Yesterday, I heard from a close friend that one of her best friends had died. He was in his thirties.
The week before that, my husband ended up in the ER because of a horrible accident in our garage.
Here are headlines you may be familiar with:
Kids shot in gang violence.
Sports players doped up on steroids and publicly shunned.
Big Corporation Fraud.
Does the nightly news report anything positive in the world?
The other night, I turned on the news. Normally, my husband is the one who has the tv blaring, and I zone it out in the background. But on this particular night, I needed some background noise. I was distracted with work, but then I heard it…
Resonating in my ears. Negativity. Negativity. Negativity.
I get that negative packs a punch.
Most memorable love stories end in tragedy, and almost every compelling love song is about suffering.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see why we live in a society where it’s easy to undervalue what we are versus overvaluing what we are not.
But it’s sad.
We are constantly taught to see the negative in life and in ourselves.
Don’t you agree that can be super destructive?
The concepts of value and worth are coming up a lot in my life right now.
I know how easy it is to get down on myself and nit pick what’s not good, what’s not right, what needs to improve, etc.
But all of that focus on the negative is not only draining, it gets you nowhere.
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So why even go there? What’s the hook?
It’s not easy to admit that I, too, have thrived on the negative in the past.
I used to think negative was so normal that I didn’t even know I was acting negatively.
But there I was in life, always pissed about something. Always fighting. Always trying to prove a point.
Maybe I became a lawyer all those years ago so I could get paid to argue and do dances around the negative with word play. I seemed to love it so much.
Negativity is like a drug. But it’s a dumb drug.
Negativity is a huge distraction that hooks us from the truth in our hearts.
I believe that, deep down, every single person on this planet wants to live in a Utopia where violence, suffering, pain, sadness, death, and horrible, nightmarish things don’t exist.
These nightmares cause us to live in fear.
How can you love when love can be taken?
How can you feel when you’re apt to get hurt?
How can you trust when someone will betray you?
How can you look at the greater picture when often what’s happening right in front of you is too painful to see?
Our world is a scary place.
And keeping negativity close is like letting the devil camp out in your spare bedroom.
Negativity’s appetite is inexhaustible. You’ll have to keep feeding it over and over again.
Here are some tips to help you break free from the confines of negativity once you’ve been caged by it.
1. Turn Negativity into a More Positive Light
We all have negative shit going on in our lives. And I’m not saying we should not talk about it. Sharing your thoughts with your friends is often great therapy. But take the opportunity you may have when someone is listening to you to turn some of that negativity into a more positive light.
Sometimes the negative can feel all consuming. Is there anything going on that even resembles positivity? And if not, can you spin the negative into some positive?
Also remember, you don’t have to constantly surround yourself with others who only bringing you down.
2. Catch Yourself if You’re Spinning Downhill
We all get down from time to time. There is plenty we can all find to complain about if someone allows us. But do you really want to BE that person?
What do you need to do to stop the downhill spiral? Sit? Meditate? Journal? Stop.
I know that when I am hurt or feeling negative, I may say something hurtful or negative to someone else. But that’s not who I want to be. So I look for ways to let my flames cool and ground myself before spewing negativity all over the place.
I don’t want to say things I’ll regret later. And, most importantly, I don’t want to FEEL that negative.
3. Remember What You Love
It can be super easy to let one negative incident bring you down into a hole. And kind of funny when you think about it. Sort of the way a child’s emotions can go from laughing to crying to laughing again, all within a minute.
When it feels like there is no hope, focus on what does bring you love and joy. Look at what you have rather than what you lack.
Life is never going to be “perfect” so remember that it’s in these imperfect moments that we are granted the opportunity to be bigger, more consciously evolved individuals.
We are here to learn, grow, and be free.
I have just given you three great tips to help you free yourself from negativity. What do you do when you feel trapped by its confines? I’d love to hear from you. Please leave your comments below.
Hayley Hobson is an author, speaker, business coach, yogi, Pilates instructor, and holistic nutritional expert based in Boulder, CO. Her unique and intelligent style promotes strengthening while softening—empowering her clients to heal not only their physical bodies but their hearts and minds as well. To learn more about her nutritional courses, events, and custom programs, visit hayleyhobson.com or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.