It can feel impossible to free yourself from negativity when it’s all around you. The truth is, no one has to be pulled into negativity, not by yourself or even by the ones you love. Start by setting boundaries and try one of these 10 ways to free yourself from negativity.
There have been periods in my life where I’ve found myself floating in a dark pool of negativity. Sometimes the pool was filled with my own bitterness, jealousy, and doubt. Other times, my friends or family were responsible for the negative energy. Whomever is responsible doesn’t always matter — once you’re in the darkness, it’s easy to lose sight of whose to blame. Especially if you’re floating… and you can get out of the pool anytime.
10 Ways to Free Yourself from Negativity
Emotions are habits formed by repetition. To change how we feel, we must first start with how we act. I spend a lot of time sharing how I learn to better myself in therapy. It’s not to just hold myself accountable, but to also inspire others who may be searching for a better way of living. One of my consistent goals is to break free of my own negative thinking while navigating the negativity of others (especially the ones I love).
- Recognize where the negative energy is coming from and run away. Or walk. Or just build a fence.
- Set boundaries (even if YOU are the negative one). It’s important to clearly define what is acceptable and what is not in your relationships and interactions. For me — talking about hypothetical negative situations is a trigger for my anxiety– and my family/friends now know that I will walk away from a conversation to protect myself.
- Look for glimmers in the darkness. We all have bad moments, but they don’t have to turn into bad days. If you feel like you’re heading down a negative path, look for something joyful around you. Let the glimmer light your way to positivity.
- Write down the good stuff — it will keep it fresh in your mind. It can be hard to journal daily, but when the moment strikes, put those glimmers on paper.
- Find positive meaning in negative memories. This study in mind-blowing, but if you can find positive meaning in past negative events, there are a host of beneficial outcomes, such as enhanced positive emotion, fewer depression symptoms and faster recovery from stress — each of which helps build resilience to future adversity.(source)
- Get up and move your body. Did you know negative energy loves lethargy? Dance it out (it’s my favorite form of movement).
- Step into nature — the healing benefits of being outdoors are limitless.
- Stop victimizing yourself. Bad things happen to everyone — and the more you whine about anything, the more energy you give to the negativity. Let go of the victim mentality.
- Keep the gossiping and shit-talking at a minimum. This one can be hard, but even listening to gossip about someone you don’t know can turn your mood sour.
- Take care of yourself. Make self-care activities that nourish your soul a priority. Treat yourself with kindness and love, and remember to celebrate ALL of your achievements, no matter how small they may seem.
Negative energy can have a powerful pull on us, especially if we’re struggling to maintain positive energy and balance. It may seem that others who exude negative energy would like to pull us into the darkness with them. We do not have to go. Without judgment, we can decide it’s okay to walk away, okay to protect ourselves. We cannot change other people. It does not help others for us to get off balance. We do not lead others into the Light by stepping into the darkness with them.
From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie