overcoming depression

How To Overcome Negativity: Six Steps

How To Overcome Negativity

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.

6.  Believe

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.

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How To Break Through Your Emotional Wall

How To Break Through your Emotional Wall

Remember when you were a kid and something made you sad and you had no problem telling the world about it?  It was now your duty to make sure the whole world knew just how sad you were.  You would throw a tantrum, looking out of the corner of your eye to make sure everyone was watching.  And if one person was not paying attention, then you would cry just a little bit louder.  Nothing else in the world mattered except making sure people knew that you were sad.  When did that change?  It's amazing how emotionally healthy we really are when we are kids.  When something hurts, you tell someone.  When you are sad, you feel the pain and cry until you feel better.  Only later in life do we learn to stifle our emotions.  In attempts to appear strong, confident or brave, we work really hard to make sure people think we never hurt.  The real effect of this is that we don't acknowledge the emotion to ourselves either.  If we allow ourselves to feel the emotion, we won't be able to contain ourselves and then the world will know we are weak.

What happened to our emotional health?

So many adults live in a quiet desperation.  Happy on the outside and miserable on the inside.  And then we see how happy everyone else is and think there is something wrong with us which makes us more miserable.  What do we do with all this misery?  We shove it down our throats into the depths of our soul and hope it never comes out to play again.  We bury it in a pile of sugar and cheese, we wash it down with beer and vodka, we try to suffocate it with cigarette and weed smoke, and if none of that does the trick, there is a whole pharmacy available to us with legal and illegal options to finish it all off.  We are so desperate to not have to face our inner emotions that we spend thousands of dollars trying to avoid it, even though it is just going to be there again tomorrow.  It is an insane cycle that many of us find ourselves stuck in.

How do we break through the emotional wall?

The problem is we all live in fear.  We are scared that if we face our emotions head on and break through that wall, all we will find on the other side is a life of sadness and misery.  A life where we can't function normally.  A life that is worse than the one we are living now.  We feel like if we tap into our sadness, we will never be able to turn it off again.  But this could not be further from the truth.

The answer is to be brave, stand up, take a deep breath and face those emotions head on.  Let yourself feel every bit of sadness.  Break down the wall and let yourself cry for as long as it takes.  Feel it.  Own it.  Let it in.  And eventually an amazing thing happens - you realize that this is the worst it can get.  The crying, the sadness; it doesn't get any worse.  And if it doesn't get any worse, then it can only get better.  And I promise you this...


But only if you are willing to face these emotions once and for all.  To let go of the fear and go all in.  And remember, you are not alone.  Your friends, your family, and I am here to help you through the hard part.  We are so ready to grab a sledge hammer and help you break down that wall.  All you have to do is ask.  And I promise, if you do that, if you stand up, take a deep breath and start breaking down that wall, what awaits you on the other side is a life of total freedom.

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