Negativity is like a leach. It grabs a hold of you, never letting go, and continues to suck the life right out of you. Once it gets a hold of you, it is really hard to shake it off. We spend our time thinking "What is wrong with me?" instead of "I am a human being. Life is hard. How do I pull myself out of this?" That's why it so important to have a plan in place to get you out of the negativity cycle. When the dark thoughts come knocking, you will be prepared to knock back. Here are six steps that I have found to be super useful in fighting off negativity.
1. Do something about it.
I know this sounds obvious and overly simple, but so many times we think we are powerless to fight back. Nothing could be further from the truth. All you need is a plan. There is something really empowering just knowing that you can take action and find peace and positivity again. So as soon as the negativity starts to overtake you, ask yourself "What event or thought started this negative thinking? What needs to change so I can start feeling better about myself and my life again?" Once you have these answers, you can sit down and make a plan to change the thoughts or behaviors that need to change. And here's the most important part of any plan: action! Once you have your plan, take action!
2. Reprogram your thoughts.
Negativity is mostly brought on by our thoughts. It is this simple: change your thoughts from negative to positive, and you are all set. Sounds easy, right? Of course, it is not that easy. We are so programmed to focus on the negative. I do this all the time. I will play a show for people who are clapping and telling me they loved it. I, however, will leave that night and focus only on the one note I messed up or how I forgot the words to a verse. I have all but forgotten all the nice compliments I received. We all do it. But the good news is, we also have the power to change this. So whenever you are focusing on a negative thought, remind yourself to change that thought to something positive. You have to actually force yourself to do it. Start thinking about all you have accomplished that day. Or all the people who love you. Whatever it is, the more you train yourself to make that switch, the faster it will start to happen on its own. It takes time, but eventually, the positive thoughts will become your default.
3. Share with a close friend.
You are never alone. Sometimes just sharing what you are going through with a friend can totally lift the burden you are carrying. It's amazing how often we think we can just fix our problems all by ourselves or we think we don't want to bother someone. But that is exactly what we were created to do. We were made to love and support each other, so don't hesitate. Call a friend and let them help.
4. Take care of yourself.
The first thing to go when we are feeling negative is nutrition. We don't want to eat kale when we are depressed, we want to eat warm, cheesy pizza. We want comfort food. And although the occasional indulgence can be comforting, what our body really needs is the nutrients and phytochemicals to fight the negativity inside us and lift our mood. If we focus on eating lots of green veggies and raw nuts and seeds, these foods can do wonders for our mood. Drink lots of water and let your body reset. It's also really important to get out and move. Get the blood flowing. Get some fresh air and sunlight. I can't tell you how many bad days were instantly turned around by a 20 minute walk outside. Finish it all off with a good 8 hours of sleep every night. I know how hard it is to take good care of yourself when you are in a bad place, but we need to remember to love ourselves always. Even on bad days.
5. Clean your house
This one might seem a little random, but there is so much peace and joy that comes from cleaing up our surroundings. Especially our house which is our nest. It is our fortress of comfort. And in order for it to be comfortable, it needs to be clean and functional. Make sure you have good seating and a comfortable bed to sleep on (this is something I am personally working on right now). There is also an overwhelming sense of accomplishment when you clean up something that was a mess. It makes us feel like we are cleaning up the mess in our minds as well. Everything is in its right place again. Everything is right with the world again. With a clean house, you can finally have a clean mind.
Finally, none of this will work if you don't believe that it can. You have to turn off your bitterness and believe that you can change your thoughts. If you don't think change is possible, then negativity will settle in and take over. But if you allow yourself to dream and believe that you are made to be happy, then you can take the steps necessary to make that dream a reality! An amazing life of positivity awaits you. The choice is yours.
Lost? Not sure where to go next?