Stop Being Negative

What if I like being negative? What if I embody Maxine or what if Grumpy Cat is my hero? Although, if I were a cat, I would probably be grumpy too when “the humans” dressed me in those silly outfits and forced me to pose constantly for pictures to plaster all over the internet. 

Some people just seem to be grumpy by nature and they are truly happy being grumpy. However, there is a difference in being grumpy and being negative. Being grumpy is occasionally grumbling or griping about your situation but in a half-hearted manner; however, being negative affects your sense of well-being and causes you to look at everything in a bad light. Negative people are unable to find the silver lining in any cloud.

On the other hand, constantly being in a state of blissful happiness is not a sign of emotional well-being and it may cause people around you to want to hurt you. People that have achieved a balanced sense of well-being acknowledge that they will have negative thoughts at times but they have found ways to cope with those negative thoughts rather than dwelling on them or allowing negative thoughts to control their lives.

Five Ways to Stop Being Negative

1. Stop thinking of everything in extremes. If you always assume the worst-case scenario, you will constantly be in a state of panic. This negative way of thinking prevents you from seeing the other possible outcomes because you are solely focused on the worst possible conclusion to every situation. Instead of believing that you will faint if you are forced to speak to a large group of people, remind yourself that you talk to people all of the time and you do not faint. This is just a few more people.

2. Stop assuming. Stop trying to assume what everyone else is thinking, feeling and doing. Just because your best friend has not returned your text from one hour ago does not mean that she is angry with you. It simply means she may be in a meeting or getting her hair done or just doing something else. Just because your boss is having a private lunch does not mean that he is interviewing your replacement. Replace your negative assumptions with positive assumptions such as, “My friend is in a meeting” or “My boss is having lunch with his wife.”

3. Stop expecting everyone to live by your rules. If you force your rules on others, you will be miserable. Not everyone is going to do things exactly like you do them or do them to your satisfaction. This does not mean that you should not expect others to behave in a reasonable manner; however, you must also be flexible to allow for the differences in others.

4. Live in the moment. If you constantly worry about tomorrow, you will never be able to accomplish anything today. Concentrating solely on the past or the future will only make you anxious and prone to negative thoughts. You should plan for the future but that does not mean that you should dwell on things that may never occur.

5. Change your perspective. If something does not go well, find a way to change how you feel about the outcome. Reframe the situation to find the positive aspects. Very seldom are situations or outcomes completely negative. Often times they create challenges for us that will help us grow and learn. Seeing these outcomes as challenges rather than failures will help you find a positive perspective.

There will be times when you have negative thoughts or feelings; however, recognizing the fact that you are being negative is the first step into transitioning into having a more positive nature. It may take time and effort, but once you realize that you can change the way that you look at things and you make a real effort to have a positive outlook, you will begin to see a change in your overall sense of well-being. This, in itself, will help you become more positive.


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Image credit: JD Hancock