Negativity limits your potential to become something great and live a fulfilling, purposeful life. It has a tangible effect on our health, too. Research has shown that people who cultivate negative energy experience more stress, more sickness, and less opportunity over the course of their lives than those who choose to live positively. Learning how to get rid of negative energy can have a significant effect on your mental health.
When we make a decision to become positive and follow that decision up with action, we will begin to encounter situations and people that are also positive. The negative energy gets edged out by all positive experiences. It’s a snowball effect.
Although negative and positive energy will always exist, the key to becoming positive is to limit the amount of negativity that we experience by filling ourselves up with more positivity.
Here’s how to get rid of negative energy and become more positive:
1. Be Grateful for Everything
When life is all about us, it’s easy to believe that we deserve what we have. An attitude of entitlement puts us at the center of the universe and sets up the unrealistic expectation that others should cater to us, our needs, and our wants.
This vain state of existence is a surefire way to set yourself up for an unfulfilled life of negative thoughts and feelings. If you really want to learn how to get rid of negative energy, you have to start here.
People living in this sort of entitlement are “energy suckers”—they are always searching for what they can get out of a situation. People that don’t appreciate the nuances of their lives live in a constant state of lacking. And it’s really difficult to live a positive life this way.
When we spend time being grateful and appreciate everything in our lives—from the small struggles that make us better, to the car that gets us from A to B every day—we shift our attitude from one of lack and frustration to one of appreciation. This appreciation gets noticed by others, and a positive harmony begins to form in our relationships.
We begin to receive more of that which we are grateful for because we’ve opened ourselves up to the idea of receiving instead of taking. This will make your life more fulfilling and more positive.
If you’re not sure what you can feel more grateful for, take a look at this article: 32 Things You Should Be Grateful For.
2. Laugh More, Especially at Yourself
Life gets busy, our schedules fill up, we get into relationships, and work can feel task-oriented and routine-driven at times. Being human can feel more like being a robot. But having this work-driven, serious attitude often results in negative energy and performance-oriented thinking.
Becoming positive means taking life less seriously and letting yourself off the hook. This is the only life that you get to live, so why not lighten up your mood?
Laughter helps us become positive by lightening our mood and reminding us not to take life so seriously. Are you sensitive to light sarcasm? Do you have trouble laughing at jokes? Usually, people who are stressed out and overly serious get most offended by sarcasm because their life is all work and no play.
A 2016 study pointed out that, “Decreasing stress-making hormones found in the blood, laughter can mitigate the effects of stress”. By decreasing levels of certain hormones in the body, laughter can help to reverse the stress response, mitigating short-term or long-term depression.
If we can learn to laugh at ourselves and our mistakes, life will become more of an experiment in finding out what makes us happy, and finding happiness makes finding positivity a lot easier.
3. Help Others
Negativity goes hand in hand with selfishness. People that live only for themselves have no higher purpose in their lives. If the whole point of this world is only to take care of yourself and no one else, the road to long-term fulfillment and purpose is going to be a long one. To learn how to get rid of negative energy, look outside yourself and begin to help others.
Positivity accompanies purpose. The most basic way to create purpose and positivity in your life is to begin doing things for others. Start small. Open the door for the person in front of you at Starbucks or ask someone how their day was before telling them about yours.
Helping others will give you an intangible sense of value that will translate into positivity, and people might just appreciate you in the process.
4. Direct Your Thinking Away From Negative Energy
We can either be our best coach or our best enemy. Change starts from within. If you want to become more positive, change the wording of your thoughts. We are the hardest on ourselves, and a stream of negative self-talk is corrosive to a positive life.
The next time you have a negative thought, write it down and rephrase it with a positive spin. For example, change a thought like, “I can’t believe I did so horribly on the test—I suck” to “I didn’t do as well as I hoped to on this test, but I know I’m capable, and I’ll do better next time.”
Changing our self-talk is powerful. If this is particularly difficult for you, try to sneak in some meditation each day to absorb negative energy. Meditation offers your mind the space to identify negative energy and let it be with you in order to be analyzed and accepted. You will learn to identify negative thoughts and neutralize them with true words.
5. Surround Yourself with Positive People
We become most like the people that we surround ourselves with. If our friend group is full of negative energy-suckers and drama queens, we will emulate that behavior and become like them. It is very difficult to become more positive when the people around us don’t support or demonstrate positive behavior.
As you become more positive, you’ll find that your existing friends will either appreciate the new you, or they will become resistant to your positive changes. This is a natural response.
Change is scary, but cutting out the negative people in your life is a huge step to becoming more positive. Positive people reflect and bounce their perspectives on to one another. Positivity is a step-by-step process when you do it solo, but a positive group of friends can be an escalator.
If you’re not sure how to create a friend group of positive people, check out this article.
6. Turn Negative Energy Into Positive Action
Negative energy and thoughts can be overwhelming and challenging to navigate. Negativity is usually accompanied by a “freak-out” response, especially when tied to relationships, people, and to worrying about the future. This is debilitating to becoming positive and usually snowballs into more worry, more stress, and more freak-outs. If you’re learning how to get rid of negative energy, you need to turn this into positive action.
The next time you’re in one of these situations and feel bad, walk away and take a break. With your eyes closed, take a few deep breaths. Once you’re calm, approach the situation or problem with a pen and piece of paper. Write out four or five actions or solutions to begin solving the problem.
Taking yourself out of the emotionally-charged negative by moving into the action-oriented positive will help you solve more problems rationally and live in positivity.
If you’re facing a problem that likely can’t be solved with only a few free moments, taking a break still helps. Get out and take a walk or do a short workout in your home. You’ll find that it helps to clear your head so that you can think more clearly to solve the problem you’re facing.
7. Take Full Responsibility
You are responsible for your thoughts.
People that consistently believe that things happen to them handicap themselves with a victim mentality. This is a subtle and deceptive negative thought pattern. Phrases like “I have to work” or “I can’t believe he did that to me” are indicators of a victim mentality. Blaming circumstances and blaming others only handicaps our decision to change negative energy into something positive.
Taking full responsibility for your life, your thoughts, and your actions is one of the biggest steps in creating a more positive life. We have unlimited potential within to create our own reality, change our life, and change our thoughts. When we begin to really internalize this, we discover that no one can make us feel or do anything. We choose our emotional and behavioral response to people and circumstances.
Make positive choices for yourself.
“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny” ― Lao Tzu
Negative energy can be difficult to let go. Society tells us we need more and more and rarely offers time to simply take a step back and enjoy what’s in front of us. However, once you learn to do this, you make space for positivity to enter your life.
Try out the techniques above and find which one works best for you. If it helps alleviate negative energy, even for only a few moments, it’s likely a habit you should hold on to.
More Tips for Staying Positive
Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com