Taking Action Against Negative Reaction


Credit: @Artfully79

Continually reacting negatively to situations can be exhausting! It’s like living in a state of perpetual eye-rolling with the phrase here we go again banging away with a heavy metal band in the background. If your go-to response in life is negative, your actions might look like this:

  • Always blaming others when things go wrong

  • Loudly verbalizing your displeasure with circumstances

  • Being critical even when good things are happening too

  • Not going for optimism when things are up in the air

  • Negative forecasting -- do you have a crystal ball?

This can be draining, to put it mildly. Living in a perpetual state of annoyance and focusing on negative things can cause your mind, body, and spirit to suffer. People who tend to respond negatively have higher incidents of

  • Digestive issues

  • Headaches

  • Back pain

  • High blood pressure

  • Short-lived relationships

Looking at the world through a dark lens can put us at odds with friends, family, and co-workers who might be trying to focus on the positive instead.

At first, it might not feel normal to be positive. Taking action to destroy negative behaviors will probably require some faking it until making it, but that’s ok, it’s worth it. Try these positive actions to override negative behaviors and start to see your relationships and your health improve.

Action #1: Practice a mantra- If there are activities that trigger your negativity, It's good to have a mantra to recite while you rewire your brain. If watching sports causes you to rage or driving in traffic makes you want to scream, create a mantra to distract you and remind you that your goal is not to overreact and be negative. Create something personal and preferably fun that you can recite when you feel stressed in negative situations. Here's a few examples:

  • Simply repeat the word Bubbles or Chicharrones (my all time favorite) or any other word that feels good rolling off the tongue and brings on a smile

  • Say to yourself, "I have a great butt".

  • Repeat, "I will not lose my sh%t now -- maybe later".

  • A version of something I read by Elizabeth Gilbert: "I embrace the glorious mess that I am."

  • Try this one, "I'm going to chuck it in the f#&k it bucket and move on."

  • And, finally, "Old ways don't open new doors."

Action #2: Get a buddy- Breaking tough habits can take a village. Recruit a partner to talk to while you are practicing letting go of negativity. Being able to vent to one safe person is a better alternative to griping to many people and making a negative impact. Try something I learned with Mama Gena (www.mamagenas.com) called Spring Cleaning. Set a time (say, 5 minutes), choose a topic (a person or situation you're having a hard time with, for example) and have your friend simply ask you, over and over, "What do you have on ... (fill in the blank)?" and let your stream of consciousness take over. No comments please from the person simply listening.

Action #3: Find a creative outlet- There are appropriate ways to voice frustrations or work through annoyances without bringing everyone around you down. Find a creative outlet that allows for releasing steam in a socially appropriate way. You might enjoy kick boxing, spoken word poetry, or forms of art. This is a healthy way to work through negative feelings without having it spill over onto others.

These are some actions that can reduce and eliminate negativity as a go-to reaction. Being able to go for a positive response can help ease the habit of being all doom and gloom and create a more upbeat attitude instead.

Sparkles and Love,

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About the Author

 

 

 

Barbara L Cummings, MS, RN

is a sassy Queen-ager, mentor, confidante and trusted guide who provides people with life support. 

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