The most common poison you take on a regular basis is negativity in your life. It can control you in ways that you may not even be aware of. Eliminating it can make a major difference in your outlook and mindset. Here are some of the ways that you may be allowing negativity to be in your life.
1. Talking to yourself or others in a negative fashion. This is a very easy habit to fall into. It does not matter if you are focusing the negative talk on someone else or yourself, either is poisonous. Everyone needs to vent from time to time but be careful not to cross the very thin line into talking negatively.
Try to think differently: “It makes me really upset when so-and-so does this.” By turning it around to what bothers you, not only do you vent in a more positive fashion, but you can figure out why that bothers you and maybe learn something about yourself.
Be particularly careful with social media. It is so easy to forget that there is another person on the other side of the computer. The sense of anonymity that the internet provides can lead people to do and say things they would not do in person.
Remember that everyone has faults and is not perfect. If you would not want someone saying something about you, why say it about them?
2. Those negative thoughts and self-tapes are very poisonous. When you tear yourself down, you are damaging yourself. You are limiting your options in life. When you play those self-tapes that say, “I am not good enough” or “I will not succeed”, you make it a self-fulfilling prophecy.
A bit of self-deprecating humor is fine, just do not carry it too far. Spend time building yourself up as well. Look for the best in you and the best in others, and you will seldom be disappointed. When you think negatively about others, it becomes easier to say negative things to them. You know how that makes you feel, so why do it to others?
3. Being surrounded by negative people is another way you can poison yourself. For example, say you are a child and you have worked really hard this semester on your school work and get all A’s except in math where you get a B.
If you show your report card and everyone focuses on the many As and takes you out to celebrate, you feel like you are on top of the world. What happens if instead they focused on the one B and said that you did not do well enough because you got a B in math. How would you feel?
Try to cut out or limit contact with negative people, negative thoughts and talking negatively about yourself and others. You will find that focusing on just these three areas will greatly eliminate the negativity in your life.
People tend to hold on to negativity in their lives, even though it makes them miserable. Why do they do this? Why it is so hard for them to let go?
One of the reasons for this situation, is the fact that a lot of times, people feel like they have no control over their life. When you have had death, divorce, health issues, and other circumstances hit you, it is very easy to feel like life is happening TO you. When you feel you have no control, it is easy to be negative.
Another reason is that people often do not know how to let go. Society often offers trite advice such as: suck it up, deal with it, and so on. Sayings that are about holding things in, and not about letting them go. Even though numerous studies have shown that holding all that negativity inside is disastrous to both physical and mental health, society still tends to reward people for bottling up their emotions.
Western medicine has often been about medication and treatment, not about finding balance. You can learn a lot from Eastern approaches about how to let go. Meditation, yoga, martial arts, and other traditional methods are all about letting go and getting back into balance.
By incorporating one or more of these techniques into your life, you can help restore yourself into a state where negativity no longer controls you.
Journaling is another way you can eliminate negativity. By writing down the negative thoughts and emotions, you can then let them go, so they are no longer a part of you. Some people use a write-and-burn or -trash technique.
This is a process in which you write down all the negative thoughts and emotions, or what you really want to say to someone, and then you either throw the paper away or burn it. This can be a very freeing process. It may sound ludicrous, but once you try it, you may that it’s extremely effective.
Sometimes the best way to let go is to confront the person who is not treating you right. This could be a boss, a family member, or a friend. Whoever it is, you may find you have to set boundaries with them. The important thing is not to do this when you are angry.
Instead, confront the person right away in a calm fashion. Be firm, but do not lose your temper. Be assertive when you set the boundaries. Be prepared that they may respond by behaving worse at first, but over time if you are consistent with your boundaries, you should see a major improvement in how they treat you.
When people treat you wrong, it is very easy to hold a grudge. You may not understand how it could be possible to forgive someone for a slight, especially if the action was especially hurtful. Maybe you think forgiveness is about the other person and somehow, they benefit from you forgiving them. Forgiveness is not about the other person, it is about you.
Forgiving another person does not always mean they stay in your life. Sometimes you do not even let them know you are forgiving them. You do not even need to trust them again. Just forgive them to eliminate the negativity in your life.
Even horrific crimes can be forgiven. For safety reasons, you may want to use an indirect way of forgiving them instead of contacting them directly. Write a letter as if you plan on sending it to the other person. Talk about how what they did made you feel, and about how it made you think about yourself. Write about how you are no longer going to allow them space in your head and how you forgive them for what they did to you.
When you finish writing, seal up the letter in an envelope and put their name on the front. Then either throw it away (shred it first!) or burn the letter. It does not have to actually be read by the person you are forgiving, this exercise is to help you get past the negativity and the chains that are holding you back as a person.
If you find you can’t forgive on your own, you may want to talk with a professional. Therapy can really help you get past this hurdle. Especially if the person committed a serious crime. If you have been abused, particularly over a long period of time, you may need therapy to help you get past what was done to you. There is nothing wrong with seeking help.
Once you have forgiven the other person, you will feel like a weight has been lifted, or chains have been removed. Grudges are not healthy for you and they do not affect the other person.
When you bottle up negative feelings, you can increase your risks of developing heart disease, and other health conditions. You tend to age faster as well. Not forgiving others can dim your overall outlook on life, so why put yourself through all of that?
Remember that forgiveness is not about the other person, it is about eliminating the negativity in your own life. So free yourself today by forgiving others for the wrongs they have done to you.