It’s been a while since I did a dedicated Mindful Monday, so I thought it might be time. I find that we live in a world where you can sit behind your computer/phone/tablet and be an instant bully and it would be nice if it stopped. I’m not saying you cannot have your opinion, because you are so entitled to that. What I want people to realize is that negativity is contagious and it’s hurtful, so be kind with your words and actions or walk away. I’m going to share some of the ways I deal with negativity in hopes that it helps you today, tomorrow, or whenever it is that you need it.
Positive Vibes Only
I try my best to be a positive person. I have my days, but if I find myself being super negative whether to myself or to others, I try to stop it in its tracks. I haven’t always been this way and I go through seasons that are easier than others. I find that negativity breeds negativity and it does nothing productive for our health or our goals, so why do we do it?!
We are only human, so it’s easy for us to fall victim to worst-case scenarios, negative thoughts & actions, and negative feedback. However, I have found in my own experience, a little positivity goes a long way. No one wants to be around a negative person anyway.
The same goes for finding the positivity even when someone is being negative to or about you. Being in the social media world has its pros and cons. Fortunately, I haven’t received too much bad feedback or trolling, but there are days where the negative posts roll in and all I want to do is yell, scream, and cry. What’s the use? It’s normally just that that person is projecting their issues on you anyway.
A Quick Confession
I am also human and have struggled with being incredibly negative in my life. I’m not proud of it BUT I hope that this can show you that all it takes for you to change to a positive person is YOU.
Let’s take for example my senior year of college. My swim coach (a very positive leader and influence in my life) told me that he would take my Captain title if I didn’t stop coming to morning practices so miserable and negative. He said that it was no way to lead and that he expected more from me. He was 100% right. I could have crumbled right then and there, but instead, I decided to take action.
Yes, I used to HATE mornings. However, ever since that day, even on the days I don’t feel my best or don’t want to be awake so early, I suck it up, smile, and try my best to have the most positive outlook I can. The cool thing? I don’t hate mornings anymore because of that and I can find the positive in most any situation.
What is Negativity & Where Does it Come From?
Negativity, as defined by Google, is “the expression of criticism of or pessimism about something.”
It means that instead of thinking or hoping for the best, you think of the worst, you act the worst and you accept the worst. I find that it becomes even worse when you surround yourself with others who are negative. I can’t tell you how many times in my life I have felt down with a heavy heart, and my thoughts completely in the garbage. I then realized that the people I was surrounding myself with were being SO negative.
Where does it all come from?! It comes from you, your experiences, your friends, your family, the media, social media, strangers, and so many more sources I’m sure I’m missing.
Of course, you can try to change these sources or people OR you can change your own situation and what you do about it. For me, it’s usually been the latter. While sometimes people are in a funk, it can also be that you don’t bring out the best in each other and it’s time move on, or at least, spend less time together. There is nothing wrong with that because let’s be honest, having a positive outlook on life is important for your overall health.
7 Ways to Deal with Negativity
While I’m sure we could sit here all day and discuss what negativity is and where it comes from, I want to help you figure out what to do about it, or at the very least, what I do about it. Here are my top 7 ways to deal with negativity (feel free to use them in any and all combinations):
1. Surround Yourself.
This is so incredibly important. Be careful of who you surround yourself with. This doesn’t mean only surround yourself with people who only say nice things to and about you. Instead, this means surround yourself with people who make you happy, make you laugh, and truly have your best interest in mind. Sometimes that means they will give it to you straight BUT they will also be there to help pull you OUT of the negativity and be in your corner when others are negative towards you.
It’s so easy to feel like the negativity is not warranted especially when it is coming from others about you. It’s also easy to just keep being negative day after day, hour after hour. However, I find when someone is negative to/about me OR I’m in a negative funk, it’s an opportunity to reflect. Reflect on what? Whatever it is that may need a change. Do I need to spend more/less time with someone? Do I need to do more or less of something? Do I need to swallow my pride? Do I need to speak up/stand up for myself? The possibilities are endless but if you feel you are being negative and/or someone else around you is being negative, it’s time to reflect on why.
This one applies to when others may be negative towards you and your stance on something. I bring this up because as I grow my following, I find that there is always that one person who wants to call me out for being too X, Y, or Z and I want to pounce on them. Instead of pouncing, it can give me a chance to EDUCATE. For example, I’ve been feeling negative around the whole “nutrition expert” debate as of late and I can choose to sit there and complain OR I can take the time to educate, and I’m going to try my best to do the latter and educate when I can. If the negativity continues, it’s time to follow the rest of my own advice 😉
4. Stop Apologizing.
I’m currently reading Rachel Hollis’ newest book Girl, Stop Apologizing and man is it exactly what I need right now. I’m not very far into it, but the whole concept of being yourself and not worrying about pleasing everyone is so powerful. It’s like we are scared to hurt others for what we believe in. We should apologize when we ACTUALLY hurt someone but if it just a differing of opinion and we hurt someone’s ego, we don’t need to apologize. Keep taking up space and girl (or boy), stop apologizing.
5. Be Yourself.
This goes along with not apologizing. BE YOURSELF. This is one I have struggled with in the past because I was worried what people would think of me. Honestly, the more me I am and work to be, the happier and more positive I am. My relationships become more real, my goals become more driven, and my negative thoughts become less blatant. The haters will hate, but if you go to bed each night knowing you were truly yourself today, that’s all you can do.
6. Move On.
It is SO easy to dwell on the negative. Move on and don’t look back. When I get trolls or haters coming at me, I don’t sit there and try to argue with them, after all, they are also entitled to their own opinion. Instead, I reply with a thank you for your feedback and I move on. There are hundreds and maybe thousands of people who can benefit from what I do, and if someone doesn’t benefit from it, my guess is it would be best for us BOTH to move on.
Sounds simple but have you ever taken in a deep breath after being tense, negative, and/or upset? I do this to calm myself down from whatever negativity is getting to me and it lets me take a second to collect my thoughts.
I hope this helps you deal a little better with negativity and forces you to find the positive and positive influences in your life.
Let me ask you now, how do you deal with the haters, trolls, and naysayers?
ps. if you find yourself constantly disagreeing with people or trolling them online I’d highly recommend unfollowing, it’s not worth your time. I myself, unfollow people all the time! They are entitled to their opinion and it’s more productive for me to move on then to get all heated over their thoughts/actions.