For the most part it seems most of us know that negativity is not good.
One question I often see whether happiness comes from success or if happiness leads to success.
There is some information out there that seems to show the latter.
The happier you are… The more optimistic you are… The more successful you’ll be.
It’s boring, but the idea of a self-fulfilling prophecy seems to be very true.
Heck, negative people are even more likely to be in accidents.
But even if you realize that it’s still possible for negativity to infiltrate your life.
We know that can lead to a lack of success and even poor health. Negativity can lead to dementia, heart disease and more.
Here are the top ways…
Giving up on most news has been one of the best decisions of my life. I used to watch the news nightly. Not intently, but while eating dinner and things like that.
I also used to subscribe to a lot more news outlets on Twitter.
But a few years ago I just felt that it was harming my mind.
And it turns out that studies have found the same. The negative news you consume the more it brings down your effectiveness in your work.
The more I looked into this the more it seems that this is not a new concept. There have been songs and poems written about all the bad news out there.
It seems that we’re wired to be attracted to bad news.
So it’s even more critical for us to realize this potential and avoid negative news as best we can.
You are what you eat.
We’ve all heard it, but usually we brush it off. Come on…food? Does it really matter that much.
I just finished reading a book about a pro golfer. Right before he went out on Tour his dad told him that if he ate like McDonalds that he would play like McDonalds.
Said a bit differently, if you eat like McDonalds you’ll think like McDonalds.
And that means poorly.
More studies are coming out finding the connection between our gut and our brain.
Depression, dementia and much more.
The wrong kinds of food leads to the wrong kinds of thinking.
Here is a guide on what to eat to avoid negative thinking.
3. People (Family, Friends, Coworkers)
This is the one we know about most.
The tricky part is that it comes from all angles. Family, friends, coworkers.
I can’t remember who said it, but we really are the total of the five or so people we surround ourselves with the most.
If we surround ourselves with negative people we become negative.
I’ve read quite a number of biographies and autobiographies of successful entrepreneurs. Most, well all, experienced failure in their lives. Negative people entered their lives.
But they almost always discussed the importance of being around successful and positive people.
This might mean making some difficult decisions, but if you want success you have to limit your interaction with negative people.
4. Social Media
I remember how excited people were when Facebook came out.
A few years ago, though, I went the other way and stopped using Facebook. No friends. Nothing.
There were studies coming out at the time that showed how people were negatively affected by social media. It’s not that social media doesn’t come with positives. It does. But the temptation is too much and the downsides are real.
You’ll be okay if you don’t use it.
5. Entertainment (TV, Books, YouTube, etc.)
TV is tricky. It can make us feel good in the short-term, but depressed in the long-term.
In fact, some that study TV’s impact on us say that it’s simple.
Happy people don’t watch much TV.
But maybe it’s about more than just TV. Maybe it’s entertainment in general. Be careful with getting too much entertainment. It can lead to short-term amusement, but long-term sadness and negativity.
Much of the news today is political. So if you’re avoiding the news you’re going to avoid most of politics.
But it’s still good to pull this one out on its own.
A term more people are searching for online is Political Depression.
Successful people that I’ve admired and watched focus more on what they control than what they don’t. And they don’t control politics. They just ignore it or pay very little mind to it. And they seem very happy.
7. Self Doubt
If you’re in business… Heck, if you’re doing anything in life and really trying to do something big then you’re going to fail.
But the thing with failure is how you handle it.
Nobody likes it.
But some view failure as a sign that something needs to change. They accept it and move on looking for a solution. They keep trying.
But others let it linger. They let it fester and bother them. They can’t get over it and self doubt creeps in.
That self doubt can really be a negative on your life.
And if we fall into this trap we usually paint a picture that’s much worse than reality.
8. Routines & Habits
I’m a big believer that we are what we do every day.
Unfortunately, one of the frustrating things about life is that we can fall into bad habits and routines.
I like to audit my routines every few months. Maybe every 3-6 months. I put it on my calendar to take a day and analyze what I do every day.
If I fall into bad routines. Or if something is really not helping me reach my goals then I cut it and look for ways to do things better.
We’re only human. We can easily fall into bad habits. The key is recognizing them and fixing what’s wrong.
9. Vision vs. Forward Thinking
There’s a tricky paradox in life.
It’s important to have a vision. I believe in trying to form a vision of what you want your life to be throughout your life.
I believe in trying to picture what you want to do. Then you can work your wait to doing it. If you have no picture you have no idea what you’ll become.
However, on a related note is kind of an idea on forward thinking. This is when you need something to look forward to in order to be happy.
If you’re always looking forward to something you can fall into the negativity trap.
You’ll never or rarely be happy with what’s going on right now.
You think things like:
- Once I have a new job things will be good.
- I need a trip to look forward to.
- If I had tickets to the game life would be great.
Just little things. Seemingly harmless. There’s nothing wrong with a little anticipation, but watch out for how much it affects you.
Look at your life now and find things that make you happy today.
10. Little Things
It’s all about the little things in life.
That’s a common saying.
Little things can lead to the best feelings. But little things can also lead to negative feelings.
The idea of not sweating the small stuff is crucial to avoiding negative thoughts.
Someone slighted you? Did something you don’t agree with?
Try to put it in perspective. Don’t throw away good things or good people because of something little they’ve done or that you think they’ve done.
We know that negativity isn’t good for us. But it can still creep into our lives without us even realizing. It can be kind of a slow burn sometimes.
Hopefully the things above will help you avoid negativity in your life. It’s not easy, but if you succeed it will lead to more success, better health and more happiness.