Mental Health Moments: Managing Negativity In Your Life

⌛ By Kaylin R. Staten 

Sometimes, life’s rollercoaster ride can invoke more negative emotions and actions than positive ones. Whether you didn’t get the job you wanted after your third interview or are facing a personal dilemma, the lows of life can cause you to experience negative tunnel vision.

Spiraling into negative thought processes and supplemental behaviors can make even the most positive individuals break under the pressure. When you’re at your lowest of lows or are starting the process into negative thinking, how can you bounce back and begin to think positively?

For the most part, I am a glass-half-full person. I see silver linings in less-than-savory situations and try my best to remain optimistic in trying times. However, I am only human, and I fall into black holes of negativity from time to time, especially when my anxiety and depression are on red alert.

Here’s how I manage negativity in my life:

Practice mindfulness.

Changing your perspective goes a long way. If you take everything to heart and then twist it to become something negative (even when the intention was solely positive), then learn to recognize negative behaviors. Some negative behaviors include the following:

  • Having a negative view of the world;

  • Being easily insulted;

  • Complaints are a favorite communication method; and

  • Even good news comes with negative perspectives and dwelling on bad news

Read more traits here.

There is a multitude of ways you can change negative thought patterns. This includes words of affirmation, meditation, reading books, seeking therapy, doing things that create your own positive vibes and more.

Keep smiling and laughing.

Even when you feel like it could literally kill you, smiling will go a long way. Smiling has a way of cultivating an upbeat attitude. Even if you feel like you’re faking it, smiling will help you manage negativity with a positive behavior. Laughing does even better. For example, during periods of grief and turmoil in my life, I could barely see past the fog of my own tears; however, if someone brings up a funny memory, I can’t help but laugh. Laughter is the best medicine, is it not?

Help other people see the positive side of life.

Use random acts of kindness to show people that it’s OK to positive. Often, negative people reside in their own negative ruts, so showing them a different side of life can be beneficial for both sides. Helping others can also give you a boost of energy, too. If the negativity from others is getting to be too much for you, establish boundaries. In some cases, it’s easier for you to walk away when you have tried everything. I have to do this personally and professionally, and while the sting of having to cut situations and people from your life is overwhelming at first, you will see the benefits eventually. I promise!

Accept what you can’t change.

Acceptance is one of the most challenging aspects of any process. In many ways, I haven’t found true acceptance in many facets of my life, and I’m fine with admitting that. Acceptance can be a long or short road, depending on the situation and destination. I won’t say to avoid negative people because all of us have relationships with others that can be changed, whether they are family members, friends, co-workers, etc. We choose to keep those we care about in our lives. I am a fan of pros and cons lists, probably to the point of obsession. So, I do this to see what I can live with and without.

Please note: These blog posts will not be clinical, although we will provide symptoms and other information. These posts are based on my experiences with anxiety and mental health in general.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit a website like Mental Health America to learn more.

Mental Health Moments blog posts are every other Tuesday of the month. Our CEO and contributors highlight what it's like to live with a mental health disorder and continue to fight the stigma through storytelling.

Copyright © MMXVIII Hourglass Media, LLC

Kaylin R. Staten, APR is an award-winning public relations practitioner and writer. She owns Hourglass Media, a consulting company based in Huntington, WV.

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