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10 Types of Negativity to Let Go of Right Now >>>

10 Types of Negativity to Let Go of Right Now

Have you ever wondered exactly why you remember all the mean things people have said to you more than the beautiful things they’ve said to you? That’s because your brain is hard-wired to remember negative experiences in life. And this sets you up for a negative mindset to gain a stronghold in your thoughts and actions. It can affect your friendships, your work, and your decisions. If you struggle with being overly negative, it’s crucial to find ways to let it go, especially of the more destructive types of negativity.

Here are the ten types of negativity you need to get rid of right now

Release the burden of these negative thoughts–you’ll be all the happier for it in the long run!

  1. Blameshifting

Blameshifting is blaming others or situations for your own failure.  Studies say blameshifting is a tool people use to push away criticism. But the same study found that blameshifting usually backfires because people don’t like blame shifters. Think here of politicians who make sweeping campaign promises, then blame others when the commitments aren’t met, even though it’s their fault. Blaming your spouse, kids, or your upbringing is a form of negativity that weighs you down and distorts your view of life.

How to let go:

The next time you’re tempted to blame someone or something, stop and make a decision not to blameshift. Allow yourself to accept the situation and admit your own fault when needed. Find peace in letting go of this negative attitude.

  1. Being a perfectionist

If you are a perfectionist, then you want to do things in an utterly perfect way. You set high standards for yourself and others. No one is perfect, and to set your goals on perfectionism is unrealistic. It’s a negative view of yourself because you’re afraid you won’t be accepted by others if you don’t look and act correctly.

How to let go:

Perfectionism is a deep-set negative view of yourself. Here are some simple new habits you can try to begin breaking free from perfectionism.

  • Admit your weakness to others
  • Don’t compete with other people, decide not to compete
  • Accept yourself
  • Practice gratitude for who you are
  • Pray when you’re tempted to be critical of yourself or others
  • Use mindfulness to relax and find peace
  1. Self-defeating thoughts

Negative, self-defeating thoughts are those negative thoughts you believe about yourself. These thoughts chip away at your confidence. They bombard your mind with statements like

  • I can’t do it, why bother trying?
  • I always mess things up. I’ll mess this up too.
  • I’m not good enough.
  • I’m a hopeless mess.
  • I’ll probably fail as I’ve done before.

When you have self-defeating thoughts, you become your own worst enemy. If you had a friend that uttered these things to you, you would question the friendship. So, don’t talk to yourself with these negative thoughts.

How to let it go:

Please pay attention to your thoughts when they cross your mind. Review what caused you to think like this, then make a choice to let go of them. Here are some additional items you can try to help reverse your self-defeating thoughts.

  • Ask yourself why you’re thinking this way.
  • Change your negative thoughts with positive ones. Instead of “I can’t do it, why bother” say, “I can always try.”
  • Talk to yourself, don’t listen to yourself. Tell yourself what’s real instead of listening to lies.
  1. Judging others

Judging others is a form of negativity because it’s an effort to feel better about yourself at the expense of others. Being critical of others, seeing their faults, and assuming you’d never be like that shows your own insecurities. It would help if you felt better than others because of your uncertainties. Judging shifts the focus off of your faults so you can find fault in others. This negativity destroys your relationships. It kills your self-esteem and your ability to see yourself correctly.

How to let go:

  • Refuse to judge others. Assume you don’t know people’s story so you shouldn’t come to a conclusion.
  • Choose to understand the other person’s situation.
  • Be accepting of others. No one is perfect, so don’t judge people by those criteria.
  • Choose to love others and love yourself.

  1. Fear of failing

No one wants to fail, but if you have a fear of failure, it paralyzes you. Fear of failure keeps you in from reaching out at work, in relationships, and in every part of your life. Fear of failure blinds you to your true potential. This negative mindset holds you back from really living.

How to let go:

  • It’s easy to get overwhelmed, so set small, reachable goals for yourself. Accomplishing small goals leads to achieving bigger goals.
  • Make a list of your failure fears. Figure out what will happen if you fail. You may be surprised to see that failure isn’t the worst thing.
  • Others have failed big time only to bounce back and succeed. Tell yourself you can bounce back. You can overcome any failures.
  • Don’t believe everything you think. Just because you think it, doesn’t make it real. Your fear of failure is a lie you are telling yourself. Please do not believe it.
  1. Low expectations in life

Another common type of negativity that can hold you back has low expectations. You assume the worst about yourself and your life. You feel like your life is worse than everybody else’s life. Low expectations are related to fear of failure because you feel like you will never succeed. This thinking may be related to your poor choices, but not always. It’s a mindset that develops over time as you allow negative thoughts to fill your mind. You begin to believe the lies.

How to let it go:

View your life as a journey. Choose to be healthy, happy, and empowered along the route. Try some practical things to help improve your perspective.

  • Mindfulness breaks to bring calm and peace into your life.
  • Exercise releases endorphins, so you feel better physically and mentally.
  • Gratitude journaling can help you be grateful for what you have.
  • Find a community of like-minded people to can share life.
  1. Worrying

Worry is when you feel uneasy or concerned about something. Your brain goes into overdrive, thinking about all the bad things that could happen. Worry eats away at you. It distorts what’s real and creates anxiety and fear. It’s a negative mindset that causes stress, which makes you prone to physical problems such as ulcers, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

How to let it go:

Here are a few ways to stop worrying.

  • Try to live more in the present instead of the future “what ifs.”
  • When you start to feel that worry, stop yourself and let it go.
  • Avoid things that trigger your stress like news or social media.
  • Keep a journal of your worries. When they’re on paper, they don’t look so bad.
  1. Helplessness

Helplessness is a feeling that everything is overwhelming. You underestimate your ability to rise up and face challenges, to do hard things. You avoid difficulties, and anything hard you ask for help. This low confidence makes you clingy and insecure. You look to alcohol or overeating to calm yourself. Helplessness is negative thinking about you.

How to let go:

Letting go of helplessness means taking a small step outside your fears. Choose to stop being helpless. When you have a challenge, see it as an opportunity to succeed. Other ways to overcome helplessness include

  • Set small goals
  • Keep a gratitude journal.
  • Find a community
  • Push your helpless thoughts away and replace them with positive thoughts about yourself.
  1. Trying to control

Controlling people try to control their spouses, kids, friends, and sometimes even strangers. This type of negativity is based on anxiety and fear of losing control. You may feel if you don’t try to control things, something terrible could happen. It’s a skewed view of your own abilities.

Common controlling techniques include

  • Being critical of others
  • Wanting to prevent bad things from happening to others or yourself
  • Finding fault in others
  • Keeping a record of wrongs people have done to you
  • Manipulating others out of fear of losing control

How to let go:

If you find yourself drifting into a controlling attitude, stop yourself. Tell yourself it’s okay not to control everything. Refuse to control others. Accept others as they are.

  1. Jealousy

Jealousy is a feeling of insecurity that leads you to crave what others have. You may wish you had their looks or wealth or career or children or spouse. Jealousy leads to anger, resentment, and disgust. It’s a deep hole that you fall into when you nurture negative feelings about yourself and others.

How to let it go:

Refuse to fall into the jealousy trap. Find contentment in your own life. Cultivate gratefulness. Don’t compare yourself to others, instead appreciate the differences.

Learn tips on how to overcome pessimism and become a happier person.

Final thoughts on releasing all forms of negativity from your life

Negativity comes in all forms of behavior and attitudes. It disguises itself in worry and fear of failure. It obscures your view of who you are and makes you focus on what’s not right in your life instead of what’s good.  If you find negativity holding you back from living your life, stop it in its tracks. Refuse to give in thoughts of jealousy, control, or worry. Do the hard work it takes to step away from being a negative person into a life of positivity.


Science Proves That Negativity is Toxic (and How to Boost Positivity)

Science Proves That Negativity is Toxic (and How to Boost

Negativity is toxic for many reasons: 1) it destroys your mental health, 2) it can actually make you physically sick, and 3) it just brings the mood down for everyone else around you. Negativity just can’t exist if you want to create a positive life. That doesn’t mean you can never have a bad thought, but for the most part, concentrating on the positives in life helps you attract more of the same. If you only focus on everything going wrong, you miss out on the beauty right in front of you.

Many people wonder how to find this elusive happiness that everyone talks about. It doesn’t actually exist tangibly, so this means it comes from our own minds. Therefore, we can feel happy whenever we choose because we get to control our emotions. With that said, this doesn’t mean that feeling good all the time happens overnight. It takes practice to train your mind to see the good in bad situations and circumstances.

Below, we’ll talk a little more about why negativity is toxic, and how you can engage in positive thinking to turn things around.

Science proves that negativity is toxic

“You can’t litter negativity everywhere and then wonder why you’ve got a trashy life.” – Unknown

If you’ve ever been around someone at work or school who just seems down in the dumps all the time, you know how it can affect everyone around them. In a work setting, it brings down the mood of the whole team because people can feel that energy. Just as positivity is contagious, negative moods are as well. You might think that negative moods or thoughts don’t really cause harm, but science proves otherwise.

Negativity is toxic because it can cause mental health problems.

Just as positive thinking can promote a healthy mindset, negative thoughts can do the opposite. When you constantly entertain negativity, you start to seek out experiences and people that reflect your mindset. The quote from Buddha that says “What you think, you become” very much applies here. Everything in life comes down to your mindset and the way you approach obstacles.

As they say, it doesn’t matter so much about the situation you face. Instead, it’s the attitude you have about your circumstances. A positive attitude can help you overcome any challenges. But negativity tends to drain your energy, rendering you powerless and stagnant. Studies have shown that a negative disposition can actually cause some of the world’s most common mental illnesses, like anxiety and depression. In fact, a U.K. study of more than 30,000 people, the largest of its kind, found that traumatic life events played more of a role in mental illness than even genetics or life circumstances.

The study

“Whilst we know that a person’s genetics and life circumstances contribute to mental health problems, the results of this study showed that traumatic life events are the main reason people suffer from anxiety and depression. However, the way a person thinks about and deals with, stressful events is as much an indicator of the level of stress and anxiety they feel,” said lead researcher Peter Kinderman, Head of the Institute of Psychology, Health, and Society.

So, now that you know that ruminating about the past is the main predictor of mental illness, perhaps this can offer some perspective. We often look at past experiences as a way to define ourselves, but really, they’re just stories. The things that happened to us may have shaped our character, but they don’t have to negatively affect our life moving forward.

Remaining in the present moment helps clear the chatter from your mind and keeps you focused on all the wonderful stories you can create right now. Negativity is toxic because it destroys your inner peace and takes away your strength, so try to choose positive thinking instead.

Negativity is toxic because it can harm your physical health.

It is well-documented that a negative mindset can actually cause physical health problems. Most people think negativity only affects the mind. Additionally, chronically sour moods can increase cortisol levels, which leads to all sorts of diseases. A passing negative mood probably won’t cause much harm, but making it a permanent part of your disposition can lead to problems.

Emiliana Simon-Thomas, Ph.D., science director of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, said in an article on “Many negative emotions such as anger, fear, and frustration become problematic when those emotions turn into a more permanent disposition or a habitual outlook on the world.” Some studies have shown exactly what can happen to our bodies when we maintain this habit of worry, anxiety, and stress for years on end.

Learn how to replace resentment with a newfound commitment to positivity.

The study

A 2014 study published in the journal Neurology linked high levels of cynicism later in life, i.e. a general distrust and skepticism of people, to a greater risk of dementia compared to those with a more trusting attitude. This remained true even after accounting for lifestyle factors such as smoking, age, sex, and heart health markers. Speaking of the heart, a negative outlook may affect it as well.

A 2009 study from the journal Circulation looked at data from nearly 100,000 women and found that the risk of heart disease increased in the most cynical patients. The more pessimistic women also had a higher chance of dying over the study period in comparison to those with a more optimistic outlook.

“We know that neural pathways are changing every minute of your entire life and that your brain is generating new cells throughout your life. And this neurogenesis is not only associated with the formation of new memories, but with mood stability, as well,” said Simon-Thomas.

She went on to say, “We can be deliberate about shifting our habits of feeling and thinking in the world.”

So, not only does negative thinking cause mental health problems, but it can wreak havoc on your body as well. Plus, being around negative people just brings down the mood of everyone in the surrounding area.

Negativity is toxic because it can affect other people.

In general, people don’t want to hang out with others who constantly complain or engage in negative thinking. Bad moods can easily infect everyone in a workplace or school environment, causing discord and poor morale. Of course, no one can feel happy all the time, but in general, it helps everyone when the overall mood remains positive.

If you struggle with this, it helps to block out everything except the present moment, and focus on the task at hand. You may not always feel like being at work or school, but positive thinking and staying mindful can help smooth out any tension you feel.

Now that we’ve talked about how negativity can harm your mental, physical, and emotional well-being, let’s discuss how to combat this toxic frame of mind.

How to boost positivity:

Positive thinking doesn’t always come easily, but in time, you can make it a habit instead of having to force it. Below, we’ll list a few ways that you can bring more positivity into your life.

  • Keep a positive circle of friends. They say you are the five people you hang around the most. So make sure you enjoy the people you spend time with. Try to seek out friendships with people who have qualities you admire or wish to have yourself. Being around negative people will only bring you down. Therefore, try to distance yourself from those who engage in these types of attitudes.
  • Recite positive affirmations or mantras every day. You can either keep sticky notes on your mirror with positive sayings or write them in a journal. Be sure you read them aloud each day. A positive mindset starts with what you feed to your brain; just like you nourish your body with wholesome foods, you have to take care of your mind as well.
  • Challenge negative thinking. No one in this world can say they’ve never had a negative thought about themselves. It’s just a part of being human. However, you don’t have to agree with what your mind tells you. When a negative thought creeps into your mind, simply acknowledge it and then choose to focus on something else.

Final thoughts about how science proves that negativity is toxic

Negative thinking patterns such as rumination and overreacting can cause mental and physical health problems. It can also destroy other people’s moods and morale in a work environment. You may not think negative moods can really have that much of an impact. But science shows the harm in long-term pessimistic mindsets.

Studies prove that chronic pessimism can lead to heart problems, dementia, and mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression. If you want to increase your chances of living a long, healthy life, make sure to engage in positive thinking. Recite positive affirmations, challenge your negative thoughts, and keep yourself motivated by surrounding yourself with positive people. Just remember, a positive attitude can make even the worst situation seem like a walk in the park!


Psychology Explains How to Reverse Negativity Bias

Psychology Explains How to Reverse Negativity Bias

Did you know that we tend to pay more attention to the negative than to the positive? It’s true. Psychologists call this tendency the negativity bias.

But contrary to popular belief, we can train the brain to counteract this psychological tic – and we should make an effort to do precisely that. Why? Because the negativity bias stinks, that’s why. It darkens our mood and contaminates our perception.

In this article, we’re going to discuss the wretched negativity bias. We’ll also talk about how to reverse it. First, here’s a bit more clarification on what the negativity bias is, exactly.

The Negativity Bias

“The brain is like Velcro for negativity and Teflon for positivity.”  ~ Dr. Rick Hanson

Technically,  the negativity bias is defined as “our proclivity to attend to, learn from, and use negative information far more than positive information.”  The problem is that adverse events produce far more prominent responses than non-negative.

“(The) negativity bias can influence how we feel, think, and act, and can some less than desirable effects on our psychological state.”  ~ Catherine Moore, Positive Psychologist

For example, negativity bias is the reason that we:

  • Dwell more on unpleasant or traumatic events than pleasant ones;
  • Focus the attention much quicker to negative rather than positive information;
  • Think more about our weaknesses than our strengths; and
  • Respond more passionately, both emotionally and physically, to aversive stimuli.

Even if we were to have the perfect day when everything goes right, a single distressing event could undo it all.

Which all begs the question: Why the hell do we even have a negativity bias? Like many of our more annoying psychological quirks, it all has to do with evolution. Thousands of years ago, our ancestors always faced immediate environmental threats that required swift action.

“Okay, but we don’t live in the wild anymore, jerk.”

Granted. But, of course, it’s not that simple.

Any thought or behavior trait, if repeated often enough, will stick around. It’s severe enough to get rid of a newly acquired habit, much less a universal, thousands-of-years-old psychological tic rooted deep in the human brain.

You can thank your great-great-great-great-great whoever for this delightful state of mind.

Hey, at least we don’t have to contend with some hungry creature that just ate our best friend.

Negativity Bias Research

In case you are wondering what that chart is, it’s a measurement of event-related brain potentials or ‘ERPs.’ An ERP is a “measured brain response that is the direct result of a specific sensory, cognitive, or motor event.” In this case, neutral, positive, and negative stimuli. Scientists measure ERPs by electroencephalography (EEG), a recording of electrical activity in the brain.

The graph’s orientation is a bit deceiving if one is used to looking at standard x- and y-axis plots. If this is the case, imagine the chart flipped 180 degrees. If you managed to perform this mental mirroring successfully, you’d notice that the negative line (solid with black dots) is a good deal higher than the positive (solid with white dots).

In essence, this graph manages to provide a simple visualization of a complex phenomenon. Namely, the negativity bias. It achieves this by showing that the brain’s electrical activity produces a higher current when exposed to a negative stimulus.

So, the negativity bias is not some abstract psychological gobbledegook – but a proven neurobiological fact. In other words, the proof is in the pudding.

Since we no longer require convincing that the negativity bias is indeed real, we’ll now focus our attention on ridding ourselves of it.

How to Overcome the Bias?

“By directing more of our conscious attention toward the positive events and feelings we experience, we can begin to address the asymmetry of negativity bias. And that requires practice…”  ~ Catherine Moore, Positive Psychologist

Forgive the abruptness, but to heck with the quacks and prescription drug companies. Let’s deal with this thing using some positivity!

To assist us with ridding ourselves of this unwanted bias, we turn to the bright minds of the positive psychology movement. For the unawares, positive psychology is defined as “the scientific study of the ‘good life,’ or the positive aspects of the human experience that make life worth living.”

How to Get Rid of Negativity Bias

As newly-minted positive psychologists, how would we go about handling this negativity bias thing?

#1 Use Self-Awareness/Mindfulness

To start with, we’ve got to pay more attention to the thoughts running through our minds.

Read that again. Heck, I’ll write it again: We’ve got to pay more attention to the thoughts running through our minds. Without self-awareness, nothing that we do will matter. Period.

Some Buddhists say that “unconsciousness dissipates in the fiery light of awareness.” While some would argue that this is a subjective statement, others wholeheartedly disagree. It’s been proven throughout thousands of years of spiritual and meditative practice. It is a science of the spirit – and it works.

But don’t take my word for it. Put it to the test!

Here’s how. The next time that you encounter a negative feeling rest your awareness upon it. Don’t think about it – simply sustain your knowledge of it. Eventually, you will feel some space between the perception and your noticing of the feeling. It may manifest as the quality of inner stillness. With practice, this inner stillness will grow. Moreover, it will become more of an automatic response rather than a conscious directing of attention.

In truth, this step may be all that you need. But let’s keep going just in case!

#2 Use the ABC Technique

The ABC technique is nothing new, but it is remarkably effective for challenging negative self-talk. The ‘A’ stands for Activating Event, ‘B,’ Belief, and ‘C,’ Consequences. The model works best with a pen and paper (for reinforcement).

A – Activating Event: What’s the situation that led to the negative thought or emotion? Write it down.

B – Belief: Write down the negative emotions and thoughts.

C – Consequences: Record the negative feelings or behaviors that resulted from (B).

Albert Ellis, who postulated the ABC model, believed that the activating event (A) is not what causes the behavioral consequences (C); instead, it is the person’s faulty interpretations, leading to a faulty belief system (B), that is the cause.

The ABC model is a stable of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), but it is an effective framework for helping us identify those misguided emotions and thoughts all the same. When the ABC model is used in conjunction with self-awareness and mindfulness, it becomes a potentially potent tool!

#3 Practice Mindfulness Meditation

Knew this was coming, didn’t you? While one may tire of hearing the words mindfulness and meditation uttered over and over, there’s a good reason.

The writer mentioned the effectiveness of self-awareness and mindfulness previously more specifically, how these tools boil down to spiritual science.

Well, now mainstream science is finally catching up. There is now a vast collection of academic, scientific papers testifying to the effectiveness of meditation for a host of both physical and psychological ailments. Negativity bias included.

In a review of one study, participants who meditated “performed better at tests where they were required to categorize positive stimuli, leading the researchers to conclude that mindfulness practice can have a significant positive impact (emphasis mine)” on negativity bias.

#4 Cognitive Restructuring

Cognitive restructuring involves the reframing of an event or experience. Similar to the ABC technique, cognitive restructuring is a staple therapy within CBT circles.

One particularly vital element of cognitive restructuring is becoming aware of our cognitive distortions. These include:

‘Filtering’: Focusing on the negative and ignoring the positive (much like negativity bias.)

‘Catastrophizing’: Expecting the worst-case scenario and minimizing the real events.

‘Polarized thinking’: Having an all-or-nothing way of thinking and ignoring the complexity.

‘Heaven’s Reward Fallacy’: You expect to reward your self-sacrifices.

‘Control Fallacies’: Assuming only others are to blame, or assuming that only yourself is to blame.

‘Always Being Right’: Being wrong is unacceptable, and being right supersedes everything.

‘Fallacy of Fairness’: Assuming that life should always be fair.

‘Personalization’: Assuming that only self is responsible.

‘Overgeneralization’: Assuming a rule from a single experience.

‘Jumping to conclusions’: Making assuming based on scant evidence.

‘Emotional reasoning’: “If I feel it, it must be true.”

‘Blaming’: Assuming everyone else is at fault.

‘Fallacy of change’: Expecting others to change.

‘Global labeling’: Extreme generalization.

‘Shoulds’: Holding tight to rules of behavior; judging self and others if rules are broken.

Final Thoughts on Breaking Down Your Negativity Bias

Shedding the skin of negativity bias can be done. You need to work at chipping away at its shell with diligence. It takes a lot of mindfulness and hard work. But with a good dose of positivity, you are well on your way there!