How To Handle Negativity

Negativity is everywhere. It’s on the news, in the office and no doubt in your own brain half the time. It can be contagious and pretty damn damaging to your mental health.

I wouldn’t say I’m a particularly negative person. I definitely prefer living on the brighter side of life, but I’ve had my moments! If I’m totally honest, the main thing that gets me down is myself. I’m awful for comparing me, my blog, my house or whatever, to that of others. I think most of us bloggers get a case of the green eye and end up beating ourselves up. I’m not sure it can be helped, when we spend our days glued to social media and bombarded with beautiful imagery of things, holidays and killer bods. But as they say..

Comparison is the thief of joy.

With a new job on the horizon and summer on the way, I’ve made a promise to myself. I’m putting my positive pants firmly on and I’m not looking back. It’s onwards and upwards and so here are my five steps on how I plan to do it:

Step 1. Remove the Debbie Downers.

There’s a great quote floating around Instagram, it goes something like… Be a fountain, not a drain. We all know a drain or two right? Being miserable is basically their hobby and they love nothing more than dragging you straight down into their negative black hole with them.

These people are best kept at arms length. You need to think about why they’re being so negative. It could be out of frustration or insecurity, but whatever it is, it’s a reflection of them and not of you. My new method of dealing with a Debbie Downer is to simply smile and walk away. Distancing yourself and your emotions from a negative conversation or situation will do wonders for your mood and help keep that positive bubble we’re building intact.

Step 2. Unfriend people on social media.

If you’re anything like me you probably follow a lot of people on social media. Some from school, some from work, some that inspire you and others… well others just annoy the hell out of you. It could stem from jealousy on your part, or it could be that they’re sharing content that simply doesn’t interest you or isn’t your style. The question is, why the heck are we still following them?

In some cases it could be because you love to hate them, but in others it may be because you feel a little awkward if you don’t. Whatever the reason, if someone online is making you feel negative or bringing you down, unfriend them. It isn’t bitchy or nasty, it doesn’t make you a bad person, it’s actually healthy. Just because you don’t follow someone on social media, doesn’t mean your not friends in real life. It simply means that you care more about your happiness, than looking at their posts. Sometimes you have to be selfish.

Always remember, scrolling through your social channels should make you feel happy or inspired, and if it doesn’t, you know what to do.

Step 3. Take ownership of your own thoughts.

So we’re got rid of the misery guts and the social drainers (to put it bluntly), so now it’s time to deal with the nasty little man in our heads. Yep, we’ve got to deal with our own negative thoughts. We’ve got to stop judging, criticising and beating ourselves up, we have to take responsibility for the way we think and the things we say. If you’re about to jump feet first into that negative black hole we talked about earlier, take a second to catch yourself and think… What will this achieve? Will this make me feel any better? Is there something positive I can do to change it?

Like I’ve said, I can be great at finding fault in everything that I do or don’t do, but it’s not all that often we sit down and think about what we’re got going for us. Make a list, whether it’s on paper, on your phone or in your head, but do it. Write down 10 things you’re happy about and focus on that. Setting goals and having dreams is great, hey I’m obsessed with them, but sometimes I can be so obsessed with reaching the future that I forget to enjoy the here and now. It’s time to take back control.

Positive vibes only guys!

Step 4. Workout.

For me, nothing quite gets me out of a negative head space like a short workout. While you’re sweating your butt off, you’re having to focus on yourself. Getting stronger, fitter and releasing all of that stress and tension of every day life. As we all know, exercise releases happy endorphins, so it’s been scienfically proven to make you happier and more positive. So keep that in mind the next time you drive past your gym!

Step 5. Remind yourself to be kind.

We can all be guilty of adding fuel to the negative fire – the office environment is probably the worst for it. Every so often, we should always remind ourselves to be kind. Studies have shown that being kind actually makes us happier and smilier. I’m not talking about going around like Snow White here, but the occasional compliment, listening to someone when they’re down or buying a little random gift. What goes around, comes around and I can promise you that these small acts of kindness will bring you a whole loada’ happiness in return.