or therapist. Even if you cannot change other people or your situation, you can view how you see things.
Finally, I will share my conclusion on how to stay positive.
Choosing to be positive can be daunting, even when you know that it is the best option to choose. By actively de-stimulating yourself from stress, limiting your exposure to negative thinking, and investing in your physical and emotional health, you can and will stay positive amidst the most daunting challenges.
If you need more help, don’t hesitate to work with me.