Anais Nin once said, “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are”. These are such powerful words when you consider the difference a day can make to how you feel or perceive the world around you.
It is as that old expression goes: “Woken up on the wrong side of the bed”. The mood you start your day off with can have a huge impact on the way you experience the rest of your day. Not only does your mood often alter the choices you make, it also affects the people around you, which gets reflected back into your own experience.
Having the occasional ‘off day’, is part of human nature, it is something we all experience. Those days when everything seems a little more challenging or less enjoyable than it usually does.
Sometimes there is a reason that you feel a little negative, such as lack of sleep, being physically run down, or have had something or someone upset you. Other times there may not be a recognisable reason at all. Regardless, you actually have a say in the role you allow this negativity to play in your day.
If you give power to a negative thought, by focusing on it and brooding over it, then you allow it to fester and breed more negativity. Given too much focus, a negative thought can soon evolve into a negative mood. This negativity can build up inside you until you find yourself becoming annoyed or overwhelmed by the simplest of things (such as someone chewing their food, or having to respond to work emails). When this happens, you may notice that your negative mood is holding you back from enjoying the day as you would like to. It is preventing you from being positive, happy and productive!
It is important to note here that negative thoughts are part of human nature. It is ok to have a negative thought every now and then, in fact, some ‘negative thoughts’ are there to protect you and are part of being discerning.
It is more about recognising when a simple negative thought is allowed to dwell and grow, so much so that it starts to affect other thoughts and becomes central to your focus.
So how do you overcome negativity and redirect your thoughts back to a positive mind frame?
The key here is ‘mindfulness’, or present moment awareness and non-judgemental self-observation.
It is one thing to recognise that you have been thinking in a negative way, however, if you go on to reprimand yourself for this, then you are simply adding a layer of guilt on top of an already negative feeling. Which ends up being detrimental to the process of overcoming negativity and isn’t very helpful at all!
Instead of reprimanding yourself when you recognise that you have been feeling negative, try having a sense of pride that you were able to step back from the experience of negativity long enough to acknowledge that you have been feeling that way in the first place! This is actually a key element of ‘mindfulness’ and a skill to be nurtured and encouraged.
Once you recognise that you have been moving towards a negative spiral, here are some basic steps that you can implement to help overcome this and redirect yourself back towards positivity:
Reflect on any reasons you may be feeling negative. Once you have stepped back and acknowledged that you are thinking in a negative way, ask yourself where this negativity may have stemmed from? Perhaps you are tired, not feeling well, a little hormonal, or you are upset about something else and projecting it on other situations? Even if there is not an obvious reason, it is a good idea to reflect on this for a moment because it can help you be more understanding (and even compassionate!) towards yourself. Self-compassion and understanding are all part of a healthy and positive mindset!
Ask yourself what holding onto this negativity will achieve? Sure, someone may have angered or upset you, or you may have made a mistake or not achieved something you had set out to, but what is feeling negative going to accomplish? It is only you that suffers from feeling this way. This negativity will only hold you back from being happy and productive in your day.
Step back and view the bigger picture. What seems to be of great importance today can often be completely forgotten about in a day, week, month or year. Bring to mind some of the things that you have to be grateful for, whether they be family and friends, something you have to look forward to, or simply being alive to enjoy the world around you.
- Affirmation and choice. Once you have made the choice to let go of the negativity, say a little positive affirmation to help you on your way. For example; “My glass is half full!”, or “I am going to enjoy this day to its fullest!”. The power of the mind is quite an incredible thing. You can use it to your advantage, or you can let it work against you.
Have you ever noticed that sometimes being negative about a situation or possible outcome can actually create negative outcomes? Okay, so perhaps you cannot control the world with your thoughts, however, being in a negative mood does impact on your choices as well as the people around you and this can often affect your experience of the situations you find yourself in.
Your mind really is a powerful tool. Just as focusing on one negative thought can allow negativity to build up and spill out into the rest of your day, so can focusing on positive thoughts. If you approach each day in an open, honest and positive way, then you will find that you attract positivity and abundance into your life. Whether you wish to attract abundance in success, wealth, or love, your mindset plays a key role in your ability to attract it.
If you are feeling positive and enthusiastic, others are naturally drawn to that positivity and enthusiasm. In fact, it can even be a little infectious! This is why manifesting abundance into your life all starts with having a positive attitude.
Negativity is a mindset, and it is one in which you can choose to overcome. You are the architect of your own life. You can choose to let small things get you down, and view the glass as half empty, or you can manifest abundance into your life and live by the immortal words of Bobby McFerrin: ‘Don’t worry, be happy’.