Ok so it’s a bit of a running joke to be called Nancy when I am being negative – which is great because this helps me realise I am not being as positive as I can be…. But how does negativity impact us?
Relationship between negativity and stress
Did you know…being negative is positively correlated with chronic stress leading to hormone imbalance, reduced happy brain chemicals and damaged immune system (K Lawson 2016). No shock there I know… I’ve personally noticed when you’re a bit of a negative Nancy, it reflects in your skin too – dull tired looking can you relate? Also don’t even get me started on the spots!! That aint doing anyone any favours, is it, really?
So how can we move away from this?
Well let’s keep it simple really – negativity can only be counterbalanced with positivity, so let’s get positive!!
Role of forgiveness
Forgiveness is a gift we give to ourselves –
I mean if a lady boss like Oprah who has been through some really difficult times can forgive the people who hurt her, why can’t we? Forgiveness means fully accepting that a negative event has occurred and relinquishing our negative feelings surrounding the circumstance. Research shows that forgiveness helps us experience better mental, emotional and physical health. I’ve been through some tough times and I’ve promised myself if I cannot wish them good, I will not wish them anything – nothing to do with anything other than my happiness.
I remember once being nice to someone and he cut me off with ‘stop, I don’t deserve you being this nice’ and in actual fact, no he didn’t but I deserved to offer him positivity no matter how negatively he treated me… does that make sense?
Attitude of gratitude
Simply journaling for five minutes a day about what we are grateful for can enhance our long-term happiness by over 10% (Emmons & McCullough, 2003; Seligman, Steen, Park, & Peterson, 2005)! There’s something really powerful about reciting 3 things you are grateful for a day… I did this for 2 years every day with my soul sister Madison and I really noticed a difference. It’s hard to know where to start so have a look at our free Gratitude worksheet here.
Create a mantra
I know you’re thinking – what is she on about?! I get this all the time…. Basically trick your brain into thinking different. Eg if you want to be more positive, recite daily – ‘I am so happy and grateful I find the positives in every situation’. Yes, you may feel weird but try it…. If you don’t know where to start (because let’s be honest they don’t teach you this in school) have a go at completing our free Affirmation worksheet here.
Be at one with nature
So lastly – lets discuss negative and positive ions. Negative ions are odorless, tasteless, and invisible molecules that we inhale in abundance in certain environments. Think mountains, waterfalls, and beaches. Once they reach our bloodstream, negative ions are believed to produce biochemical reactions that increase levels of the mood chemical serotonin, helping to alleviate depression, relieve stress, and boost our daytime energy (D. mann 2002). So in short negative ions positive mood… that’s enough reason to get out the walking shoes and explore, maybe even with your favourite human.
Don’t get too caught up in trying to be 100% positive because life is literally ying-yang… be honest with yourselves as well and take accountability – it was tough for me to realise how negative I became but I realised I was a product of my environment. Evaluating the day and what I wanted to change helped too – give it a go with our free Daily Review worksheet.