Positivity

Lifestyle

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 Health.com: “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!

Lifestyle

7 Ways to Beat a Toxic Family Dynamic with Positivity

7 Ways to Beat a Toxic Family Dynamic with Positivity


Do you feel like you have a toxic family? You can pick your friends, but when it comes to your relatives, you have no choice in the matter. There are many family members both near and far that have qualities that you don’t like, and it’s not always easy to deal with them.

However, what about the family that you live and communicate with daily? Every family goes through certain seasons where things are rough, and dealing with these each other at these times can be overwhelming. You will experience bumps in the road, such as financial difficulties, job losses, and medical problems, but outside frustrations don’t equal a toxic dynamic.

How do you know if your family’s relationship is toxic or if the complications you face were brought on by circumstantial problems that will eventually even out? Here are some classic signs that your family puts the fun in dysfunctional.

7 Ways to Identify and Overcome a Toxic Family Dynamic

Here are seven red flags that signal a toxic family relationship that might exist.

1. Punishment and Discipline Are Blurred

Many people confuse discipline and punishment, as they are not the same. When you discipline your children, you are teaching them something or correcting behavior. Punishment is something that is done out of frustration, and the parent teaches the child nothing.

If you are in a toxic family pattern, then punishments can become excessive, and the behavior is never addressed. Many adults that don’t know how to handle a situation effectively may use the silent treatment as a method to manipulate their children. To combat this situation, the parent should sit down with the kids and explain to them what they did wrong, why there is a punishment, and how things could be handled better in the future.

Make sure they understand why they are in trouble and how to correct their actions. This is one of the reasons why spanking and things of that nature don’t work. Adults have temper tantrums and take out their frustrations on their children, but they never address the real issue.

2. You Play the Blame Game

Folks who have a toxic family dynamic often have problems with members not seeing the wrong that they do. Sadly, finding fault with others comes easily to them. When a family is toxic, one person may blame others for their issues as they see themselves as always right.

Additionally, they can’t comprehend taking responsibility for his/her actions because it would mean they must admit they are wrong. This should not be confused with people who don’t truly realize that they have made a mistake. To combat these issues, you need to make sure you address the problem with the person.

While it’s never popular to point out the wrongs of others, an ongoing issue of this nature can certainly make for some uncomfortable living conditions. Sit down and discuss the problems and make sure you don’t point fingers but recognize the question that needs to be addressed. In these instances, you will almost always find poor self-esteem or other issues that drive the person’s need to always be correct.

3. You Threaten Each Other

One way to tell if you have a toxic family dynamic is if there is physical violence in the home. Did you know that anger is one of the easiest emotions to show? However, there doesn’t need to be slapping and hair-pulling to be toxic.

If you have one family member who tends to use threats to punish others, then it’s a toxic family environment. An example would be if the parent were upset because their child was going through a rebellious stage and wanted to control them. The parents could tell the child if they don’t follow the rules or do what they wish, they will make them go live with another relative or parent.

While a child should know that there are rules that they must follow, their home and the security of their “safe zone” should never be compromised. Many split families often must consider where the child should live, but this decision should be based on the kid’s best interest and not as a punishment.

When a child is acting out, it means there is something under the surface that’s bothering them. There could be hormones that are raging out of control, or they could be bullied at school. To send positive vibes to this adverse situation, sit down and talk to the child openly and honestly. If you can’t get through to your child, get a therapist involved to keep the toxic aspects of the situation under control.

4. You Deal with Control Issues

Control issues are not uncommon in families. Children often feel that their parents are controlling because they can’t do what they want. There’s a difference in having control issues and being a concerned parent.

If you want positive vibes and don’t want others to feel like they walk on eggshells, then communication is vital. Never put tracking apps on phones of other adults in the home, and you should never use money as blackmail to get someone to do what you want. Finally, while you may not agree with clothing choices or makeup, you must allow people to be comfortable in their skin.

Many people try to control others when they feel like things are chaotic. The way to combat this is to get to the crux of the issue. A parent may be controlling because they fear the decisions their children make will hurt them. However, parents must give their kids room to make mistakes as it’s how they grow and learn.

Rather than talking about the issues at hand, people often use underhanded methods to control an out of control situation. Sit down and have family meetings often and make sure that you are all on the same page.

Avoid these toxic relationship habits.

5. Critical Towards You

Do you ever feel like you can do nothing, right? If you have a toxic family member in your household, then you may feel like they are never satisfied with anything you do. You could pay off all your debt, get a promotion, and have a credit score of 850, and it still wouldn’t be good enough.

When one party likes to criticize and undermine others in the home, it can be very frustrating. You will generally find a miserable person at the crux who is battling feelings of not accomplishing goals they had for their life. It’s often that they will project their feelings of frustration on you.

Since this is truly not your problem, you need to get to the root of the behavior. It would help if you had a pattern for recovery and goals that this person and the family needs to meet. You can recover from this toxic behavior with help.

6. Sibling Rivalry is Taken to Extremes

If there is more than one child in your home, there will be some rivalry. It should be noted that not all rivalry is terrible as it can drive someone to succeed. Sadly, these behaviors can become toxic or even dangerous.

When one sibling tries to blame the other every time they get into trouble, there is an issue that needs to be handled. A parent should never allow a child to humiliate another sibling even if it’s comical. Lastly, any competition within the family should never be allowed to become personal or vindictive.

Parents must foster a healthy relationship between their children by never playing favorites, ensuring all children receive the same discipline types and giving them each equal attention.

7. They Dismiss Your Feelings

If you have a toxic family situation, you may feel that your thoughts and feelings are easily dismissed. Again, this all comes down to control, and the need to be right. The party displaying these behaviors may feel that your opinions are insignificant to theirs, or they don’t’ t value what you have to say.

You need to tell this person that it hurts you when they dismiss your feelings and work on a sufficient resolution for change. Call them out now as you don’t’ t want to wait and let things fester. When you tell them about your issues in the heat of the situation, it’s easier to address it head-on.

Final Thoughts on Handling a Toxic Family Situation

If you have toxic family dynamics in your home, you must regain control to change your environment to a healthy one. Here are some things you can do to shift your abode into one with positive vibes.

  • Let Everyone Have a Voice
  • Set Firm Boundaries
  • Stop Toxic Behaviors Immediately
  • Never Play Favorites
  • Treat Everyone in the Home as an Equal
  • Sever Ties when Necessary
  • Get Outside Help When Needed

It’s easy to have issues that can change the dynamics of the home. However, it’s crucial as parents that you set firm boundaries and say what you will and won’t allow. Your children will run the show if you enable them to do so. If your home is a war zone, you must take control of the situation and find effective ways to change the toxicity. You will all be much healthier and happier when you get rid of toxic tendencies.

Lifestyle

10 Reasons Why You Should Count Your Blessings to Boost Positivity »

10 Reasons Why You Should Count Your Blessings to Boost


An ancient tradition suggests that everyone should count at least one hundred blessings a day. It’s good advice since there are so many benefits.

Have you ever known a person who radiated positivity? They attract people from all around to them with their cheerful nature and friendly disposition. You, too, can be like that person whom you so admire. What does it take? You should cut the negativity out of your life and usher in more positive thinking.

To achieve this, you can start by taking inventory of all the reasons why you should be more grateful every day.

Let’s explore ten reasons why you should count your blessings every day.

1 – Positive people have a happier view of life

When you count your blessings, you have a happier view of your life. You’re more grateful for what you have and for those around you. Researchers suggest that being thankful changes your brain for the better. It boosts your happiness and makes you a more positive person.

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

Here are a few easy tips to boost your feelings of gratitude:

Keep a gratitude journal.

Write everything you’re grateful for every day. Look back on your lists whenever you’re feeling down or struggling to be thankful.

Practice gratitude

Make your goal to be grateful at work or at school or at home. Make an effort to smile and say thank you to the people around you. You will be surprised at the positive impact it has on them and you.

Send a gratitude message-Send someone in your family or friends an email, text, or letter telling them how much you appreciate them. Thank them for some way they’ve made an impact on your life.

2 – You will feel less stress

Counting your blessings makes you feel less stressed. It’s not that you don’t have problems in life, but you’re able to bounce back from difficulties because your point of view is upbeat and positive. You can rebound quickly when times are tough. Stress has many adverse side effects on your mind and body. Here are just a few.

  • Stress blurs your view of life because you see everything through the lens of your stress. Small things seem much more significant than usual. Stress overshadows everything in your life.
  • Stress ruins your relationships. You do not want to be around people, and when you are, you’re distracted or cynical.
  • Stress causes you to gain weight because you’re eating to alleviate the burden you feel.
  • Stress makes you look older. Stress causes worry, which shows in your face. You feel exhausted and lack the motivation to take care of yourself.
  • Stress weakens your immune system, so you’re more prone to illnesses.

3 – Positivity might mean you will live longer

Upbeat, positive people worry less, feel less stress, and generally feel more optimistic about life.  One study found that individuals who are confident live longer than most people, up to 85 or older. They age in a healthy way because they tend to take better care of themselves with exercise and good eating. They feel positive about their future, so they live life to the fullest.

4 – Improved friendships result from a more positive outlook

Nobody likes to spend their time with a pessimist who pulls everyone down with their negative views. Negative people expect the worst, and nothing is ever right about their life. Counting your blessings makes you a happier person. People enjoy being around you because you’re not down on life. You can laugh and enjoy being around your friends because you feel hopeful about your experience and want to enjoy your friendships.

5 – Sleep better when you count your blessings

Being grateful is a side effect of counting our blessings. Grateful people worry less, and consequently, they sleep better for a more extended amount of time. Researchers suggest that you should write down several things you feel grateful for in life every night. They say the things you wrote down fills your mind with positive thoughts, making you feel less burdened and able to fall asleep and get a good night’s sleep.

It may take you a couple of attempts, but it’s worth a try. Plus, it’s always good to shut off your cell phone, computer, or television an hour before you retire, so your mind and body can relax. It’s also helpful to get away from the blue screen because they affect your brain function so you can’t fall asleep.

6 – Positive thoughts arise from positivity

Counting your blessings influences your thinking, so your thoughts dwell on what you’re thankful for instead of what’s wrong right. Even if you have difficult situations going on in your life, positivity helps you feel like you can get through them. It boosts your confidence so you feel like you can cope even in the toughest of situations.  Dwelling on bad things that can happen only brings you down and makes you feel depressed.

7 – When you count your blessings, you feel more peaceful

Peace of mind and feeling happy are two incredible side effects of counting your blessings. Feeling peaceful gives you a positive view of life. Indeed, you will see in time how the cup will be half full instead of half empty. A quiet mind makes you feel peaceful and calm. You’ll be able to problem-solve finding creative ways to get things done because your brain won’t be encumbered with your burdens and fears. Peace is a precious treasure to have in good times and bad times. No one’s life is perfect,  but there is always something good to be found.

8 – Positive people feel more hope for the future

The simple act of counting your blessings increases your hopefulness. Hopeful people are thankful and content. They feel a sense of purpose, and they are willing to help others. Their peace and positivity are demonstrated in their life. You’ve probably read about an elderly person who keeps working well into their later years. They’re often very hopeful people who see the good in others and life. Hope is contagious. When you are around someone who is optimistic for the future, it inspires you to be hopeful, too.

9 – Enjoy a healthier lifestyle

When you count your blessings, the act makes you feel grateful and optimistic. One study suggests that optimists are less apt to develop coronary heart disease than pessimists. They are also less prone to have high blood pressure. Besides, a grateful attitude helps you want to be more physically active and healthy. Gratitude improves your attitude. Doctors say that optimism gives you more flexibility and the ability to adapt to changing situations because you can think through issues.

10 – You’ll boost your ability to cope

Being aware of your blessings doesn’t mean you ignore the hard things in your life, but you see problems as opportunities to overcome. You see yourself as able to get through. You have an emotional toughness. Studies found that optimists are more successful at facing bad situations than pessimists, even if it means their life goals get interrupted.

 How can you count your blessings?

It’s often helpful to write down your blessings. Seeing the list is a tangible reminder of all the things you have to be thankful for. Here’s a list of ten simple blessings to get you started.

  1. Food
  2. Clothing
  3. A place to live
  4. Your neighborhood
  5. Your car
  6. Your yard
  7. Your town
  8. Your family
  9. Your friends
  10. Your work

What gets in the way of you counting your blessings?

It’s surprising that not everyone counts their blessings. But it happens. Even though you know, it can make you feel healthier and happier. Sometimes you just don’t feel like it. So what can you do?

  • Watch a sad movie- That’s right. For some reason, a tragic film tends to make you feel happier than a happy movie. So, give it a try.
  • Think about your worst times-Looking back at the most challenging times in your life can help you gain perspective of the present.
  • Think about death-It’s, not a happy thought, but death is inevitable. Think about how you want to live now so you won’t have regrets later.

Final Thoughts on How You Will Benefit from Counting Your Blessings

Counting your blessings isn’t hard, but it can change your life. When you keep track of all the good things in life, you’ll be more optimistic. Optimism makes you feel more positive about your experience and hopeful for your future. Being confident and grateful goes hand in hand. They make you healthier, enable you to become happier and boost your positivity. These attitudes can even change your brain. That’s powerful. So why not begin counting your blessings today? Who knows, you may also make it all the way to one hundred blessings.

Lifestyle

8 Outcomes of Parents Using Guilt Instead of Positivity on Their Kids »

8 Outcomes of Parents Using Guilt Instead of Positivity on


It’s no secret that communicating with kids can be difficult. Indeed, it can make a parent downright nutty at times. It shouldn’t be a surprise that parents try different methods of getting their kids to do things, but not all of these methods may not be a great choice.

Using guilt is one of those “not so great” choices. Many counselors explain what happens when parents use guilt trips on their children, and usually, the explanation is not one to be proud of. Sure, this tactic may work in the short term, and the outcome may even benefit the child in the short run. However, guilt-tripping kids is something that can have lasting negative consequences that you can’t see right away.

In this article, counselors explain what happens when parents use guilt trips on their children. Keep reading to find out more.

What is Guilt Tripping?

Using guilt, aka guilt-tripping is the process of making someone feel guilty about something, usually in an attempt to manipulate them in some way. The definition of guilt-tripping sounds malicious, and in many ways, it is. It’s essentially a bully. That’s why it’s not good to use this negative thinking on your kids.

It’s essential to recognize that helping your child to understand guilt is not the same as making them feel to blame for an event. Teaching your child about guilty feelings, right from wrong, and other moral life lessons will lead to a healthy, compassionate adult with excellent morals and values.

A lesson about guilt crosses over into guilt trip territory when the guilt tripper is attempting to gain something from another person. It’s not always money or other tangible items. It could be something simple like a nap so the parent can take a break from child duties for a while. However, as counselors explain what happens when parents use guilt trips on their children, it becomes evident that it’s still manipulation, which is bad for young minds.

Why Parents Would Use Guilt Trips on Their Kids

There can be many reasons why a parent would guilt-trip their kids. On the surface, it’s because they want their kid to do something or behave a certain way, but counselors believe that it goes deeper than that.

Shaming and blaming people, from the guilt tripper’s perspective, is less about the guilt and more about the manipulation. Psychologists agree that many people who often use manipulation has had a rocky past. The manipulation is almost like a survival method, and the manipulator may not even be fully aware of their participation in it.

Manipulators often have a past filled with instances of competition for love, affection, or acceptance. They may have had a history filled with a struggle to be accepted into specific groups or lifestyles, and manipulation was the way they accomplished this.

When the abused kids grow up and become parents, the manipulation can continue in the form of shaming their kids. It may be the only way they’re capable of showing any type of parenting skills. Unfortunately, people with this type of past doesn’t get the help they need because their problems can transfer over to their children. This impact becomes evident as counselors explain what happens when parents use guilt trips on their children.

Counselors Explain What Happens When Parents Use Guilt Trips on Their Children

Guilt-tripping is essentially a way to cause psychological damage to a kid. Even if the parent isn’t intending to be malicious and merely using it as a way to get their kids to do the right thing, it can have serious consequences later in life.

Here are eight problems that shifting these guilty feelings will cause in kids.

1. Loss of Self-Confidence

When kids are constantly feeling guilty about something, they can experience a loss of self-confidence. They may feel like they can’t do anything right. While they grow up, they’ll often question their choices, and they may not be successful in life simply because they have low self-esteem.

2. Inability to Maintain Healthy Relationships

When children are victims of constant guilt trips, it can affect how they interact with others. We’ve already established that their self-confidence takes a hit, so it’s no surprise that they may be shy and withdrawn from people. They’ll be so afraid of being judged that they can’t interact with people regularly.

Here are twelve signs that you might be a helicopter parent.

3. They’ll Resent Their Parents

No one likes to be manipulated. Children, especially teenagers, may begin to resent their parents. This disconnect can cause them to “act out” or misbehave. They may become disrespectful to their parents and possibly even other siblings in the home. The relationship between the parents and their children will degrade, rendering the guilt-tripping pointless since the child won’t listen to the parent anymore.

4. They’ll Have Rocky Romantic Relationships in Adulthood

While they struggle with relationships during childhood, that struggle will continue into adulthood. They may have the inability to trust or show love. This outcome is a recipe for disaster in romantic relationships.

5. They’ll Struggle in School

For the same reasons they’ll struggle with social relationships, they’ll struggle with maintaining their grades in school. It could be from a lack of interest, or it could be that they can’t concentrate. They may not wholly fail but might be an average student who doesn’t have the confidence to try to reach their full potential.

6. They May Give Into Peer Pressure Easily

Being subjected to constant shaming tactics from parents sets kids up to be a target of guilt-tripping from peers. They won’t have the understanding or skills to stand up to peer pressure. To please their friends and keep from feeling even guiltier, they may just give in so they’ll fit in and make everyone happy.

7. They May Feel Obligated to Stay with People Who Mistreat Them

Guilt-tripping children is, in essence, teaching them to cater to someone who makes them feel bad. They’ll begin to feel like it’s their fault that the other person feels bad and that they’re responsible for fixing the situation. This can lead to your child being the victim of a bully in their school years, and in an abusive relationship during their adult years.

8. They May Exhibit Bizarre Behavior During Childhood

Children don’t know how to handle emotions as adults do. If a parent causes shame or embarrassment in their child repeatedly, the child may begin to deal with all those unhealthy feelings of guilt through bizarre or dangerous actions. If the abuse continues and the child doesn’t get help, it can cause all kinds of mental and emotional issues as the child grows up.

Two Excellent Alternatives to Guilt for Parenting Your Kids

After reading how counselors explain what happens when parents use guilt trips on their children, it’s only natural to wonder about alternative ways to get kids to do the right thing. A lot of parents who guilt-trip their kids aren’t doing it to be harmful. Indeed, they may not even realize that what they’re doing is dangerous.

In many cases, parents are just trying to communicate with their kids in the best way they know-how. However, there are alternative ways to communicate with your kids. Two of those ways are teaching them why a particular action or behavior is right, and another is through the use of incentives.

1 – Teach Them

Teaching children the correct way to behave and the right things to do is the best way to communicate with them. It builds trust between the parents and kids, and they learn how to navigate life healthily. More importantly, they’ll feel good about themselves as they learn and achieve lessons.

2 – Incentives

Some kids may need a little “push” in the right direction. A positive way to do this is through the use of incentives. The good thing about this is that the incentives don’t have to be elaborate. Kids get excited about something as simple as recognition. However, a small reward such as allowance money for chores, or an ice cream shop day for good grades goes a long way. Incentives are a lot better than guilt trips.

Psychology reveals the behaviors that cause children to grow up to become narcissists.

Final Thoughts on Parents Guilt Tripping Their Kids

Even though counselors explain what happens when parents use guilt trips on their children, it still happens quite often. It’s important to realize that most parents don’t guilt-trip their kids to cause harm. Many counselors agree that it’s a learned parenting behavior once considered okay because it produces results.

Despite this, parents must recognize and change the bully behavior early. The psychological trauma it can leave on a kid may not always be evident until they grow up. If you’re a parent who recognizes that you may have been guilt-tripping your child, don’t be afraid to make a change and use the two suggested alternatives.

After practicing them for a while, they’ll become a habit. This will allow you to have a positive flow of communication with your child, leading to a happier and healthier life for both of you.

Lifestyle

30 Life Changing Benefits of Positivity

30 Life Changing Benefits of Positivity


Many of us have heard that there are benefits of positivity. But do we all know what the benefits are? And more importantly, do we believe in the power of positive thinking and understand how truly life-changing it can be? How we think impacts all aspects of our physical and mental health, our relationships, even our overall success in life.

How we think about life has a direct impact on our reality, for better or worse. And a multitude of scientific research has proven that there are countless benefits of thinking positively. A study published in Emotion analyzed the current research surrounding positive affect and mental and physical health outcomes. The authors determined that “prioritizing positivity predicted a host of well-being outcomes.”

They found encouraging results, including “less depressive symptomology, higher-quality relationships, improved physical health, and better work performance.”

Plus, it concluded that people who prioritize positive emotions have more considerable mental resources.

The broaden-and-build theory explains how people who lack positive emotions become stuck in many facets of life. Furthermore, their feelings of not being able to move forward in life can cause a lot of mental health issues. Conversely, people who have an abundance of positive emotions truly “take off” in life. Positive people “become generative, creative, resilient, ripe with possibility, and beautifully complex.” Each of these things helps positive people reach optimal well-being.

MYTHS PERPETUATED BY THOSE WHO REJECT POSITIVITY

Unfortunately, there are misunderstandings about positive thinking that can lead some people to believe that it is not practical. Thinking positively isn’t a useless nicety. And it doesn’t mean being fake or pretending to be okay when you are not.  That thought process is a dangerous trap.

However, what thinking positively does mean is trying your best to remain positive about current and future situations. It is a deliberate, conscious way of thinking that has a direct impact on reality. You can find 30 life-changing benefits of positivity, below.

The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind. –William James

MENTAL HEALTH BENEFITS OF POSITIVITY

1) Increases Happiness and Life Satisfaction

Much scientific research has suggested that having a positive attitude and outlook on life is a predictor of happiness. Individuals who see the positive aspects of life are more likely to be happy and have higher life satisfaction. It is often the case that positive people have more friends, which can be an important factor in happiness as well.

The authors of a recent study examined whether positive emotions, alone, mediate the relationship between positive affect and happiness. Their results revealed that happiness was fully mediated by a person’s ability to be positive. Specifically, showing that “positive beliefs about the future, the self, and the life account for personality-happiness relationships.”

2) Positivity Increases Resilience

An abundance of research has shown that individuals who think positively have better coping skills, which leads to increased resilience. Psychological resilience can be defined as “the ability to bounce back from negative events by using positive emotions to cope.” So it makes sense that having an increased ability to think positively would, in turn, increase your resilience.

This study demonstrated that having more positive emotions plays a critical and direct role in enhancing coping ability and resilience. Researchers revealed that higher resilience makes an impact on a person’s physical health. They state, “those with higher trait resilience evidenced faster cardiovascular recovery from negative emotional arousal.”

positivity

3) Reduces Risk of Depression

Thinking positively about your current and future outcomes has been shown to increase happiness and decrease the risk of depression. Individuals who suffer from chronic health conditions have an especially high risk of developing depression. Much research helps counselors and therapists to better understand how they can minimize the risk of depression. More importantly, that is essential for those who treat chronically ill individuals.

One study examined “positive affect and optimism as mediators of the relationship between improved depression” among multiple sclerosis patients. Results demonstrated that the relationship between improved depression and benefit-finding was significantly related to increased positive affect and optimism. This effect has been observed in individuals who do not suffer from a chronic illness, as well. This study revealed that high levels of positive affect reduced the risk of depression in healthy participants by nearly 50%.

4) Decreases Anxiety

Anxiety is a common and persistent mental health condition that impacts nearly 300 million people, reports the World Health Organization. Suffering from anxiety can have many negative impacts on a person’s life, causing them to feel hindered in countless ways. There are a wide variety of treatment options for individuals who suffer from anxiety.

One treatment option involves receiving training in how to replace negative thoughts with positive ones. This study examined alternative approaches to reducing anxiety and worry in participants diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Outcome measures showed that individuals who received training to improve positive thinking had significant decreases in anxiety and worry.

5) Positivity Increases Mental Clarity, Focus, and Concentration

The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions explains how increasing positive emotions lead to many beneficial outcomes in an individual’s life. Among the many benefits, there is evidence that positive emotions “broaden the scopes of attention, cognition, and action.” Barbara L. Fredrickson, the creator, and developer of the broaden-and-build theory explains how and why this phenomenon occurs.

“Positive emotions promote discovery of novel and creative actions, ideas and social bonds,” describes Fredrickson. She goes on to state that this “in turn, builds that individual’s personal resources.” All of which results in improved mental clarity, focus, and concentration.

6) Increases Gratitude

Practicing gratitude has been proven to result in improved overall well-being and mental health in several scientific studies. Defining the mediating factor between improved gratitude and improved well-being and mental health is also important. The authors of one research review analyzed eight studies examining the role of positive emotion and positive reframing on gratitude. Study results revealed that “positive emotion mediated the relationship between gratitude and (fewer) depressive symptoms.”

Each study’s results indicated that experiencing more positive emotions led to experiencing more gratitude and, consequently, less depressive symptoms. These study results “demonstrate that gratitude is related to fewer depressive symptoms.” Researchers go on to state that positive emotion and positive reframing serve as the mechanisms that account for this relationship.

positive thinking quote

7) Increases Self-Esteem

When you think positively about yourself and your ability to accomplish things, you naturally increase your self-esteem. A variety of scientific studies have evaluated the relationship between thinking positively and having higher self-esteem. This study demonstrated that the more a child thinks negatively about their own abilities, the lower their self-esteem becomes. The opposite is true, as well. The more positively you think about your abilities, the higher your self-esteem will be.

8) Decreases Risk of Mental Health Problems

Practicing positive thinking and optimism prove protective against developing mental health problems in countless scientific studies. The authors of a review of recent research analyzed studies that evaluated the impact positive thinking has on mental health. They reported findings of numerous studies. Each study revealed that optimism and positive emotions improve overall well-being and mental health.

One of the reviewed studies assessed how the attitudes of individuals who had coronary bypass surgery impacted their mental health. Results demonstrated that individuals who were more optimistic and positive had lower levels of hostility and depression while preparing to undergo surgery. And in the week following the operation, the optimistic and positive people felt greater relief and happiness than pessimists did.

9) Decreases Levels of Stress

When you think positively, you have far fewer things to become stressed about. Consequently, you won’t have to worry about experiencing the multitude of negative outcomes caused by stress. Among the negative effects of stress are high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, headaches, ulcers, and more. Increases in positive emotions, which lead to decreased stress levels, have even been shown to help heal physical wounds more quickly.

This is likely due to the stress-buffering model of positive affect and health. The authors of this scientific study published by Health Psychology assessed the impact that positive affect had on wound healing. Remarkably, the skin wounds of individuals who had higher levels of positive affect (i.e., more positive emotions) healed faster. This amazing result makes it clear that thinking positively can literally heal your body. Indeed, it may save your life one day.

10) Positivity Improves Coping Skills and Stress Management

One aspect of the ability of positive thinking to decrease stress involves positive people’s ability to better cope with stress. A multitude of scientific research has proven that a person’s “affect plays an important functional role in coping with stress.”

Positive people are able to see the bigger picture when a stressor comes their way. And are therefore able to respond in ways that allow them to overcome the harmful consequences of stress more quickly. A positive person has the ability to maintain a healthy perspective on the situation at hand. And does not let the stressor that they are facing send them into a panic or downward spiral.

However, negative people are more likely to focus on problems instead of solutions and have a narrower perspective, in general. This results in a negative person having a poorer ability to cope with and manage stress.

11) Increases the Meaning a Person Sees in Life

Seeing meaning in life is a key factor in living a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life. Previous research surrounding this topic has shown that seeing meaning in life is associated with better overall psychological well-being. The authors of this research report evaluated the findings of six separate scientific studies that aimed to better understand this concept.

Each study “examined the role of positive affect (PA) in the experience of meaning in life (MIL).” The outcome measures of the studies consistently showed that positive affect was a strong predictor of meaning in life.

Additionally, priming and manipulating positive moods in participants both resulted in higher reports of meaning in life. And “the most consistent predictor of the experience of meaning in a day was the PA experienced that day.” Researchers concluded that experiencing positive moods and emotions can predispose individuals to see more meaning in life.

power of positivity quote

12) Improves Emotion Regulation

Emotion regulation is an incredibly important aspect of having a healthy and successful life. A person’s emotional regulation ability directly impacts their coping, problem solving, relationship quality, as well as mental and physical health. When you’re able to focus on the positive aspects of all things, you’re better able to respond to any situation, especially when faced with stress.

If you think negatively and see everything like a catastrophe, your emotions are more likely to spiral out of control. One study showed that individuals who had more positive than negative social interactions had better emotion regulation. With their improved emotion regulation likely mediated by the fact that they experience more positive than negative emotions.

13) Increases Mental Flexibility

Having mental flexibility is important in a person’s life for a variety of reasons. Mental flexibility affects an individual’s learning rate, memory formation, error correction, and allocation of attention resources. With advancements in neuroimaging technology, brain research scientists are now able to physically see differences between different human brains.

This technology also allows researchers to determine what is causing those differences. The authors of a recent study published in Scientific Reports evaluated what, exactly, leads to a more flexible brain. Their results revealed that more incidences of positive mood states predicted a more flexible brain, or in other words, more mental flexibility.

14) Improves Overall Mental Health

As we can see, thinking positively offers a wide range of mental health outcomes. As such, positive thinking and emotions can improve a person’s mental health, overall. But how much positive emotion is needed in a person’s life to achieve these mental health-benefiting effects? Thankfully, two researchers had this very question and discovered the answer.

Their recent study predicted that a higher ratio of positive to negative emotions would “characterize individuals in flourishing mental health.” The data that researchers collected proved that the researcher’s prediction was true and revealed a precise ratio. Individuals who had a mean ratio of positive to negative emotions that were above 2.9 had flourishing mental health. And individuals who were below the 2.9 ratios of positive to negative emotions did not have flourishing mental health.

PHYSICAL HEALTH BENEFITS OF POSITIVITY

15) Improves Sleep

Insomnia is a common and persistent health concern that can negatively impact many aspects of your life. Suffering from insomnia is very serious and can lead to obesity, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, anxiety, and depression.

Research shows that utilizing cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to increase positive thinking benefits sleep quality for individuals with insomnia. CBT improves mental health outcomes by challenging and changing unwanted, negative thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes. Replacing unproductive and frequently harmful ways of thinking with positive thinking. In fact, the authors of this study assessed the outcomes of 15 scientific trials to determine the effectiveness of CBT for insomnia.

The results of the study revealed that CBT is effective in improving sleep in adults who have insomnia. If you struggle with insomnia thinking positively throughout the day can have a beneficial impact on your quality of sleep. In addition to thinking positively, you can try breathing exercises to relieve insomnia and help you fall asleep.

sleep to increase positive thinking

16) Positivity Decreases Blood Pressure

Having high blood pressure affects nearly one billion people worldwide, and increases the risk of numerous negative health outcomes. High blood pressure can even lead to an early and unexpected death. Consequently, a multitude of scientific studies resulted in order to better understand how people can effectively lower their blood pressure.

One of these studies tested the hypothesis that “high positive emotion would be associated with lower blood pressure in older adults.” Researchers revealed that increasing positive emotions had a significant impact on lowering diastolic and systolic blood pressure in older adults.

17) Improves Immune System Functioning

Several scientific studies have revealed that optimistic expectancies and thinking positively are related to having higher numbers of immune cells. Having improved immunity can save us from a lot of strife and missing out on life due to being sick. Increased immunity can also help to keep us from developing much more serious illnesses than the common cold. This study published by Psychological Science showed that having optimistic expectations was strongly related to having increased cell-mediated immunity (CMI).

18) Increases Lifespan

Decades of research have proven that positive emotions have a beneficial impact on both physical and mental health. It, therefore, makes perfect sense that you can increase your lifespan by simply increasing your positive emotions. This longitudinal study evaluated the impact that positive emotions had on the lifespan of Catholic nuns. Researchers revealed that positive emotions linked strongly to a longer lifespan. The nuns who expressed positive emotions regularly during journal writing activities lived an average of 10 years longer.

19) Reduces Pain and Increases Pain Tolerance

Living with chronic pain is one of the worst things for a person to endure. Being in constant physical pain can have a negative impact on nearly every aspect of your life. There are certainly some types of pain you should never ignore. But there are also other types of pain that can be helped by positive thinking. Previous laboratory research has shown that producing positive emotional states increases pain tolerance and reduces pain.

To add to that body of research, scientists evaluated the impact of positive activities online has on pain reduction. Their results revealed that participating in online positive activities reduced bodily pain in adults with mild to moderate pain.

20) Reduces Risk of Death from Cardiovascular Disease

Many people understand that having higher stress levels increases your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. When a person is under stress, stress hormones release into body. Over time, this causes damage to their cardiovascular system. Conversely, research has shown that dispositional optimism and positive outcome expectancies correlate to a lower risk of cardiovascular complications.

The authors of a consequential longitudinal study evaluated whether optimism and positive expectancies were independently related to reduced cardiovascular mortality. The data that they gathered over 15 years proved that optimism and positive expectations reduced the risk of cardiovascular death.

positivity

21) Improves the Outcome of Serious Physical Health Conditions

We now know that positivity can help to prevent you from becoming ill. And that being positive can also decrease the risk of death from cardiovascular disease. Additionally, positive attitudes have been shown to improve outcomes in individuals who are already suffering from a serious medical condition. Therefore, researches also studied the impact of interventions that increase positive emotions in individuals diagnosed with breast cancer and HIV.

Individuals who think more positively and optimistically frequently have better health outcomes. On the other hand, having negative attitudes surrounding survival seem to increase the chance of death from a serious medical condition. The authors of one study that demonstrated this assessed whether attitudes toward illness are associated with survival after a stroke.

Results revealed that a person’s attitude regarding their illness was associated with the survival rate in stroke victims. Patients who thought negatively and felt there was nothing they could do to help themselves had a lower survival rate.

22) Positivity Improves Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels

Having healthy cholesterol levels improves your health immensely and can help to protect you from developing cardiovascular disease. Most of us know that having a healthy diet and participating in regular exercise are important aspects of controlling our cholesterol levels.

However, having an optimistic and positive attitude also connects with having a healthy lipid profile (i.e., healthy cholesterol levels). The authors of one study assessed the impact that optimism and positive affect had on an individual’s cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Their results revealed that having higher optimism and positivity was correlated with healthier cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

23) Decreases Risk of Heavy Substance Use

Heavy use of any addictive substance can lead to long-term health physical health problems and can even result in death. Not to mention the negative impact that heavy substance use is known to have on mental health and relationships. Young people are at a particularly high risk of experiencing negative outcomes due to heavy substance use.

Fortunately, research shows us that having a positive attitude and outlook on life decreases adolescents’ risk of heavy substance use. One longitudinal study assessed the impact of optimistic and positive thinking on 5,634 adolescent’s emotional states, substance use, and behavior. Their data showed that high levels of optimism and positive emotions had protective effects against heavy substance use.

24) Decreases Risk of Frailty During the Aging Process

The term frailty describes a person’s impaired strength, endurance, and balance. Frailty increases an individual’s risk of experiencing physical trauma and other stressors, including disability, morbidity, and mortality. Preventing or delaying the onset of frailty is an important aspect of improving a person’s physical health and increasing lifespan. This study published in Psychology and Aging assessed the long-term association between positive affect and the onset of frailty. Results revealed that high positive affect (i.e., positive emotions) significantly lowered the risk of frailty.

25) Improves Athletic Performance

We now understand the many ways in which positive thinking and attitudes can improve our physical health and abilities. It, therefore, makes sense that optimistic and positive thinking can also improve athletic performance. Several scientific studies have demonstrated this effect, including this study about the impact of positivity on an athlete’s performance.

Results demonstrated a significant relationship between an athlete’s levels of optimism, positive emotions, and athletic performance. Specifically, soccer players who had more optimistic and positive attitudes showed better athletic performance than pessimistic soccer players.

Another study assessed the ability of a positive psychological development program to improve the swimming abilities of national-level swimmers. The program aimed to increase the professional swimmer’s ability to think positively, including optimistic disposition and positive affect development. Results revealed a significant improvement in the swimming strokes of those who participated in the program that included positive thinking.

HOW POSITIVITY BENEFITS RELATIONSHIPS AND OVERALL SUCCESS

26) Improves Leadership Skills

Positive thinkers have an improved ability to make the right decisions in high-pressure situations, as compared to pessimists. This is because positive thinking allows a person to focus on solutions instead of the problem and potential obstacles. And as explained above, positive thinkers tend to have more mental clarity, concentration, and focus. Therefore, positive people make much better leaders. Furthermore, positive leaders are perceived as more trustworthy and competent.

27) Increases Chance of Career Advancement and Financial Success

As explained above, positive thinkers have improved leadership skills and the ability to remain positive, even in stressful situations. Consequently, companies are much more likely to hire a positive person for a leadership role. This increases their chances of career advancement and financial success. Dr. Martin Seligman conducted more than 30 years of research that demonstrated this outcome with over 1 million study participants.

The analysis of Seligman revealed that a person’s optimistic expectations and positive attitude led to superior achievement in sales. Salespeople who are confident and positive have been proven to sell more and have higher incomes than negative salespeople. Seligman concluded that this is because a positive person has the persistence that they need to overcome adversity.

28) Increases Productivity and Work Performance

There have been many changes in the economy and workplace over the past few decades. A lot of these changes are not for the best and have impacted both employees and companies in negative ways. One aspect of positive psychology is understanding how you can use positivity for better employment outcomes at work.

The authors of this article evaluated how utilizing positive psychology could improve the workplace, including employee productivity and job performance. Results revealed that when motivation is externally controlled, increased positive emotions are likely to be associated with increased motivation. The data demonstrated that enhancing experiences of positive emotions result in increases in productivity and better performance outcomes.

29) Increases Success Rates in Relationships

A multitude of scientific research has shown that positive people are more successful in marriage and friendship, among other things. The authors of this review of research analyzed numerous studies that assessed whether or not positive affect increased relationship success. The results revealed, “that happiness is associated with and precedes numerous successful outcomes, as well as behaviors paralleling success.”

Additionally, the evidence showed that positive affect, a critical factor in well-being, directly impacts a person’s increased happiness and relationship success. This is because positive emotions and attitudes increase satisfaction. And happy people have more fulfilling and satisfying marriages. generally. Researchers state that these findings “generalize to other romantic relationships” and also to friendships.

30) Increases Ability to Forgive

Forgiveness is an essential aspect of any successful relationship. Furthermore, forgiveness has a direct impact on mental health. Previous research links a person’s ability to forgive and improved mental health. Additionally, a connection between positivity and forgiveness resulted from the study.

The authors of a study published by The Journal of Social Psychology state that affective states mediate the relationship between forgiveness and mental health. Specifically, having more positive emotions allows someone to be able to more easily forgive which leads to improved mental health. Researchers state that “forgiveness involves replacing the negative emotions associated with unforgiveness with positive, love-based emotions.” They go on to explain “that it is through this transformation of emotional states that forgiveness affects physiological functioning.”

positivityFINAL THOUGHTS ON THE BENEFITS OF POSITIVITY

Positivity works wonders.

Decades of scientific research have made it strikingly clear that positive emotions and attitudes lead to a plethora of benefits. Thinking positively proves to benefit our mental and physical health, as well as our relationships and careers. With so many studies demonstrating how powerful positive thinking is, who wouldn’t want to cultivate and practice using positive thinking today?

Like any skill in life, learning how to think positively consistently will take time and practice. But as this article has demonstrated, it is worth doing for countless reasons. Of course, nobody expects you to be positive every single second of every single day. No one can do that. Even the happiest and most positive people have moments in which they feel and express hopelessness and negativity. That is a part of the human condition. But the more that you can incorporate positivity into your daily routines, the more beneficial outcomes you will see.

Furthermore, it seems impossible not to be convinced that positive thinking has an impact on our reality.  But if you still aren’t sure, here’s an experiment that demonstrates how the power of positivity alters our physical world.

Here at the Power of Positivity, we want to do everything we can to help everyone to live happy, healthy, and prosperous lives. And as the research featured in this article proves, having a positive outlook can help you to accomplish this.

positivity infographic

Lifestyle

Life Goes On (think positive) | Power of Positivity

Life Goes On (think positive) | Power of Positivity


Depending upon how old you are, how fast-paced your life is, or even the number of events that have occurred, you may feel as if you have lived several lifetimes and several different lives.  You look back at yourself through various stages and barely recognize the old you.

We tend to break up our timelines based on major changes or shifts in our lives.  When we look back, we see the triggers that created tremendous change in our lives and in our selves.  Those triggers may have been events that happened around us or to us, either as a result of a decision we made or a random coincidence that occurred.

The events at the time may have felt like the bowels of hell were a better alternative or like an entirely new world had embraced you and sprinkled you with fairy dust.  Time takes on a life of its own in the aftermath of such events.  It may fly by like a hawk chasing a mouse or perhaps move slowly, sludging through the thickest mud.   No matter what it felt like, time was still moving forward.  Life goes on, and so do you.

Life Goes On: Think Positive During Challenging Days

life goes on

When we first think of the phrase, “Life goes on,” we might remember those words given upon the passing of a loved one.  This is somehow meant to encourage us to keep living despite the pain of losing someone.  It acts as a reminder that time doesn’t stand still for anyone and it will continue to pass despite you sometimes wishing time itself could just stop.   You want life to stop to give you time to process what has just happened, how you feel, how it affects you, and how everything will be different from here on.

I once attended a seminar regarding the subconscious.  As part of the seminar, one of us was chosen from the audience and asked to sit in a chair on the stage.  We were to think of an event that happened within the last 6 months.  Then, we were asked to close our eyes and imagine wherein our mind’s eye that event occurred.  Next, we were to hold out our hand and put it either in front of us, to the left or right, above or below.  The location depended upon our personal view of where time was stored in our minds.

Then we were to position the hand approximately the distance away from us that we felt the event occurred, as if a dot on a timeline.   After that, we were to imagine an event from several years ago.  Once again, we were to reach our hand out to that invisible timeline. Logic would dictate that the event from 6 months ago would be closer to us than our far past right?  That was not always the case.  If many events had occurred in the last 6 months, it may still be positioned far away from us.  Conversely, if we still dwell on our past of several years ago, we may position it closer to ourselves.

Memories and Emotions

I found it very interesting and telling how our subconscious retains memories in relation to the emotional impact and relativity to our current lives.  In other words, we essentially slow time down when we are deeply affected by something in our lives.  Life around us has gone on, but we slowed our own timeline and stopped moving with it.

Of course, the reverse is also true.  We can speed up our timeline by embracing events and changes in our lives, making even relatively recent events appear to have happened long ago.

Why is this important?   It goes to show the importance of staying in life as much as possible.  Time will drag if we stay in the past and we do not necessarily benefit from that.  When we alter our perception of time, we also alter our perception of reality.  If life stopped for you 10 years ago after the death of a loved one, then everything around you is still based on your knowledge, feelings, and beliefs from 10 years ago.  Information, people, events, and the world have moved 10 years ahead of you.

People are meant to move forward with time – to grow, change, and experience life.

Embracing changes in life

Unfortunately, the brain is averse to change.  Every time you feel uncomfortable about something new, that is your brain thinking it needs to protect you from something it does not know, which also means that once you do that “unknown” action repeatedly, your brain learns it is safe and will stop giving you that uncomfortable feeling.   This is why you can even become comfortable with negative circumstances that might currently make you feel miserable.

How can we learn to embrace change so our life can go on in a happy, healthy way?

1. Recognize when your brain is telling you something that isn’t the truth.

For example, you’ve told yourself that you want to start working out.  On the day you are about to start, suddenly your brain is flooding you with a bunch of excuses.  “You don’t have enough time, too many things to get done, you’re too tired, etc.”

Realistically, you can do a simple 30-minute workout and it won’t impact your day that much.  As a matter of fact, it has been proven that people are more productive and have more energy on days they exercise than on days they don’t.

life goes on

2. Focus on the positive in your life.

Oftentimes, we train ourselves to focus on the negatives regarding a change rather than the positives.  If you have decided to eat healthier, you can choose to focus on how much you miss the cheeseburgers and fries, or you can tell yourself how much more alert you feel after eating chicken with rice and vegetables.  You can tell yourself how much better your body feels having beneficial nutrition in it rather than processed ingredients.

This can also be reinforced by giving yourself something positive afterward.  Every time you eat a healthy meal, you can reward yourself with $5.00 toward the new wardrobe you are going to need.

3. Self-Talk or Affirmations.

Talk nicely to yourself.  Tell yourself something positive, such as, “I am going to finish this report today and it will be the best report my boss sees this month.”  It’s important that you don’t word it as, “I am not going to procrastinate doing this report.”  What the brain will focus on is “I am” and “procrastinate,” whereas in the first example, it will remember “I am” and “finish.”

4. Discipline your mind.

Meditation, prayer, and visualization have proven to strengthen the mind.  Forcing your mind to quiet down or focus on an image or desire creates a form of self-discipline which automatically teaches your brain to look for those triggers to achieve the level of happiness you felt when you thought of them.

pop meme

5. Do something a little different every day.

We mostly operate on routine.  We get up, stumble to the bathroom, brush our teeth, make coffee, and sit down first thing in the morning.  Change it up.  Maybe get up and jump in the shower first; or start the coffee pot and then go to the bathroom. Or, take a cold shower instead of a warm one.   Drive a different route to work or say hi to someone in the elevator that you don’t know instead of looking at your phone.  These are small changes that allowour brains to become accustomed to that uncomfortable feeling while breaking up our mindless routine.

6. Accept the change that occurred beyond your control.

A lot of people believe they need to control everything; when something happens beyond their control, they grow distraught.  They believe there must have been something they could’ve done to prevent it.  That is not always true.

You cannot and should not control everything. You can’t control your friends, children, or partner, for instance.  Yes, you can make them feel bad or guilt them into doing what you feel is best for them.  Yet, they may still go behind your back to do it anyway.

We try to teach our children to study and do their homework.  They may choose to not do it and fail a class.  There was nothing more you could do. It was their decision.  People are responsible for their own decisions.

Another example is if you were in a car accident.  You were driving the correct speed, looking at the road without any distractions but suddenly a car darted in front of your car and you hit it.  You were doing everything you could do to be a safe driver, yet it happened anyhow.

Things happen in life and there is only so much control we have.  The sooner you realistically accept that fact, the faster you can move on and accept changes that occur in your life.

pop memesFinal Thoughts: Think Positive, Things Will Get Better

Life goes on.  Regardless of how you choose to live your life, you will be affected by people and events in your life, whether they are good or bad. The more we train our brains to not fear change, the better we go on with our own lives and experience them to the fullest.

Business

Positivity Prevails! How to Properly Deal with Negative Online Reviews

Positivity Prevails! How to Properly Deal with Negative Online Reviews


Positivity Prevails! How to Properly Deal with Negative Online Reviews

Your business has taken all the strides to adapt to the modern age. It’s been equipped with social media profiles, an email marketing campaign – all the digital marketing bells and whistles.

But it turns out, there’s one thing you didn’t prepare for when committing to the age of the internet.

What is it? Negative online reviews.

These dreaded comments on social media profiles and Yelp pages can come as a nasty shock and a bit of an emotional blow. But how can you deal with them properly so the bad reviews left by the occasional dissatisfied customer can be more than a bad start to the day?

For 6 of our top tips on staying positive in the face of negative online reviews, keep reading!

1. Remember, You Can’t Please Everyone

When it comes to dealing with negative reviews from customers, it’s absolutely necessary that you recognize that there’s never been a business or organization that hasn’t gotten a bad review. You may take those negative words personally but you’re far from the first to do so.

With over 7.6 billion humans on the face of the earth, there’s bound to be one who’s having a bad day. There’s bound to be another who had unrealistic expectations, and another who caught your employees on an off day.

It’s unrealistic to expect to please everyone every day. One bad review doesn’t mean the end of your business – it just means someone felt they had something to say. Read it and accept the feedback, then move forward!

2. Know That Bad Reviews Aren’t Always Indicative of Your Quality

Remember that moody customer we mentioned? The one who had an awful day where everything kept going wrong, then your website was slow to load or their order took a bit long to fill and it just pushed them over the edge?

Their bad day isn’t always indicative of the quality of your business overall. So, don’t think it is!

Chances are, for each negative review you’ve gotten, there are two or three or ten good ones to match it. You probably have hordes of customers who come through your doors or inbox who feel totally satisfied with their experience.

They just may not take to Yelp to talk about it.

Just because you’ve received a bad review or two doesn’t mean your business is doing anything fundamentally wrong. Negative feedback is rarely, if ever, indicative of the quality of your business overall!

3. Understand That Bad Reviews Can Build Credibility

Have you ever found yourself scrolling through a list of reviews for a business and found yourself skeptical of those reviews?

They’re all 5 stars! Can they even be real? Has this business paid for fake reviews?!

The occasional bad review can actually help your business’s credibility and the believability of the good reviews. It shows that your business has nothing to hide.

If there’s one bad review for every 10 glowing ones, it’ll be easy for your customers to shrug off the negative comments left by that one bitter client.

A study conducted by Harvard University actually proves that 95% of customers are more likely to believe in and trust a business that’s got a mix of good and negative reviews. Your clients know that no one is perfect; they value a business’s willingness to admit this fact about themselves.

4. Remember That Every Bad Review Is a Chance to Grow

Okay, we’ll admit: Some bad reviews are just plain…bad.

Some customers like to complain for the sake of complaining. But, in the case of many negative reviews, there’s something to be taken away and implemented toward improving your company and its services.

Try to set emotion aside when reading bad reviews. If you need help in this department, check out this helpful site.

Look at them objectively and ask yourself whether there’s anything that your company can do to prevent future negative experiences. Ask yourself how your team might implement this negative feedback to improve its processes as a whole.

An important aspect of running any sort of business is the ability to grow and adapt to an ever-changing market. If you’re not growing and adapting, your company will fall out of favor in the blink of an eye! Look at your negative reviews as a constructive tool-as advice for helping you grow.

5. Respond to Your Bad Reviews Publicly

There’s only one thing that gives a negative review genuine power against your business. It’s your team’s failure to respond to that negative review with efforts to right the situation.

Responding publicly to the situation, however, helps your company in a number of ways. It gives the opportunity for you to regain respect from the client who issued the negative review. It also demonstrates your commitment to doing things right to the rest of your customers.

If you think customers won’t pay attention to your response to negative situations, think again. Studies show that businesses, like hotels, that publicly reply to negative reviews actually see a significant uptick in revenue once they establish a regular response pattern to negative feedback.

6. Encourage All Sorts of Reviews

One of the most proactive ways anyone can possibly work to manage negative reviews is to go out of their way to ask clients for reviews.

This accomplishes several things. First, it shows clients that you value their opinions.

Second, it helps you to boost the concentration of positive reviews on your page. And finally, it gives a better sample size of reviews from a broader range of customers.

Consider offering small incentives to customers who go out of their way to review your services. A small coupon or giveaway for participating clients can go a long way.

Plus, encouraging reviews from your customers gives you a greater pool of feedback to work with. This allows you to show your customers all the ways in which you’ve implemented their feedback! They’ll see firsthand what a customer-oriented company you are.

Want More Tips on Dealing with Online Reviews?

Handling online reviews-good and bad-can be a bit overwhelming! Just keep in mind the fact that any feedback from your clients can be useful feedback, and remember not to get discouraged.

For more info on how to deal with online reviews, and other digital marketing content, check out our digital marketing page!