Knee-Jerk Negativism

Knee-Jerk Negativism

It’s easy to forget that we choose how we view the world. Because it’s our perspective, we believe whatever we think is reality and not merely an interpretation of facts that we can control. Imagine how different you’d feel if the world was full of interesting people and lots of opportunity instead of being full of people only out for themselves.

Knee-jerk negativism can be seriously detrimental to your mental and physical health. Unfortunately, most of the conversations we’re exposed to—during our work days, in the media, and among our friends and family—are fear-focused: fears about what may happen, what’s not working, interpretations of what the actions of others may mean, and reiterations of what isn’t possible. Whether these ideas are accurate or not, you go through exactly the same emotions you would if they were true. Negativity drains you. Literally.

It takes effort to remain positive and open in the face of relentless negativity. But it can be done. It’s a habit, like any other. The first step is becoming conscious of your environment and the influences you allow into your mind. Consciously challenge them and think about the perspective of the people providing information before you choose what you want to believe.

Are coworkers who constantly focus on what isn’t working trying to justify why they’re not succeeding? Are they looking for reasons not to try different things? Are they threatened by the very idea that trying hard could achieve results? Or is it just a habit with them?

Negativity is an energy vampire. Emotions, attitudes, and perspective are contagious. Be careful what you choose to focus upon so that you can reserve your energy for people, activities, and ideas that fill you up rather than deplete you. The upside is that not only will you benefit, you’ll be able to spread your positive energy to others.

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