Top Tips to Defeat Negativity

‘Look on the bright side of life’, ‘There are plenty more fish in the sea.’ And ‘Smile, it could be worse’ are all sayings that many of us have probably heard before when we are struggling with something. Although it can be very difficult to banish negative thoughts with the click of your fingers, there is some truth behind these frustrating quotes.

Positive thinking does make a big difference in your life and determines the way you handle certain situations. This is where the quote, ‘you only live once’ should be put into practice.

Positive thinking is something that’s gained a lot of attention in recent years with books like ‘The Secret’ and other similar self-help books becoming extremely popular. According to the Mayo Clinic, being more positive in life will mean:

  • A longer life span
  • Less stress
  • Lower rates of depression
  • Increased resistance to the common cold
  • Better stress management and coping skills
  • Lower risk of cardiovascular disease-related death
  • Increased physical well-being
  • Better psychological health

We’ve found some great tips to stop you from being such a Negative Norman.

Focus on your thoughts
You need to begin to analyse and inspect your thoughts. For example, when you encounter a challenging situation, how do you handle it? Do you instantly begin thinking negatively instead of trying to find a positive solution? Are you critical of others or yourself? Identifying these thoughts and when you have them is a good first step in overcoming them.

Throw away negativity…literally
In a new study, researchers found that when people wrote down their unwanted negative thoughts on a piece of paper and then threw the paper away, they mentally discarded the thoughts as well.

Avoid negative people
People that complain, whine and moan all of the time will bring you down with them. They will also reinforce your fears and undermine your confidence. Obviously, don’t ditch a friend because they are going through a tough time (that’s just mean!) but there’s a difference between this and constant negativity for very little reason. Reach out to those who you KNOW will support you and talk through the issues if needed. Sometimes getting out vocally to someone else can help you reassess and understand your thoughts better.

Get a ‘Gratitude Journal’
Write down a list of things you are grateful for. This will renew your appreciation for the things that you’ve been taking for granted. The gratitude list will cause you to focus on the positive and not the negative. Doing this daily will help to ingrain this type of positive thinking of your mind.

Defeat your thoughts on paper
If you can’t stop thinking about something upsetting or frustrating then write it down on a piece of paper. Then, write down several arguments to counter these thoughts. For example, if you’ve had a busy day at work and forgotten to call back an important client, write down all the other great things you managed to achieve that day. Sometimes you get so focused on yourself and your misery that it’s hard for you to find solutions or to see a positive perspective.

Try humour
It can be really difficult to stay positive when there is little humour or lightness in your life. Even when you are facing challenges, it is important to stay open to laughter and humour. Sometimes, simply recognizing the potential humour in a situation can lessen your stress and brighten your outlook. Seeking out sources of humour such as watching a funny tv programme or reading jokes online can help you think more positive thoughts. Watching clips of your favourite comedian in concert, this never fails to amuse!

Lose yourself in an activity
If you’re obsessing about something, you need to break that seemingly never-ending loop of bad thoughts. Picking an activity that will help you forget and take your mind off everything will help. Playing a sport, meditating or even reading a good book are all suggestions.
We would really recommend one of our Dance-based classes for all those wishing to forget their troubles. Within five minutes  you will be dancing your worries away and the beauty is that no one can see you so you can completely let loose!

Keep working on it
There’s not an on-off switch for positive thinking. Even if you’re a natural-born optimist, positive thinking can take an effort in the face of a challenging situation. Like any goal, the key is to stick with it for the long-term. Even if you find yourself dwelling on negative thoughts, you can look for ways to minimize this negativity and find a more optimistic outlook. If you’re having a bad day and negativity starts creeping in, check out phone apps like  ‘The Secret’ which supplies quotes and teachings about positive thinking. If you feel frustrated or stressed, try the app ‘Calm’. You may need to flick through a few until you find one you like but it certainly helps to make you feel a bit more positive and calm about things.