One of the most important facts I have learnt is that negativity is like a virus, and once it gets into your system it can be very difficult to get out. Statistics prove this, studies have shown that for every single piece of negative news or negative thoughts that enter your head you require five pieces of good news or thoughts to counter it.
That means if you start your day with a negative thought, immediately five positive thoughts or pieces of good news are needed to counteract it.
Considering this if you have for example say five negative thoughts over a day then you will need twenty-five positive thoughts to counteract them, if you have ten negative thoughts then you will need fifty to counter them.
This is why once you start down a path of negativity it is very difficult to escape because the amount of positivity that is needed to cure that negativity fast becomes out of reach. But there is a way to reverse it, or at least I believe there is, and the first step is learning how to identify the negativity in your life and where possible removing it, while the second step is teaching yourself to find the positives in anything.
As ever with the Equations Of Life Series, I start with an equation:
Learn to identify external causes of negativity + learn to cut out that negativity + learn to find the positives in everything = a positive mind
How to remove negative influences from your life
First you have to identify where all the negativity is coming from, and when doing this at first it is best to ignore your own internal negativity, and instead search for all the external negative influences the reason being the vast majority of internal negativity is the result of external negative influences.
For example, social media, are you reading news articles from perhaps Facebook, and are those articles getting you down, then stop reading those articles. The reason being if you do not Facebook will simply keep giving you more of those exact same types of articles to read. That is how the algorithms work, whatever you click on they give you more of, so if what you are clicking on is upsetting you then you will keep seeing more things on your feed that upsets you.
Or perhaps you are posting statuses to Facebook and people are leaving comments that upset you, in which case the solution is to stop posting statuses. Or maybe you are posting pictures and the amount of likes you get is dictating your feelings, in which case stop posting pictures.
Or perhaps Instagram is the problem, perhaps you are scrolling the feed for hours upon end and all the pictures you see of others and the lives they live and the way they look get you down. If this is the case, then stop scrolling Instagram. If you don’t you will keep seeing more of these pictures which negatively impact upon you, the reason being Instagram will keep showing you what it is you like looking at. And if what you are looking at affects you in a negative way, then you will keep seeing pictures that affect you in a negative way.
Though it is not just social media platforms that can bring about negativity, perhaps it is a paper you are reading, or perhaps it is a news site, or perhaps it is something you’re watching on TV or Netflix, perhaps it is all of that. Only you know the answer and you must identify all negative influences and remove them, it is the only way to break the spiral.
What to do if it is a person bringing negativity into your life
If somebody in your life whether it be a family member, a friend, a lover, a work colleague, if someone brings negativity into your life, then you must cut that someone out. Perhaps it is a friend, and that friend rather than being supportive is being constantly critical, perhaps it is a lover, and that lover is constantly on your back in a negative way. Whoever it is, you need to remove the negativity from your life, that means cutting them from your life, and if you can’t do that put as much distance between yourself and that person as you can.
This may seem a rather ruthless course of action, but if someone is always putting you down you are being no more ruthless with them by cutting them out than they are being with you by constantly putting you down.
You can of course always discuss the negativity they’re inflicting upon you with them, but I’m assuming if you’re reading this and there is some person who inflicts negativity upon you that you will have already tried this. If not, give it a go and if it doesn’t work then cut them out.
The key to positivity is cutting out all negativity
To escape negativity and live a life of happiness, you must cut out negativity. That means even if a person is unintentionally bringing negativity into your life, perhaps they’re having a hard time and are constantly unloading everything upon you, but they are not doing the same in return for you, then you need to remove that negativity from your life.
If this person relies upon you it may seem cruel, but you cannot help a person if you need help yourself, all that will happen is that in doing so you will destroy yourself. Besides that, the fact is if you are helping a person and they are not helping you in return, then that person does not deserve your help anyway.
And if they are incapable of helping you, there is still no benefit to continuing to support them to the level you are if in doing so you are destroying yourself, all that will happen is that eventually you will have to stop supporting them anyway because you will be incapable of doing so.
That’s why often the best way to help others, is by first helping yourself, because a healthy and happy you can give a lot more than a broken you.
What to do if it isn’t possible to cut out all the negativity
This is why it is really important to cut out as much negativity from your life as possible. There will always be negative influences in your life, the best way to combat those is by keeping them at arms length.
For example let’s say that the negative influence that you cannot cut out from your life is a person, simply do your best to not engage with that person unless you have no choice. Even if they try to provoke you, do not rise to it.
Your silence and lack of engagement is the greatest weapon you can ever use against a person who wishes to provoke you. A troll can’t troll somebody if that somebody never interacts with them. They can call you everything under the sun, but if you don’t hear them they have no voice.
Only you can give somebody a voice, meaning you have the power to silence a person’s negativity. You can trap them in the void of space, a place where no sound travels, a place where a person could shout and scream as much as they want and nobody would hear. All you have to do is not engage. That is your power. To not give them a voice.
What to do if it is not a person, but a workplace causing the negativity
Then start looking for a new job, even if it takes you years to find one, keep looking anyway and until then simply do your best to keep the negativity to a bare minimum by keeping it at arms length.
What to do after you have removed all possible external negative influences from your life
You must teach yourself to find the positives in everything. And there is positivity in everything, for example, at present I have no use of my left hand and very limited use of my right hand. Not many would be able to find any positives in that, and in the beginning I did not, all I could see was what I could no longer do and so I collapsed into a spiral of negativity.
But then one day I had had enough of this, and to escape the spiral of negativity first I focused on all the support I had around me, specifically my family, this injury has proven to me just how lucky I am to have such an amazing family. Then I found ways to function without hands, and every little victory from learning how to use voice dictation software, to learning how to use a computer mouse with my foot, contributed in helping me to evolve as a person in a way that I would never have done so if this had not happened.
Would I rather I had never been injured, of course, but if I focused on this thought, and only ever focused on this thought, how can I ever move on with my life? I could not, because all I would be able to think about would be what I have lost, and that is not a good thing.
No matter how difficult it is, you must train your mind to focus on the positives. You must learn to find the positives in everything and focus on that thought. Your happiness is completely dependent upon you doing so.
How to find the positives in everything
By looking for them. For example, let’s say the world is ending, the positive is the fact that you get to witness the world end. Let’s say the sun has exploded, the positive is the fact that you get to witness the explosion of a sun first hand.
There are always positives, to find them you have to look. Sometimes it can be extremely difficult to find them, but they are always there. For example, let’s say that your partner has cheated on you, the positive is the fact that you know this, and so can make an informed decision about what you want to do about it. Or let’s say that your relationship has ended, the positive is you get to meet somebody new. Or let’s say that you’ve injured both your hands like me, the positive is you never have to wash the dishes and nobody can shout at you for not doing so.
I’ll repeat it one more time, there is a positive in everything and if you are to live a happy life, more so than ever with the way the modern world is you must train yourself to find that positive. And you do that by looking for the positives. If you look for the positives and not the negatives by default you will find them.
A final point
Assuming you have trained yourself to cut negativity from your life and find the positives in everything, there is still one final thing that is required to live a life filled with positivity, and that is filling your life with positive influences.
It is no good just cutting out negativity and training yourself to find the positives in everything if you don’t also start replacing the external negatives that you have cut out with positive ones.
For example let us imagine it is a person you have cut out from your life, and this person was not supportive of you and brought you nothing but negativity. Look for someone who is supportive of you and brings positivity into your life. You may find someone, you may not, but it is always positive that you are looking for a positive influence and not interacting with a negative one.
Outside the realms of people, fill your life with things that you enjoy doing, if you enjoy writing, then write, no one even has to read what you write, all that matters is that you do what you enjoy doing.
Or if you do want people to read what you write, there are many communities on the Internet, supportive communities at that that will read what you write as long as you are willing to read what they write, and provide feedback.
In reality, it does not matter what you do only that you enjoy what it is that you are doing. There is no person who lives a happier life than a person who is doing what it is they enjoy doing.
And perhaps what you enjoy doing is going on holidays, then go on holidays, and if you can’t afford to go on holidays then go on days out.
The solutions are out there, you just have to be willing to take the positive actions needed to find them. And the moment you make the decision to do so, is the moment your life changes for the better.
That’s all from me for today, stay safe and be positive!