How to Fight Negativity

 

By LISA SWAN

It’s hard to get away from negativity. After all, that’s what is in the paper every morning, leads the news every night, and surrounds us even when you’re just going to read your Facebook page. In addition, it is easy to feel negative when facing the everyday struggles of life.

While it’s true that we need to hear some negativity in life – if your business is about to close due to financial issues, you have to confront that — you cannot let negativity control your life.  So what can you do to not let the bad things in the world affect you, without putting your head in the sand? Here are some tips:

Hang around with positive people, and tune out negative ones

Stop listening with both ears to Debbie Downer co-workers and family friends who are constant complainers. All they can do is bring you down. Instead, you have certain alternatives. You can say something like “Sorry to hear that,” and not engage any further. You can change the subject and try to bring up a more positive topic. Or you can just tune them out politely. Don’t let others bad moods and complaints change your sunny outlook. Instead, you can could something like “Sorry to hear that,” and not engage any further.  Realize that you cannot change others; only yourself. And make sure you also have positive people in your life who boost you up and give you reason to smile.

Keep things that make you happy around you

Photos of happy memories, books that inspire you and music that you enjoy can make a difference in lifting up your mood.  Whether it is at work or at home, why not have things around you that make you feel good? It can help you get centered when you are having an awful day. Something else you can do is read positive quotes and books to help put you in a better frame of mood.

Limit your media intake

There is a difference between being informed and being inundated when it comes to the news. Having a news channel playing on in the background will fill you with negative news all day. Letting your smartphone send you an alert on news stories will send you something sad and depressing all throughout the day. Surfing the web to read the news can sometimes lead to getting caught in the vortex of negativity.  Local TV news is particularly sensational; good at scaring people on things that won’t really affect them.

This is not to say that you should completely avoid the media, but limit your intake – hearing the highlights once or twice a day is sufficient – and avoid things like local news and trashy programs that only serve to inflame, not inform.

When appropriate, allow yourself to feel the mood, even if it isn’t good

There are times, of course, when being upset or angry is perfectly appropriate, and you shouldn’t keep yourself from feeling bad then. Putting on a happy face when something serious is going on in your life is not a way to live. The key is to not wallow in a bad mood, and to ultimately deal with what you are feeling.

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