Giving Yourself A Break From Negativity
You don’t have to be particularly spiritual to realize that negative thinking is, at best, a big rock to drag around and, at worst, a cage that traps us and prevents us from reaching our full potential. Being negative is, unfortunately, rather easy, and we do seem to live in a world custom-made for the pessimistic in us. However, although being a happy-clappy-rose-lenses-wearer has its own challenges and brings its own set of problems, living life with an ever present dark cloud over our heads can become an overwhelming experience, which not only sucks away all joy, but curbs creativity, hinders problem-solving, holds back prosperity, destroys well-being and can make life a miserable living hell. Hence it’s important -life saving even- to learn to manage negative tendencies. Today, I’ll present three ideas that I know from experience can help us find the rainbows inside the storm.
1. Try to be less judgmental. It’s hard to know what’s going on in people’s life, but if we give free rein to our prejudices and come to conclusions without enough knowledge or information, it’s rather simple to see negative traits on other people or circumstances. I’m not saying that it’s easy, but keeping and open-mind and our judgmental self in check, can make the world look a bit brighter and gentler.
2. Accept that stuff happens. The Grand Canyon is not Disneyworld, and neither is life. If you don’t approach both with realistic expectations, you may fall into a deep, deep crevice. And even if you take all precautions, you could have an accident just the same, because, that’s how things are. Sometimes we insist on hanging to the memory of the dark, and by doing that we miss our time in the sun. Try not to compare one experience with another; what a thing “should” be with what actually is; and certainly, not some else’s vision with your own.
3. Best Friend Talk. Sometimes we are our worst critics and give ourselves hateful and hurtful “words of courage” to “kick our bums” and get us going. Even worst, many a times we do it when we are really down and in need of comfort and gentle acceptance. Yet, we would not dream of treating others in this same manner. Speak to yourself as you would to your best friend and defend yourself from your own negative comments, as you would defend your best friend from bullies. Remember: you are doing the best you can under the circumstances, and although there is always room for improvement, for today, your best effort is more than enough.
4. Focus on enhancing your strengths instead than trying to eradicate your weaknesses
. Find alternatives for those things you are not so good at (hire, employ, delegate) and hone your talents to the max. Stop comparing yourself to others. Einstein said: 'Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.'
5. Take a breather to just be. Literally, just breathe, deeply. Be aware of the journey of the air through your body. Let it fill your belly and when exhaling, press your abdominal muscles to make sure that all of the air is out. Sit and breath like this for a minute or two, several times a day.
6. Alice's six impossible things. When feeling that you can't do something, make a list of five things that seemed very difficult to achieve or obtained at a time, but that you have done so. Now add to the list the thing you are trying to achieve right now. Say them all together as in a mantra, as if everything have passed: I did this, I did that -including what you have not yet done.
7. Have a news fast and if possible a technology fast. Don't see or read news for at least a day. If possible, read good news: you can find some in good news network, such as the huffingtonpost.cm/goodnews or DailyGood (www.dailygood.org) Try also reading inspirational stories or messages. Comedy and feel good movies are also a good idea.
8. Walk away from negative people. Don't be part of gossip, don't spread rumours, don't add fuel by commenting about a person or situation, don't take things personally.
9. Be in the Moment. Do an activity that helps clear your mind. This can be anything that you are so focus on that you forget the rest of the world: sports, arts. crafts. gardening, DIY, hiking etc.
10. Use spiritual tools. Consider different spiritual techniques such as meditation, affirmations, visualizations, yoga, chanting, affirmative prayer, forgiveness, going to talks by spiritual teachers, journaling, getting involved with a charity and so forth.
11. Live a life worth living. Go out in nature. Share with friends. Take time to spend it with your loved ones. Have fun. Be part of the community. Get involved in a cause. Learn something new. Invest in relationships (sometimes is worth to pay for have something done to have the free time for one's self and one's relationships.) Create beautiful memories for the future.
12. Keep a positive outlook. It takes the same energy to be positive than negative. We see as we are. You can see the obstacle as something that stops you from moving forwards or a step to climb in the ladder of your life experiences. It really is up to you.
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