From time immemorial, humans have worked hard to keep things positive. No doubt, this is due to the fact that negative thinking can cause such devastating effects in all areas of life! Think about it for a moment: How does negative thinking affect your personal life? Do people enjoy being around you when you’re in a grumpy, negative mood? If you’re always the naysayer in the group, do you find people want to come to you for help with innovative projects? Or, do you find yourself being handed boring, repetitive tasks simply because you’re so much easier to deal with when you are doing something that won’t cause you to protest?
Negativity and pessimism can affect you internally, too. They can pervade every single bit of your life, and prevent really good things from coming to you. In short, negativity makes life more difficult than it needs to be. Here are five easy ways you can eradicate it, right now – and start living a life that is happier and more meaningful.
Notice Negative Thoughts, Then Get Rid of Them
Pay attention to your state of mind. How do you approach things? How do you think? Ask yourself these questions as you go about your daily routine. Are you silently judging other people as they go by? Are you criticizing people for their weight, or their clothing, or their lack of sophistication? Maybe you’re criticizing yourself each time you look in the mirror.
Learn to stop negative thinking immediately. Turn it around, and find something – anything – positive to think in its place. For instance, if you’re thinking about how awful it is that your friend is always late, switch gears and think, instead, about how much you are looking forward to talking together when he arrives. Greet him with a smile, rather than a pointed look at your wristwatch, and see how much more you enjoy interacting.
If you are feeling particularly pessimistic, and having difficulty eradicating a negative thought or overall negative mood, find something to laugh at. Find something to feel good about. Start by smiling to yourself. You’ll find that when you move the muscles in your face into a smile, you’ll suddenly start to think positively.
The more you do this, the easier it will be. So, keep practicing, and whatever you do, don’t beat yourself up for having negative thoughts. They happen to the best of us.
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Do Something Kind for Someone
If you are having a terrible day, and thinking thoughts about how awful things are, and how bad a place this world is, it’s
time to make yourself feel good. Find a coworker, a family member, a friend, or a complete stranger, and practice a random act of kindness. You’ll give yourself – and them – a much needed boost, and you’ll suddenly wonder why you felt so negative. Remember the Grinch? When he helped the Who people celebrate Christmas, his heart grew three sizes – or so Dr. Seuss says! The same thing will happen to you, whenever you show kindness.
Take A Little Walk
Fresh air and exercise can really help banish negativity. When you get your heart rate up, your brain releases chemicals that make you feel good. So, get moving!
Clean Up Your Environment
Have you ever noticed that when you are in a place that is clean and orderly, your mood feels better and more stable? That’s no accident! If you live in a home that is cluttered with kids’ toys, heaps of laundry just waiting for you to handle it, and a million unfinished projects, or if your desk is perpetually buried beneath stacks of unfinished work, then it’s likely that much of the negativity you are experiencing could be cleared up just by taking care of the tasks that have piled up over time.
There are a few ways to approach the task – and as every mess is different, no one way is better than another.
First, stop looking at your clutter as something negative. Instead, view it as a task that you can handle, that will make you feel great when you are finished. Second, make a plan for cleaning up. Be sure it’s a plan you can actually handle! Either pick a day to make a clean sweep, or assign yourself tasks day by day. Either way, when you remove the things that cause negativity to accumulate, you clear space for better, more positive things to come into your life.
Second, get rid of things you don’t use. Recycle what can be recycled, donate what ought to be donated, and shred old documents that you’ll never need again. It can be helpful to listen to your favorite music, and feel a joyful sense of space opening around you as you go through the process of clearing this negative clutter from your life. You really don’t need it! You’re better off without it! So, get rid of it.
Meditate to Stop Negative Thinking
Beginning a practice of meditation not only clears negativity from your mind, it is good for your body as a whole. People who meditate benefit in a variety of ways – they enjoy lower blood pressure and a better sense of well being. They tend to have clear, lucid thoughts, and they sleep better at night.
Does meditating take a lot of effort? Not really! You might be surprised to learn that you can meditate very easily and quickly. All it takes is some positive attention to the life inside yourself. Here’s how to do it.
Find a quiet space to relax, and close your eyes gently.
Focus your energy on each of your muscle groups, one at a time. If you feel tense, relax your muscles.
Focus on your breathing. Focus on breathing in, and then focus on breathing out. Feel the air entering your nostrils and passing through to your lungs. You are alive and breathing – and you are meditating!
Once you learn how to meditate, you’ll very likely discover that making a daily practice of finding the peace within yourself benefits you greatly – and you’ll also find that you’ve got a lot less negativity to deal with, on every level.
Whatever you do to banish negativity, remember – you are doing something good for yourself, and making yourself into a better person. That, in itself, is worth being happy about!