How can we avoid negativity around us

12 steps to less negativity in your life

We humans tend to focus on the negative. When I turn on the news, I see how bad the world is. If I get 30 positive reviews and one negative for my book, then the one negative keeps me busy for more than 30 good ones.

Negativity gets our full attention. Our senses are less sharpened for the positive things. This is no wonder, because in nature this is how we protect ourselves from the dangers of the wilderness. It's anchored in our genes. But life is no longer so dangerous. We no longer have to flee from the saber-toothed tiger. Most of the natural dangers have disappeared from our everyday lives. Now we live more safely than ever before - and still dedicate ourselves to the negative things.

Negativity is really ... negative! It feels lousy. It makes us unhappy and sick. It stirs up distrust of our fellow human beings. It keeps us from realizing our potential. And it reinforces itself: what we focus on becomes our reality. Those who expect a lot of negative things get exactly that.

Reason enough to reduce the negativity in our lives. I've been working on this for some time and want to show you twelve steps you can take Avoid much of the negativity in your everyday life.

1. Avoid the mass media

I recommend avoiding the media as much as possible. By that I mean news, talk shows, many documentaries, newspapers, most magazines and the corresponding online media. They work according to the motto "Only bad news is good news". And who can blame them? Bad news - dramatized too - sells. These are all companies that have to sustain themselves. They only report on the world's problems and inflate them artificially. And if everything is actually fine, then possible problems are raised. Consequently we see the world more negatively than it actually is.

But now ask yourself the following question: “How often has news changed my everyday life?” I bet it almost never. No matter how many crises and scandals there have been in recent years, they all have does not affect my life. I haven't changed anything in my everyday life just because the media has exaggerated a problem.

That's why I (almost) only consume information that affects me personally. These are topics related to my well-being, my further development, my business. And I consume this information “just in time” - that is, when I need it. I have canceled magazines, I watch television very carefully, I only scan Spiegel Online very briefly and I have also restricted social media consumption (although there is more here). I am missing absolutely nothing. On the contrary: I feel better because I am confronted with less negativity.

2. Avoid negative people

You are the average of the people you spend most of your time with. If your environment consists of ambitious people, you lose your own ambitions. If you surround yourself with blasphemers, you will blaspheme yourself. If your friends put themselves in a victim role, you will soon become a victim yourself. That's how it works People around us influence our own mentality stronger than we realize.

Surrounding yourself with inspiring people is therefore an important step away from negativity. You need friends who have a positive outlook on life. The rubs off on you and they make it easier for you to be positive yourself.

I recommend that you do yours Questioning relationships. If there are any that pull you down more than they benefit you, then it is time to reduce contact.

3. Don't blaspheme

Blasphemy has a social function. In this way we learn something about people without knowing them well. So protects us from blasphemy from harmful people. But does it outweigh the disadvantages? The information is anyway subjective and should be enjoyed with caution. But above all (negative) gossip is based on anger. Those who blaspheme have not expressed their anger towards that person. In return, he shares his anger with everyone else. But that causes stress, because when you gossip you have to be afraid of being discovered. And what for? Nothing positive has ever come about from gossiping.

Who is blaspheming puts itself in a bad light, because I expect him to gossip about me sooner or later. If you blaspheme a lot, you will find it difficult to build a network of non-blasphemous people around you. They don't want anything to do with you.

So you have to stop doing this first. It's pretty tough. I still do it sometimes. But I've been trying to minimize it ever since I realized it was hurting me.

You can't blaspheme alone. When you realize that someone wants to blaspheme you don't get into it - even if you feel unfriendly at the moment.

4. Don't complain

There is always something to complain about: about the weather, the traffic, the job, the boss, the politicians. After all my travels, it seems to me that we Germans are particularly good at it. It is a small national sport. But the problem with grumbling is: It doesn't bring anything positive, but it makes our mood worse.

Bleating is a habit and habits can be changed. To do this, we first have to be aware that we often complain. A popular method comes from Will Bowen, who wants to create a Complaint Free World. Accordingly, you should slip a bracelet around your wrist. Every time if you catch yourself complaining, the bracelet has to change your wrist. This increases awareness of one's own complaints.

Our own variant looks a little different: for a while we imposed push-ups on ourselves for every complaint.

No matter whether with an armband, push-ups or without: If you make yourself aware that you are complaining, you can ask yourself how useful it is. As long as you can't or can't change the situation, complaining is pointless. Instead, practice empathy for the people with whom you are currently dissatisfied. They're probably also doing their best to get through life well.

5. Don't lie

Lies are supposed to make our lives easier, but in truth they make it harder for us. you cause stress and guilt. If you lie, you cannot develop good self-esteem. Instead, he will always be concerned about being discovered.

I don't want to advertise never to lie again. That shouldn't work in a social community. But be aware that you are for every lie is punished with negative emotions will. It should be worth it to you to be honest more often. Even to yourself.

6. Don't compare yourself to others

We tend to compare ourselves to other people. We compare jobs, income, cars, attractiveness, relationships, intelligence, courage and a lot more. I understand that. It's no different for me. Comparisons give us orientation in a complicated world. We want to know where we are.

But I've learned that comparisons are unhealthy. you make me unhappy, charge me with guilt and gnaw at my confidence. There is always someone who has more money or brains and who is more attractive or more courageous.

We only ever see this one aspect and feel inferior. But a person consists of more than one facet. If we're already comparing each other, then please with all facets. That gives a much more balanced picture. But it would be even better to just us focus on ourselves. Because self-esteem only comes from ourselves.

7. Improve your self-esteem

And that's the next step. Negativity comes from low self-esteem. Those who do not consider themselves competent to lead a happy life and are also worthy of it are more prone to negative feelings. Low self-worth invites feelings of envy, hatred, fear, worry, inferiority or helplessness.

I've waited a long time for my self-esteem to increase with my successes. Or through other people. But I could wait for that today, because that's not how it works. A feeling of We can only give ourselves self-worth.

The way there leads through self-acceptance, honesty, personal responsibility, passions and a healthy lifestyle. This is a topic in itself that we at Healthy Habits will certainly take up.

8. Don't invent problems

Don't deal with problems that don't exist yet. We humans are good at ourselves Worrying about everything close. But 99 percent of our worries never become a reality. You are useless. And as long as we cannot do anything ourselves, the other 1 percent is also useless. These are 100 percent useless worries!

The next time you find yourself constructing problems in your head, consider whether you can actively do something about them. If not, go to the next step and accept what you cannot change.

9. Accept what you cannot change

Do you sometimes grapple with things that you cannot change? Maybe it's the weather. Or maybe it's something bigger that is out of your hand. Try to catch yourself thinking these thoughts next time. You are useless. We can only find our peace of mind if we have the Accept things that we cannot influence.

And if you worry because you don't know what to expect, think about what could be the worst case scenario. If everything goes wrong, what would be the worst possible outcome? Start making friends with it. Accept the Worst case. Accept it as your reality. Then try to bring about improvement steps. What can you do to get a better result than that Worst case - that you have already accepted? From here on it can only get better.

10. Live mindfully in the here and now

As you know, almost all of our problems are only in our heads. These nasty thoughts are based on the experiences and information from the past and on worries about the future. Our life does not happen in the future, and certainly not in the past, but here and now.

The best way to prepare for the future is to live a healthy life today and do the best possible job. If you make an effort today, tomorrow can come.

However, it is not so easy to get lost in thoughts of yesterday and tomorrow. Our brain somehow always wants to keep us away from today. For me, meditation is a good way to practice mindfulness in the here and now. Just a few minutes a day are enough to detach myself from my carousel of thoughts for a while.

11. Take responsibility for your life

Problems then work especially big when we let them flourish. In fact, they don't just look that way, they actually get bigger over time. If you are dissatisfied with yourself or your life today, inactivity will only make it worse. A stressful job leads to burnout at some point. A small tummy becomes overweight. A difficult relationship turns into bitterness.

You can only escape this negative spiral if you Taking responsibility for your problems. Free yourself from the lethargy and say no to this development. No to the stressful job, no to being overweight and no to a bad relationship.

Responsibility is one of the most important steps away from negativity. Because the first ten steps require that you become active yourself. It is your responsibility to avoid negative media, avoid harmful people, not blaspheme, etc.

12. Use the Tetris Effect for yourself

We get exactly what we expect from life. If we are only surrounded by negativity and expect it to stay that way, we only get negative things back. In psychology this is called the Tetris effect. In this case he's running against us.

However, if we concentrate on the positive side of life, we experience more positive things. This is also the Tetris effect, but used for us. I don't want to say more about that yet. Because this twelfth point is a foretaste of the next article, which is about positive emotions.

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