What people don’t typically realize is that we have a lot more control over our outlook on life than we may think. We make decisions every day about how we look at and feel about things, in fact, this may be our own personal superpower that we sorely under use. Sure, there may be things that get us down no matter what, but lingering in that negativity is completely our choice. Getting into habits that help you let go of negativity can really help your outlook on life in the long run.
The inspiration for this post came to me at a moment when I was feeling especially sorry for myself, which I’m sure happens to everyone. I was just unhappy with the whole first-year-of-college experience. Dorm life, lack of personal space, the dining hall, and loud noises were just getting to me. Then a thought suddenly struck me: what would I tell someone who was in the same situation as me?
Here are some little ways that you can cut negativity out of your life. 🙂
1) Clean up your space
I hate looking at a mess, and organizing is actually pretty therapeutic for me. Spending just a few minutes to make your bed or clear off your desk can do wonders to improve your mood. After coming home from a long day, it’s nice to have a clean space to look at.
2) Check what you watch, read, and listen to.
I have been in denial about this subject on several occasions, but the truth is that these things really do affect you. You may not always realize the effects right away, but I promise they do happen. There have been several times where I’ve finished a novel, or watched a movie that made me slightly more irritable for days after. Other times, it just takes your mind to a dark place (example: the Twilight era, now do you believe me?). Remember, just because you don’t notice a change in your demeanor, doesn’t mean others won’t.
3) Check who you follow on social media
Omigosh! This is a big one! I’m sure we all have those friends on Facebook that drag everyone into their issues, and your energy is better spent elsewhere! I often go through and unfollow people that have nothing good to say, or even those who I’ve fallen apart from. The same goes for other platforms of social media. I’m sure we all like a good joke now and then, but that’s a prime way that negativity seeps into newsfeeds: through humor. When going through your feed, ask yourself if those who you are following are really uplifting, or if your life would be just as complete without them.
4) Don’t invest in friends that don’t really care for you
Do you relate to this? You hang out with the people you happen to be around, even though they may not be your genuine friends. I certainly do. I’m not saying to cut these people out of your life completely, after all, we should treat everyone with the type of love that Christ extends to us. Just don’t invest in a relationship that brings you down. I listen to people complain about their lives and bash about other people everyday, and acting like that may seem like an easy way to fit in, but participating in this type of attitude is a choice.
5) Be kind to strangers
Typically, being kind isn’t exactly the priority of most people when they are out and about. In fact, I’m sure most of us have encountered some very rude people in public. Nevermind that, just make it your goal to be kind to everyone when you are out. I like to think of this as a little shield of positivity you can take with you everywhere you go. 🙂 This way, you can guard yourself against negativity and brighten someone else’s day at the same time.
6) Practice letting things go
This is something you can do all hours of the day. Of the thousands and thousands of thoughts we have in a day, roughly 80% are negative ones. When you catch a negative thought entering your head, just let it go. You won’t gain anything by hanging on to these thoughts, so move on with your life. Sometimes, my life is just moving too fast for me to manage my thoughts like this, but when I’m in the shower, trying to sleep, on car rides, or even in class I can practice letting go of the negative thoughts that are occupying my brain. Honestly, this is such a good way to relieve stress and concentrate on the tasks ahead of you. Sure it takes practice, but it’s worth it!
Did you know that people, actually everybody, is automatically drawn towards negativity? In fact, that’s what most of the media is built off of. (Why do you think the Kardashians and Donald Trump are so famous? Negativity) Even you love to think negative thoughts, though you may not realize it. The good news is that you have more control over the negativity in you life than you may realize. I hope these tips were helpful to you! Best of luck!