One moment you could be excited, and the next, you’re down and having the worst thoughts ever. This is a common experience for the many of us today, largely due to all the negativity in our immediate surroundings. Social media, friends, colleagues, even family—just about anything and anyone can be the source of negativity. Sad, but that’s the reality we live in. That’s why I’ll share some tips today on how to remove negativity from your life so you can be happier.
It is so important to retreat and deliberately remove negativity from your life! You can even choose to escape from it all for a while. Be it by going offline, or avoiding certain places and people. Whatever the case may be, your mental health is of utmost importance and should not be taken for granted. Never, ever.
If you are facing negativity in your life or something similar, read on as I walk you through some practical tips on how to remove negativity from your life, for good.
1. Identify your areas of negativity
This is the first and most important commandment to remove negativity from your life. This entails pinpointing the reasons you might be a negative thinker in the first instance and the areas of your life that tend to spur negative thoughts.
In order for you to get a solution, you must admit that you have a problem.
You can’t identify these areas if you don’t accept that you have negative thoughts. This requires a quiet time of reflection, so it is best if you put it down on paper. Studies have shown that writing things down tends to reduce stress and increase optimism.
After putting down the possible areas that bring about negative thoughts, you have to change your mindset about them.
2. Focus on the optimistic viewpoint, no matter how small
As there are two sides of a coin, there are also two sides to every situation presented before you—the good and the bad. Find the good aspect of a situation and focus on it.
Change your mindset.
Focus is the key to drifting your mind away from the uncertain “what ifs” to the “what if I can”. In simple terms, what you focus on is what determines it all. For example, if you lost a competition, focus on the knowledge and exposure you have acquired, rather than the “shame” and “lost fame”. This would help relieve the burden of frustration that is likely to sprout.
3. Overcome the fears that hold you back
The main reason you have negative thoughts is because you fear what could happen if you finally decide to act and most times, you get lost in such thoughts.
When faced with such fears, here’s what you should do:
First off, question the negative thought. To remove negativity from your life, you are not burying every negative thought or emotion that pops up in your mind, neither are you avoiding difficult fallings.
They should be faced upfront and questioned. These questions would give you a reality check and bring you up to a positively inclined perspective.
For example, often ask yourself this question; “What is the worst that could happen?”
Most times, if not all, the worst thing that could happen in reality is not as bad as what you imagine it to be. Understanding this fact will help you take action and of course, go a step further in a bid to remove negative thoughts from your life.
4. Do not dwell on past mistakes
This can be done in two ways:
i) Let go of past mistakes
Mistakes from past experiences shouldn’t be the basis of judgment for future occurrences. Most people tend to hold on to their past mistakes and use them to compare with their present or yet to come opportunities, making them think negatively and be reluctant to take action.
ii) Learn from past mistakes
It is one thing to let go of previous mistakes and another thing to learn from them. Learn to take previous failures and turn the next opportunity into success. Let it be a source of motivation for you, rather than it forming a bundle of negative thoughts in your mind.
Take responsibility for your actions. This will help you own up to your mistakes whenever you encounter any problem in life and overcome the fears that may want to prevent you from taking that big step you have been desiring to take.
Acknowledging your mistakes will also help you learn from them!
Where there are failures and disappointments in the previous project, shake them off. Thomas Edison had to try his experiment on the light bulb 1000 times, all of which were failures except the last trial, which was a success.
Push on. There are always lessons to be learned when failure comes. It is either you are stagnant or you learn and be better. This is one of the most effective ways to remove negativity from your life.
5. Take it one step at a time
Do not try to go too fast. Steady and slow eases stress. If you try to take on too much at a time, it might be overwhelming, and negative thoughts on just about anything might start to well up.
Taking things one after the other calms your mind and body, making it easier to think things through and find the optimistic perspective of any and every situation. Stay healthy. Take good care of yourself and only then would you be able to think positively about any situation.
Sleeping well, eating well and exercising daily will give you fewer reasons to have negative thoughts and more reasons to be grateful (am I right, or am I right?).
6. Never compare yourself with others
Ah, the golden rule. This is something natural for all humans. We tend to compare ourselves and then get depressed about it, especially when we are on the “not good enough” end.
Some people might seem to have the perfect life, job, spouse, family, or something you desire but can’t have yet, and this causes you to think about all that you haven’t achieved or a previous mistake you made.
Whatever the case may be, always remember that all fingers aren’t equal (cliché, but please permit me). You don’t know how long it took to get to that level, what, and how they got to that stage nor the pain and suffering they endured just to attain that status. So, there isn’t any need to get jealous over them or immerse yourself in overwhelming negative thoughts. Be yourself and work hard at what you do. Doing this will make it easier for you to remove negativity from your life.
7. Start your day in a positive way
How you start your day is very important. This could be done in ways such as:
i) Performing Activities
Take some time out in the morning to do things that keep you calm. You could pray, read a novel, do some exercises, listen to soothing music—anything that keeps you cool-headed.
ii) Self Affirmations
These are positive statements that are said repeatedly, often daily. Research suggests that repeated actions program the mind to be inclined in that direction. So, the more these affirmations are said, the more the mind works toward that direction. Choose affirmations that are personally meaningful to you. The affirmations can be “I am the best”, “I am beautiful”, “I refuse to have negative thoughts today”, “I have peace of mind”, and so on.
Doing these things will give you a positive boost for your day because how you start your morning usually goes a long way in setting the tone for the rest of your day.
8. Create time for leisure
Here, you can do whatever you love. As simple as it may seem, it can be the hardest because of that project deadline you have to meet up with or your tight schedule which you must follow to the end.
In all these, try to create time for that which you love to do. When you do something you love, you are distracted from feeling sad or having negative thoughts!
9. Spend your time with positive people
There is a common saying that goes: “Show me your friend and I will tell you who you are”. This implies a lot in positive thinking. Negativity and positivity are contagious. The people you spend your time with should be handpicked by you because you are in a transformation phase.
Negative energy can send you tumbling back to scratch and I am pretty sure you don’t want that to happen. The people you spend your time with should be people who are cheerful, humorous, and those who can help bring you out even when it seems you are slipping back into negative thoughts.
Being around positive-minded people has been shown to improve self-esteem as well as increase one’s chances of achieving goals. Surround yourself with people who can uplift you and remove negative thoughts from your life.
10. Bring positivity into the life of someone else
Putting smiles on people’s faces can do you more good than it will do them. It will help you get out of your head and any negative thought that is sprouting. It also boosts your self-confidence and self-esteem. By giving you a sense of accomplishment, you are provided with the necessary mind power to take actions without having negative thoughts.
How do you do this?
Be kind to others; you could buy lunch for a friend, give a heartfelt compliment on their clothes or style.
Give a listening ear; a friend might just need someone to listen to his venting. Just listen and try helping out either with advice or just a consolation.
Contribute your quota to your society. When you can focus on what you have to give to your society, you will feel good about what you have. You could donate to an orphanage home or the construction of a school building.
This and many more you can do to shift your concentration whenever you see that you are slipping back into negative thinking.
11. Let out your feelings
At the end of your day, it will do you good to write down every unpleasant situation that occurred during the day. This will get it off your mind, preventing any kind of negative thoughts and as well give you a good night’s rest. Sounds like a win-win if you ask me.
12. Understand that your positivity lies within you
Do not rely on any external factor, whether a person or otherwise, to make you happy or spur your positivity. Remember that no one owes you anything. Yes, they might make you happy sometimes but it might not go that way every single time. So, you must understand that only you have the power to focus your mind on being positive.
With this mindset, you won’t be hurt whether things go according to your expectations or not.
Finally, to reiterate, the key to having a positive mindset is first of all accepting that you have negative thoughts. Focus on the renewal of your mindset, see every situation in a positive light as much as you can and you will discover that your consequences, in reality, are not as bad as what you imagined them to be.
Try as much as possible never to dwell on your mistakes. Do not use your past mistakes to judge present or future opportunities. Do not try to take too much at a time. Take breaks in between tasks.
Stay healthy. Eat, sleep well, exercise daily, and make sure you hydrate yourself to avoid unnecessary weakness and illness. Also, spend your time around positive people who can lift your mood. Bring positivity into the life of other people too by helping out and being kind to them.
Make sure you don’t bottle up your feelings. Let it out by writing it down or talking to a close friend about it. Above all, you must understand that your positivity lies within you. Do not rely on anyone to spur your positivity.
Removing negativity from your life has several benefits, including higher energy levels and a better outlook on life! This will lower the tendency for you to fall into depression, thereby making you live your life to the fullest while learning and re-learning from the situations life throws at you.
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