Nothing makes me want to clam up and bury my head in the sand quicker than a negative environment. Water cooler talk in the work place is great. However, once that conversation lends itself to bashing and begrudgingly painful insults being slung around in the name of a person that is not even in the room, I want to crawl into the corner and begin sucking my thumb in a fetal position. I HAAATE negativity. Or…I’m…negative about negativity? Does that make sense?
I remember about 5 years ago, I was sitting in my office overhearing what I thought were my coworkers talking about me. Mind you, I’m pretty sure I’m absolutely wrong about this. However, in my mind, I just knew that they were conspiring against me! How DARE they? So instead of going straight to them and figuring out whether or not my suspicions were true, I began to cry. Like…ugly cry. I swore these two coworkers were plotting against me. It made me want to quit my job and run home to sleep off the rest of my existence on the planet.
Clearly, I needed a little bit of an intervention. The negativity in my work place was getting to me. My “spidey senses” were on high alert, constantly perceiving threats that were not there!
After really spending time in examining these feelings and doing extensive research (after my stepdaughter passed away), what I found out what pretty interesting. When people allow fear-based emotions (particularly related to negativity) to penetrate them constantly, they begin to operate from a place of fear. Operating from a place of fear on a daily basis is akin to being hooked up to a constant cortisol IV drip. I will leave out all of the Latin and medical jargon here (I am not a doctor), but basically what it comes down to is this: a default of cortisol-induced high-alert reactions are responsible for the declining physical and emotional/mental health of our global society. Accumulation of cortisol needs to be combined with rigorous exercise. If it isn’t, it pools up and leads to disease (or dis-ease).
Unfortunately, this exposure to negativity isn’t easy to avoid for most people.
But honestly, these days, I very rarely am swayed by anything negative outside influence. What I have discovered is this.
How to deal with negativity
There are really only two steps that I use to deal with negativity. First, I identify the source. Next. I cleanse it out. That’s right. Get yourself a nice negativity enema! I have a few suggestions for this.
How to give yourself a negativity enema:
Do a little negativity clearing ceremony. If you’re into this sort of thing (and yes, I am…since it’s pretty powerful stuff), grab yourself a smudge stick, light that sucker on fire, and smudge away. Palo Santo is also great (I love the smell). Next, meditate with the angels. Seriously. Corin Grillo has an amaaaaaazing meditation that you can check out here: http://www.coringrillo.com/product/space-clearing-meditation/
Meditate Mindfully. I know, I know. For some of us, this really isn’t easy. But here’s what you do. Close your eyes. Really take a minute to sink into your body. Think about the FEELING that the negativity is bringing up for you. Identify where it is, in your body, that you feel that emotion pooling up. What, exactly, does it feel like? Now, just STARE at it. It isn’t necessary to do anything about it. Don’t obsess over why you feel that way. Shake hands with the emotion. Sit with it. Examine it. Shine a flashlight on it. Inspect it. After a few minutes of doing this, notice what happens with the emotion. Does it still have the same grip on you that it had before?
Now, let’s examine the sources. This is going to be quick and dirty.
Negativity from the Media
First, it’s really important that we limit the crap that we are exposed to on a daily basis (truthfully, the media is FULL of it, and not enough positivity!). I know that they say that ignorance is bliss. You know what? That’s just fine. Keep me ignorant then. I don’t need that negative trash “knowledge” in my life. Rather, I am busy filling my spirit with positivity and good juju. I’m going to give you a cool little hack that I’ve learned about Facebook. If you do nothing for a good two weeks but click on posts that you WANT to see, Facebook will catch on! They will then begin to fill your feed with posts that are similar to the ones you typically would prefer to check out. True, I don’t see what sort of devastating stuff is going on in the world, but you know what? That’s not why I go on Facebook. I go on there to touch base with those that I LOVE, and to connect with amazing people…not to find out about the world’s events. Think about it. Facebook is not a news outlet.
Remember that WE use technology. It doesn’t use US.
Keep Facebook social. Connect with those that are going to fill you up and encourage you to think about the world of possibility. This brings me to my next point.
Negativity from Friends
It is really easy to get sucked into negativity when hanging out with a group of friends whose entire focus of conversation goes from one negative topic to another. This is when it becomes increasingly important to exercise the fine art of drawing boundaries. It may be necessary to state to your friends that you are not available for conversations that put you in a bad mood. Not ready to voice it (hey, man…this IS about living life OUT LOUD, afterall…and this means that we’re going to need to start voicing where our boundaries are being crossed. But alas…I digress)? Change the topic of conversation to one that’s more positive. Eventually they get the hint. It’ll look like this:
Toni: Hey, Jane. How was your weekend?
Jane: Hi, Toni. Well, it sucked. I had to clean my bathroom. After that I had to make dinner. It was freaking terrible.
Toni: Well, Jane, I’m so sorry. Can you tell me something you liked about your weekend?
Jane: Nothing. It sucked. All of it. I had to eat cat food and give my dog an enema. How about you? How was your weekend?
Toni: Ah. That stinks. I’m sorry. Not too bad. I, too, ate cat food. I realized it’s not half bad with a few sprinkles of sugar.
Jane: Oh, is that so?
Toni: Absolutely. I added a side of bacon. Bacon makes everything better!
Jane: I’m not really a fan of bacon, but okay.
Toni: Oh, I am. I love bacon.
And there you go. Like a ninja, Toni was able to turn a negative conversation into a positive one. Sometimes, however, the friend will attempt to steer the conversation back to a negative one. Take this as a round 2! I like to call it the Positivity Game!
Aside from the Positivity Game, you will want to limit your friends to really only positive ones. If you’re serious about improving your outlook on life, you simply need to surround yourself with awesomeness. It’s not your duty to be someone’s negativity tampon. Rather, spend time doing things you LOVE, like art, dance, working out…whatever makes you super happy!
Negative Work Environment
There is a negativity ninja move that I like to use in the work environment, and it goes like this. For this, I have an exercise. Write down answers to the following:
What do you like about your work environment?
What is the WORST about it?
Interestingly, these two questions are LOADED with ammo if you’re looking to find your life’s purpose (just saying).
Whatever you like most, see if you can do that MORE. STAY AWAY from the negative water cooler talk. Pretend you are a monkey swinging on a limb of positivity. Your job is simply to go from one limb of positivity to another. Meanwhile, do your best to avoid falling FAR onto the ground where negativity breeds and festers. Go in, do your job, then go home to Fido and cuddle while you watch The New Girl (or indulge yourself in hour of cat videos…or whatever your poison is).
If you find that you are still miserable, you truly do have a few choices. First, you may choose to stay right where you’re at, honoring those things that keep you breathing in your job from day to day, or you can then begin to take the steps you need to take to move closer toward what you were meant to do.
Negativity from Other Sources
Now, if you’re experiencing a great deal of negativity due to health or emotional reasons, then this is a time for you to exercise EXTREME self-love. I mean, if you’re feeling beaten down, like you simply want to give up, and you feel like you’re a slave to your negative thoughts, I truly want to urge you to seek a therapeutic hand. Surround yourself with people that simply LOVE you (and we will here!) and do more of what you love! Seriously! As long as it’s not hurting anything or anybody, do more of it! The WORLD needs you to do it. This is why you were called here to this earth, so dang it, take the time to treat yo’ self and go to town with it!
So there you go. I truly want for you to live your most positive, most joyful life…OUT LOUD! If you want to chat, I’m HERE. Much, much love.