Negativity is all around us! As much as we’d like to have a positive outlook on things, it can be challenging when there is so much around us that thrives on negativity.
Consider the things we may read on the internet, in newspapers or watch on television — most of it focuses on negative things. If we’re not intentionally doing things to shield ourselves from negativity, it can:
- Influence our outlook on things.
- De-motivate us.
- Change our perception about something or someone adversely.
- Cause us to be negative, sometimes without even realising it.
- Decrease our ability to get things done.
Negativity costs us more than we may realise which is why it is important that we’re able to say no to negativity. Sometimes, saying “no” can be challenging, however there are ways to say “no” without compromising our integrity.
5 Ways to Avoid Being Exposed to Negativity
Here are five ways to avoid getting caught up in negativity so you can be a person that’s respected and admired by others, and you’ll be able to get more things done.
- Reframe problems into challenges. It takes a different mindset to view problems as challenges. When we do that, we’re implying our challenge requires us to broaden our view and look it from different perspectives.
When we see a problem as just another challenge to overcome, it helps us get over any angst we may have about it quicker and focus on possible solutions. Rather than looking at what’s wrong with something, we can now focus on how we can change it, make it better or overcome it.
- Stay focused on your goals. Goals give us direction and they also help clarify our priorities. If we have goals to focus on, we have no need or the time to dwell on things that are beyond our control, or have no influence on our goals.
This is why it’s vital to set goals. When we’re focused on our goals, we’ll spend our time doing the things we need to in order to achieve our goals. It’s rare for goals to cause us to dwell on negative things.
- Know the people you spend most of your time with. Our relationships have a major influence on how we think, how we feel and how we behave. I once read we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. Confirm whether that’s true or not yourself!
Make a list of the five adults you spend the most time with and get an idea of their health, the quality of their relationships and their financial situation. Take an average of all five and relate it to your health, relationships and finances. You’ll be surprised by what you find. Therefore, choose wisely who you spend your precious time with for they affect almost all areas of your life.
- Elevate your level of thinking. Becoming aware of what we habitually think about is one of the most important things we can learn about ourselves. Our thoughts shape everything we do or don’t do, which ultimately dictates our experience of life.
Elevating our thinking starts with what I term “turning off the nonsense,” which refers to turning off or not getting sucked into any forms of media that dwell on negativity like television news, talkback radio, or reading newspapers or news sites.
Avoid getting drawn into meaningless conversations which focuses on complaining and moaning about things that are wrong. Personally, I walk away from such conversations. If I’m in a situation where I can’t walk away, I will put in my earphones and listen to something uplifting.
- Maintain an attitude of gratitude. It takes a higher level of awareness to be thankful for all the things that are going well in our lives amidst the negativity around us.
As an example, if you have a goal that’s taking longer than expected to achieve, you can either focus on what’s missing or lacking, or you can focus on the progress you have made toward achieving the goal.
If you choose to focus on what has gone right so far, that automatically puts you in a state of appreciation and gratitude, and it also helps maintain the motivation to keep moving toward achieving the goal.
Being grateful is a discipline and a practice, and does require conscious effort. However, if you keep doing it consistently, it will soon become an inherent part of how you live your life.
Avoiding negativity is really a choice. If we’re able to apply these simple ideas, not only will we notice a shift in how we think, we’ll feel lighter, be more optimistic, and have a greater level of clarity in what we’d like to achieve.
If we don’t apply these ideas, we’ll easily get drawn into conversations or experiences that will take us away from what we want. The choice is yours.
Action Step: Conduct an honest assessment of yourself. If others were to describe you as a person, would they consider you to be a positive or negative person? If you think others regard you as a negative person, shift your mindset by applying these ideas daily.
Question: What can you do to avoid being exposed to negativity?