The Power of Negativity

I got tired of watching the news was because I could not stand the constant negativity. No matter what time of day it was or which channel I was watching, there was a stream of depressing stories being played. Eventually, I just started browsing through the newsfeed on my phone and only taking time to read whatever interested me. The negativity is not just in the media, it’s in your daily interactions. How easy is it to sit down and complain with a friend about work or school? How often do you find yourself complaining in a conversation that originally had nothing to do with whatever you ended up complaining about?

Travis Bradberry wrote How Complaining Rewires Your Brain for Negativity for Entrepreneur (Link here: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/281734). In the article, he states how complaining has a negative impact on the overall health of your brain. Complaining is found to shrink the hippocampus, which is the area of your brain that is used for critical thinking and intelligent thought. This part of your brain is damaged by diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

One way to combat the negativity of your life is to change who you interact with and the nature of your interactions. I realized over time that some of the people I spent time with constantly had something negative to say. By nature, I’m not that person. However, you can subconsciously mimic the behaviors of the people you are around. To keep from being an overly negative person, I had to limit the amount of time I spent with those people or try to turn the conversation in a positive direction. Sometimes this was hard for me. When people come to me with problems, I really want to help them and listen to them. However, if you do this too much, you begin to take on these problems as your own. Depending on your personality, this can have a very negative effect on your overall mood. It’s up to you to decide if these are people you want to preserve a relationship with, or if they are doing you more harm than good in the long run. Without realizing it, you may be pushing people away be constantly complaining.

Another way I try to push past negativity is address my own negativity. I may give myself a moment to feel irritated, but try to shake it off and think happier thoughts. I like to take walks or read books when I’m upset. I find that these activities help me relax. It’s also helpful to find ways to destress in different environments. You may enjoy listening to music, but can’t do so while you are at work or during a class. In those situations, I try to shift my focus on my tasks. It’s hard for me to be negative when I’m busy. At the end of the day, your negativity is more hindering than it is relieving.

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