Live Life Positively - How to Erase Negative Influence and Live Positively
How to Erase Negative Influence and Live Positively
Erasing negative thoughts and influences can be challenging, especially when you are surrounded by negative individuals or if you have established a base of negative habits. However, through awareness and perseverance you can turn the tide and begin to focus on living positively. By adjusting who you spend time with and how you spend that time you can open the portals of joy so that deep content and satisfaction spills into your life.
Removing Negative People from Your Life
Identify negative people in your work life.Take a moment to identify any negative company you may be associating with in the office. Ask yourself if any individuals take your time for granted on a regular basis or if they demand—overtly or covertly—that you divert effort from your task set in order to appease them. Such individuals may act selfishly by squandering their time while siphoning yours. They may show up late for work, meetings, or group activities may consistently contribute little, thereby placing undue burden on you and your coworkers.
- A negative individual may also display envy or jealousy towards you and make you feel bad about your accomplishments and achievements at work. They may tell you that you are not accomplished or that you did not deserve recognition for something you did. For example, when you receive a promotion or a bonus, the negative individual may tell you that "you got lucky" or "you didn't deserve such a pay bump".
Identify negative people in your home life.A negative person in your home life, like a parent or sibling, may try to change you or convince you that you need to improve upon who you already are. You may doubt who you are and what you stand for due to the influence of this person and start to feel like your opinions and ideas are not valid or not worth sharing.
- The negative person may also continuously remind you that your opinions are not worthwhile or correct and try to chip away at your self-esteem and self-confidence. They may tell you you are "stupid", "worthless", or "dumb". They may also disregard your opinions when you talk by telling you to "shut up" or disregard what you have to say completely.
Focus on spending less time and energy with negative people.To remove a negative person from your life, you should first put some distance between you and this person, whether they are at school, at work, or at home. This could mean not spending every weekend with a negative friend or not answering a negative friend’s calls right away. Try to allow yourself time and space to release yourself from this person, especially if she is a close friend or relative.
- This could also mean shifting the amount of time you spend with negative individuals so it can be more positive and productive. Invite a negative person out with your more positive friends so she can see what being around positive conversation and attitudes can feel like.
- You could also limit the amount of airtime the negative person receives by going out together in a big group rather than one on one so you both have a chance to talk to others, rather than talk to each other about negative things.
Establish boundaries with negative people.Though you may be tempted to cut out negative people from your life completely, you may be forced to work with a negative person on a project or live with a negative person as a roommate. Rather than let the person’s negativity drive you crazy, you can try to create boundaries so you feel in control and safe around the negative person. Try to talk to others more than the negative person when you are working together on the group project or maintaining a different schedule than your negative roommate so you are both never home at the same time.
- Try to maintain these boundaries even if the negative individual attempts to encroach on them. Remind yourself that setting these boundaries will help both of you avoid a potential conflict and allow you to still work or live around this person out of necessity.
Adopt a positive attitude around negative individuals.Take back the positivity in your life by adopting a more positive and open attitude when you are around negative individuals. If the negative person makes a negative comment about the weather, for example, remind her that tomorrow will be sunny and better than today. Or, if the negative person comments on a person in a negative or hurtful way, point out that the person is actually very nice and generous.
- Countering negativity with a positive attitude can also help you defuse the negative perspective of your friends or relatives and address the negativity in a way that feels proactive and open.
Removing Negative Habits and Thoughts from Your Life
Identify your unhealthy habits.Everyone has their own personal unhealthy habits, from binge drinking, smoking, and partying to eating unhealthy foods or having unhealthy emotional habits like self-hate and low self-esteem. Take a moment to write down any unhealthy habits you are currently practicing in your life. Think about any habits that make you feel unhappy or sucks away all your energy.
- Though more obvious unhealthy habits like partying and drinking may be an issue, other habits like unhealthy eating or unhealthy relationships with others can also bring you down and contribute to the negativity in your life.
Cut back on these unhealthy habits.Activities like binge drinking, smoking and partying may feel good in the moment, you will likely wake up in the morning with a pounding hangover and negative feelings. Cutting back unhealthy habits will allow you to use your time on other activities that could lead to progress in your career, your personal passions, and your development as an individual.
- Rather than stop doing all of these activities cold turkey, you can try to reduce the amount of time you devote to them. This may mean going out only one or two times a week instead of every night after work, or choosing one night a week as your going out night with friends or your partner.
- Blowing off stress by being social with friends does not always have to mean drinking at bars; instead you could try to spend more time at home by inviting friends over for a relaxing night in or cooking for friends as a way to socialize.
Avoid negative self-talk.Negative self-talk can sometimes be just as damaging as negative habits. You may practice negative self-talk by only focusing on the negative aspects of a situation or an event, rather than the positive aspects. For example, maybe you had a great, productive day at work and rather than come home to celebrate it, you can only focus on all the tasks you will need to get done the following work day.
- You might also consciously or unconsciously blame yourself when something bad happens, making every bad moment personal for you. For example, a friend may cancel a night out with you and a group of friends, and rather than let it go, you may convince yourself that plans were changed because no one wanted to hang out with you. You may think, "It's all my fault" or "No one likes me".
- When you have negative self-talk, you may convince yourself the worst is going to happen and that disaster is imminent at every turn. You may also have a very either/or view of the world, where situations are either good or bad and there is no grey zone or possibility for the positive. You may think, "Everything sucks" or "Nothing good is happening to me".
Use positive affirmations.Turn your negative self-talk into a positive force by focusing on healthy self-talk that makes you feel good. This means never saying anything to yourself that you would not say to anyone else. Evaluate any negative thoughts that enter your mind, consider it, and then respond with a positive thought instead.
- Say positive affirmations out loud to yourself every day, focusing on the phrase “you are what you think”. Vocalize positive thoughts in the morning to start your day on a good note and focus your energy on positivity for the rest of the day. This means phrases that start with “I can” and “I will”. For example: “Today, I will acknowledge and celebrate my accomplishments”, “I am a powerhouse; I am strong”, “I can overcome negative thoughts”.
Focusing on Positive Living
Follow a healthy, balanced diet.A big part of positive living is doing self-care through what you consume every day. Follow a healthy diet that includes lots of home cooked meals and healthy portion sizes, with at least three meals a day. You should consume a healthy balance of protein, grains, vegetables, fruits, and dairy every day, three times a day at close to the same time every day.
- You should also drink lots of water throughout the day so you stay hydrated, especially if you have a physically active lifestyle. Avoid sugary drinks like soda and carbonated drinks.
Get eight to nine hours of sleep a night.A full night’s rest will ensure you are not exhausted the next day and in a negative frame of mind. Get ready for bed by following a strict sleep schedule and by ensuring your bedroom is set up to help you get to sleep.
Stay physically fit.Try to exercise at least three times a week on a consistent basis to up your endorphins and give your body a healthy stress release. Commit to a workout class one to two times a week or a running schedule where you work out at the same time every day. Working out will help you to feel positive about yourself and positive about others around you.
Focus on building positive relationships with others.Pursue relationships with people who make you smile or laugh out loud, rather than individuals that make you feel depressed and lonely. You should try to create social situations where you feel welcomed and supported by everyone around you. Building new relationships with positive individuals or strengthening your existing relationships with positive people will help you let go of the negative.
QuestionHow can I be a better influence on those around me?Community AnswerThe best way to have a positive influence on others is to be the best you that you can be. Try to live a joyous, active life. Don't preach, teach. Be accepting and non-judgmental of others. Take this one step at a time; the happier you are, the happier you will make others.Thanks!
QuestionThe article is helpful, but I am having trouble focusing on the negative thoughts to drain them away. Will meditating help me with this?Top AnswererIt's a good possibility. Mediation is great for erasing your mind and focusing on the present and letting go of the past and negative things.Thanks!
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