Negativity. It seems to bubble up under the surface, needing to be pushed away again from time to time or better still, banished completely. I see myself as a positive person and hope those around me do too. But trust me, it’s a concerted effort because it just feels better.
I’ve said it before in terms of friends and I definitely feel that life is full of hoovers and radiators. They either warm you up or suck away all your energy. And it goes without saying, the attitudes of those around us can really shape life in general, from a smile to road rage to having sympathy for someone having a bad day. All of the above and more.
Furthermore, what about our own negativity? Gees we’re all human, but I try and stop myself from being too ‘mehh’, as it can be a vacuum (more hoover references…) that doesn’t take any prisoners, and leaves you feeling even worse.
During the school holidays, after a sugar-fuelled afternoon my kids both refused to do as they were told at the supermarket, and I hadn’t slept the night before because of bad insomnia. Negotiating the aisles with wailing kids and working out what on earth to make for tea, I was feeling worn out and frustrated. I then dropped the basket trying to stop one of them from pulling a cake on their head whilst they screamed the place down. Yet the piece de resistance…. some women nearby tutted and complained to one another. What is the point in that? I clearly must have left my Wonder Woman cape at home that day.
By making a positive gesture, even just a smile, I may have managed to emerge from my own pit of negativity slightly. Rather than feeling my blood boil further and wanting to actually launch that cake in another direction. See.. there under the surface. Yeah, it wasn’t remotely their fault that my kids were round the bend or I was exhausted, but still, this life stuff is a team effort.
I came home and actively forced myself to cook the meal I’d planned to, rather than cry in the corner and tried to shake off the negativity I was feeling.
Still not sure about the mantra of “life is what you make it”, we can, in a broader sense, be dealt good and bad cards and that’s nobody’s fault. But, I am a big believer in pulling each other up, dusting ourselves off and trying as best as we can to power through.With as many laughs along the way as possible.
Here are 3 pointers I use for trying to let the positive beat the negative:
- Stop and breathe for a second. Sounds silly, but it works. Yes we all need a good vent, but in every single case will saying/doing that negative thing actually help you and this exact situation?
- For every negative thought you feel, physically voice something positive. Either about yourself or someone else.
- Be kind and speak internally about yourself as you would to your dearest friends. You wouldn’t tell them they were totally crap, would you? If you’ve had a horrrible day, indulge how rubbish you may feel so you can bounce back stronger the next day. After supermarket-gate, I had a ton of choc, a bubble bath and an early night.
How do you deal with negativity?