Negativity is a habit that spreads endlessly. It can spread from one part of your day to the next, from one interaction to the next, and from one person to the next. It takes a lot of work to remove yourself from negativity, each and every day. But there are small habits that you can work on breaking, that will make you feel so much better once you step away from them.
I’ve been working a lot on negative thoughts, feelings, and relationships lately, and these steps have helped me so much!
- Complaining instead of being thankful. It’s so easy to focus on what you don’t have– you want more money, a better car, a better house, a better job, a fitter body. But there is so much that each and everyone of us do have. The more you focus on being appreciative and grateful for what you have, the more happiness you will unlock. Instead of always dreaming of a new house or car, clean up the one you have right now, and take pride that it’s yours!
- Letting others define you. Everyone likes to give their opinion on everything, but at the end of the day, you’re the only one that can make you happy. Sometimes it’s hard to not let others’ comments drag on you, but if people are criticizing you and your life, there’s probably something in their own life that they aren’t happy about. I’ve told the story before how a former friend said that I had a “superiority complex” for eating healthy and taking care of my body. Am I happy with my body and enjoy exercising and eating well? YEP. Should I stop doing what makes me happy because someone decided it makes them insecure? NOPE.
- Treating your body poorly. You only have one body. Take care of it! This doesn’t mean hating your body and punishing it through extreme diets and exercise. This means taking care of yourself in a multifaceted way. Get enough sleep. Go outside for a walk. Wear sunscreen. Pick a leafy green salad instead of a burger and fries. All of the little things add up to feeling better.
- Gossiping. Sometimes it’s really hard not to talk about other people. Especially if they have wronged you. But talking about them doesn’t help you, it just keeps you attached to the negativity. Learn from people, and move on. I recently learned the term “positive gossiping”, which means talking up others when they aren’t around, and it’s something that I have tried to practice more often! You never know how actively spreading positivity can change someone’s day.
- Comparing. In the age of social media, we’re comparing our lives to others 24/7. We all know what we post isn’t the whole story, and what other people post isn’t the whole story. Some of the most miserable people I have ever met are some of the most “popular” people on the internet. Its fake. People photoshop their bodies. People pause their GPS while they run to make their paces look good for a photo. People brag about relationships that are crumbling in real life. Remind yourself of this daily and do not worry about how other people make their lives look online.
- Fearing. I used to live in fear of a lot of things. I hated trying new things. I hated meeting new people. I didn’t go do things that might be fun, because maybe they wouldn’t be fun. Last year, one of my goals was to stop saying no to things for no reason. If a job opportunity comes along that is unfamiliar but could be amazing, take it. If someone seems like they might be a good friend, ask them them to coffee. If you want to go to something but don’t have anyone to go with, go anyways. There are so many opportunities hidden behind things that might be a little scary, but we will never know them if we stay where it is safe.
These are the habits that I have been practicing lately. What about you? Are any of these really difficult for you?