All of us want to be happy, but all of us are influenced by negativity from all directions, be it from the outside or from within us. Negative criticism from people we know, or own own negative habits, or even the negative voices in our head--all of them steal our joy, self confidence and happiness. In order to be truly happy, we need to learn how to ignore and disregard all such negativity in our life.
There are three sources of most negativity in our lives - negativity from our relationships, negativity from our environment, and negativity from within us. Here's how we can deal with them so that they don't affect our happiness.
Negativity From Our Relationships
Have you ever noticed how conversations with some people leave us feeling totally drained and bad about ourselves and our life?
There are people who never have anything good to say about us. They can only criticize us whenever we are around them. And there are some who never have anything good to say about their own lives. They are always unhappy about something or always complaining about something. Such people are like energy vampires. They suck all happiness out of us. (Being a PotterHead, I like to think of them as "dementors".)
We must make it a point to spend as little time as possible with them. And whatever time we do spend with them, we must make a habit of disregarding all the negative words they throw at us, so that their negativity doesn't get to us. We must set clear boundaries in our relationships. At the same time, we need to surround ourselves with more positive and upbeat people. Their passion, enthusiasm and energy will keep us mentally and emotionally charged.
Negativity From Our Environment
Once upon a time, more than 15 years ago, there used to be just one TV channel, and news was telecast once every morning and night. Now, we have innumerable dedicated news channels, bombarding us with negativity 24 by 7. On top of that, we also have the self-proclaimed jury on social media, ready to give their verdict (mostly negative) on everything under the sun.
The media will constantly tell us that the world is a bad place to live in, that life consists of sufferings, and that we need to meet really high standards to be accepted in the social world, but all that is not true. (Just look back to your life 15 years ago.)
We need to limit such toxic media. Instead, we must spend more time doing stuff that makes us feel good and helps us appreciate our life.
Negativity From Within Us
We can cut the negative media from our lives and avoid the negative people, but what about that voice inside our head? Our inner critic? The one whose favorite pastime is to regret our past choices and worry about our future. The one who keeps telling us all the time that we are not good enough. How do we distance ourselves from that voice? Is there a way we can throw it out of our head?
No, there isn't. But we can practice to ignore that voice and make it shut up for at least some time during the day. We can do more of things that we know we're good at. I've found that learning new things, taking up new challenges, always works for me.
We need to develop the habit of focusing on our DREAMS instead of our fears. We need to accept ourselves as we are, to shut our inner critic. We must learn to forgive (will be covered under "F"), to let go of the regrets. And we must believe in the best of ourselves and others, to let go of the worry.
If we go to a restaurant and happen to order something new that doesn't quite agree with us, we don't feel obliged to eat it anyway, do we? We just leave it. We need to practice the same approach when we are served any kind of negativity in life. Just disregard it.
What do you do when you encounter toxic people? How do you deal with them? How much time do you give to the media and social media per day? What techniques do you practice to control the negative thoughts in your mind?
This is my fourth post for AtoZ2017.
I have completed this challenge once before, and published it as a kindle ebook.
You can get it on amazon: A to Z of Blogging: Take Your Blog To the Next Level.
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