8 Tips to Help Chase Your Negativity Away
Chasing Away Negativity
“Life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% of how I react to it.” – Mark Swindoll
“I don’t speak whine-ese!” My parents used to tell me this when I was younger and whining. This was their way of telling me, “Look, you’re not going to gain anything by whining and complaining about not getting your way.” Still, in my young adult years, I have found that I do a lot of whining in the form of complaining and grumbling—thus, becoming a Negative Nelly.
The reality is that life will always be faced with challenges that I don’t necessarily want or enjoy; but, what will whining and complaining about it get me? Absolutely nothing, other than maybe a sign on my back saying, “Keep away,” because who wants to listen to negativity 24/7?
Now, how do we take things that happen to us that we don’t feel we deserve and turn them into something positive instead of negative? From what I’ve learned there are multiple ways:
1. Learn from It
There is always something to be learned from any situation— take my fibromyalgia, for example. My fibro is not fun and I don’t think I deserve to have it; but, I have learned many things that I wouldn’t have learned without it, such as time management. I often need to save my physical energy for what really matters, and fibro has taught me to plan a specific time to get my prioritized tasks finished for the day so that I can do smaller tasks at the end of the day when I’m more worn out and fatigued. What are you learning from your specific situation?
2. Find the Good in It
Every cloud has a silver lining, just as every night turns into day. Even if what you’re going through right now is the absolute worst possible thing you could imagine going through, there is almost always some good to be found in it. This one is hard because honestly, you will find that you will need to ask God to show you the good in the situation. I still struggle with this one myself; and, even if He hasn’t revealed it to me yet, I know there is a good reason behind it. Have you tried to look for the good that can come from your situation? Maybe, helping another person who is going through something similar?
3. Choose to be Positive
Over the past couple months, mornings have been impossible for me. Waking up, I find myself thinking, “Ugh, today’s going to be the worst.” What have I just done there? I set a NEGATIVE attitude for the day. How do you think my mood would be if I woke up and thought to myself, “Wow, I’m awake, breathing, and able to live another day! Today is going to be a good day.” I set an entirely different tone for the day. Try starting your day off with a positive attitude. If you wake up in a bad mood, then go look in the mirror and say to yourself, “(your name), you’re going to have a good day whether you like it or not. You get another opportunity to make a difference in the world, even if it’s only by just being cheerful, so let’s make the best of it.”
4. Set the Tone for the Day.
For me, the best way to set a positive tone for the day is through prayer and worship. The moment I wake up, I let go of all of my complaints and give them to God and worship Him for all His love and goodness; and nothing makes me happier than some peppy music in the morning!!! For you, this may look different— maybe it’s your coffee or exercising, maybe even a nice hot shower; but, whatever it may be, make the first moments of your morning enjoyable, and you’re more likely to respond better to all that life throws your way that day. I know that my husband, Jackson, loves to start off his morning by listening to either Classical or Jazz music to set a cheerful vibe. That might not be your thing, but come up with at least two things you can do in the mornings to make you feel positive and ready to conquer the day.
For some of you, just the thought of exercise will send you crying; but, it is scientifically proven to boost your mood! By boosting your mood and giving your body the proper exercise it needs to fully function, your mind will be clearer and more alert to respond positively to negative outcomes during the day. I urge you to at least start out by trying to exercise at least two times a week. If that’s difficult, then start at just one day and then work your way up to as many days as you can possibly do (while giving your body at least one day a week to rest and recover).
6. Get some vitamin D
One of the biggest reasons you feel down all of the time is the lack of vitamin D in your system. If you live in the colder and darker regions of the world, then you know this to be incredibly true. The less sun you’re exposed to, the more likely you are to suffer from depression symptoms. For some of you, your best option might be to take a vitamin D supplement to increase your levels (due to being in those colder and darker regions), while others just need to spend some time in the sun! Just be careful to not overexpose yourself to the sun!!! We don’t want to get melanoma! You could do both tip 5 and 6 at the same time if you decided to go jogging or some other outdoor activity in the morning.
To be more specific, laugh! Laugh often. The saying, “Laughter is the best medicine,” is absolutely true. I’ve had situations in my life that I have become so down that when I began to laugh I couldn’t stop. I would literally laugh until I cried, and it always leaves me feeling so light, as though a burden has been lifted!!!
P.S. 10-15 minutes of laughter a day burns around 10-40 calories!!! (Comedy show anyone??)
8. Prepare for the hard days
We have all lived long enough to know that life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. Knowing this fact means what? That we should prepare ourselves for the harder days to come. There are many different ways to emotionally prepare yourself for those upcoming hard days. For myself, reading scripture and arming myself with the Word of God is the best way to prepare for any battle that I will face. Other methods of preparation can be found through reading personal development books and by listening to podcasts or audiobooks. By preparing yourself for harder days, you will find it easier to overcome the temptation of becoming negative.
All of these different methods are things that I have learned over the years to help me not have a negative mindset. Now, I am far from mastering the skill of being a positive person, and some days I find falling myself falling into the trap of whining and complaining; but, God has been working in my heart to help me become a more grateful and positive person. The best way to enjoy life is to be grateful for it.
Carpe Diem—Seize the day. Enjoy every moment.