The TRUTH about negativity
Negativity or negative states of mind affect most people from time to time. But negative people dwell on negative thoughts for too long and create suffering in themselves and others. They may be harsh, over critical, pessimistic or just plain awkward.
Negative people are like vampires that suck out all your energy if you let them! When you react or retaliate, you start to think negatively yourself. So how can you protect yourself from negativity?
Protect yourself from negativity
I’ve noticed that when you spend time with negative people, you start to think like them. You don’t always realise this at the time, but negativity is contagious! It spreads like wildfire and many people encounter it on a daily basis.
I was recently watching a football (soccer) match on television. Before the game was finished, supporters of the losing team made their way to the exits. The negative energy seemed to be growing as the team were heckled by the remaining fans.
Every time they kicked the ball, choruses of discontent echoed throughout the stadium. Although you cannot avoid negativity, you can safeguard yourself from it.
As a blogger, I always produce my best work when I feel good. If you don’t know how to deal with negativity, then this could lower your vibration. The good news is that there are ways of protecting yourself and keeping you safe. These approaches have helped me and I know they can help you too.
1. Mindful breathing (15 minutes daily)
Mindful breathing is a mindfulness technique when you focus your attention on your breathing. It is better to practice mindful breathing in a quiet room where you are less likely to be interrupted.
I learned this technique on Greater Good in Action – Science-based practices for a meaningful life: a website that teaches you evidence-based free mindfulness training.
Here is how it works
- Sit comfortably in a chair with your spine in an upright position.
Shut your eyes.
Focus your attention on your breath. Focus on your breath as it flows in and out of your body.
Don’t try to control your breathing, just observe your breath as it flows in and out.
Is your breathing shallow or deep? Do you notice any sensations in the body, as the air flows in and out? I have found this simple technique very useful for bringing your attention to the present moment.
Mindfulness is a fantastic tool for distancing yourself from negativity. This meditation will help protect you from your own negativity, as well as the negative energy you may pick up from other people. I find that mindful breathing helps to put your thoughts into perspective. It also is a useful way to enhance your focus and perception.
When you have a moment or two, throughout the day, pay attention to your breathing. It doesn’t need to take long, a few moments. There are many opportunities throughout the day when you could observe your breathing. Waiting for a bus, in a queue at the shopping centre and so on.
2. Don’t react to negative people
When you react angrily to other people, your reaction’s feed your own negativity. Thoughts feed your emotions, that in turn influence how you behave.
This means that choosing to focus your attention on a person’s negative behaviour will influence how you act. This is why paying attention to your thoughts is so important.
You are not in control of all your thoughts, but you are in control of what you choose to spend time focusing on. Thinking about negative thoughts creates more negative thoughts. Instead of reacting negatively to another person’s behaviour, choose to focus your attention on something else.
Walk the dog, read a new book or learn a new skill. There are tonnes of more interesting things to do than reacting to negative people. Make a conscious decision to focus your attention elsewhere.
3. Don’t complain…….
Have you ever met a serial complainer? I’ve met a few! A serial complainer is someone who never stops complaining. They complain about everything and everyone. I hear them at the bus stop, the petrol station and even the local chip shop. Normally when there is a change of any kind, they are against it.
Complaining strengthens negativity inside yourself. For many people, complaining is a bad habit, for other people complaining is a way of life!
You have to make a decision to be committed to your own happiness. This means you need an abundant mindset, complaining strengthens the negativity inside yourself. When you do this, the Law of attraction brings you more things to complain about. The result is that you attract more negativity into your life.
4. Don’t ‘Binge watch’
The Guardian published an article ‘Is binge-watching bad for your mental health?’.‘Binge watching’ is spending long periods of time watching television. It has become a social norm for people to admit they spend long periods of time watching one film after another!
However, too much of anything is not good for you! Science is now recognising the negative impact of so-called ‘binge-watching’ on your mental health.
The way in which television programmes and films are being delivered is evolving. The popularity of online streaming services like Netflix have made watching television more addictive and convenient.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the US, watching television is one of the most common leisure activities in the US. On average, a person spends 2 hours and 49 minutes per day watching TV.
The Guardian in their own independent research found that 35% of the people in their study admitted that they do ‘binge-watch’. This was people who watched 2-5 hours of TV in a row on a daily basis. The people who admitted to ‘binge-watching’ reported higher levels of stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms.
If you are a ‘binge watcher’, and need your daily Netflix fix, by gradually reducing the time you spend in front of the television, will help protect you against negativity. Doing things in moderation will help you feel good, and improve your physical and mental health.
A Mantra is a basic, subtle arrangement of sounds and syllables that repeat over and over. Every Mantra corresponds to a specific vibrational state: It could be abundance, self-esteem, confidence, health, well-being or spiritual protection. Check out my blog post Tune into the sound of abundance that discusses the benefits of using mantras.
The repetition of listening, chanting or singing the mantra, activates the vibration within your conscious awareness. The Ganesha mantra helps you by removing obstacles and dissolving negative states.
“Om Gan Ganpataye Namah”
About a year ago, I was watching you tube and found Dr Pillai’s channel Pillai Centre Practice. Dr Pillai is a world-renowned yogi, spiritual teacher and PhD graduate. He teaches these mantras or ‘power sounds’, as a way of connecting to higher states of consciousness and empowering other people.
The mantras are made up of phonemes, which are basic forms of sound. “Om” and “Gum” are very subtle, but powerful sounds. These sounds are amazingly effective when you chant them over and over again. In this way, these power sounds become activated in your consciousness.
Dr Pillai teaches ‘phonemic intelligence’ as a science subject. Perhaps one day it will be taught in all schools around the world.
The Ganesha mantra is amazingly powerful, check out this version of the “Om Gan Ganpataye Namah” on you-tube by Dr Nipun Aggarwal.
6. Mindful walking (eyes open)
‘Mindful walking’ is sometimes called ‘walking meditation’. This practice involves going for a walk in the fresh air and becoming aware of how your body feels as you move. Similar to mindful breathing where you follow the breath in and out of the body, this practice involves being aware of your posture, gait and movement as you walk.
Mindful walking allows you to connect to the present moment in the comfort of nature.Walking makes you feel alive and gives you energy. Anything that makes you feel in the moment, alleviates negativity. Remember negativity doesn’t exist in the present moment.
The added benefit to ‘mindful walking’ is that it is not only a form of meditation but also a form of exercise. There are both physical and mental health benefits of this practice.
I recently read this interesting article: ‘9 Reasons to try mindful walking’ on the Chopra Centre by Adam Brady. This article discusses the health benefits of mindful walking.
7. ‘Laughter is the best form of medicine’
Everybody enjoys a good laugh! but, I bet you didn’t know that it improves your health! Laughter improves your mood, relaxes your muscles and eases tension.
Check out this fascinating blog post by Helpguide.org Laughter is the best medicine: The Health Benefits of Humor and Laughter.
Don’t take life too seriously. Learn to laugh at yourself and lighten up, because a sense of humour is a natural medicine. It is also an attractive quality that will protect you from negativity and make you feel good.
8. Set clear goals and work towards achieving them
When you make the decision to set clear goals and take action towards achieving them, you start to feel good. The way that your neurology works, is that every time that you move closer to achieving your goal, you start to feel better.
Working towards your goals gives your life clarity and purpose. This in itself protects you from negativity because the challenge of working towards your goals forces you to grow as a person.
9. Stop worrying and start living
“I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them have never happened.”
― Mark Twain
If you can’t stop worrying, then ask yourself these questions: What is the worst thing that could happen? What if this nightmare became a reality? Is it really that bad?
In most cases what you have been worrying about, is not that bad. It’s more of a setback than a complete disaster. By finding out what the worst case scenario actually is, you can find a solution to the problem. Sometimes this helps to put your worries into perspective.
Worrying destroys your ability to think properly. Relax and forget all your problems for a few moments. Slow down and remember that worrying simply isn’t worth it.
10. An attitude of gratitude
I think of gratitude as giving attention and appreciation for the beauty of things in this moment. Recognise the goodness in small details first. Look at the colour of the sky, the shapes of the clouds, and listen to the sounds that come and go in the distance.
It is impossible to be in a negative state when you have an attitude of gratitude. Look at the abundance that exists in every moment of life. This works best when you are calm and relaxed. When you start looking for moments of gratitude, you quickly find other things to be grateful for.
- Try Mindful breathing
- Don’t react to negative people
- Don’t complain
- Don’t ‘binge-watch’ TV
- Try The Ganesha mantra
- Try mindful walking
- Laugh a lot!
- Set clear goals
- Stop worrying and start living
- Have an attitude of gratitude
Also published on Medium.