“An attitude of positive expectation is the mark of the superior personality.” ~ Brian Tracy
Have you ever noticed how negative emotions can completely consume your reality and how strange, frustrating or hopeless everything seemed at those moments? I know from the feedback that I am getting to this site that many people would like to break out of the cycle of continuous emotional drama and finally overcome negativity.
The Purpose of Negative Emotions & Negative Thoughts
I believe negative emotions do serve a purpose. Their purpose is to signal us that something is not working. Negative emotions are a feedback system of our brain, similar to feeling pain, with which our brain tells us that it is time to make a change.
That doesn’t mean that you have to follow every negative emotion and dive into them with everything you’ve got. I personally try to get aware of the emotion and then, if possible, use that energy towards what I think is going into the right direction. You can’t and shouldn’t suppress the emotion, but when you get awareness about it, you then have a choice to follow it or to use it as the signal it is as described above.
What is Negativity?
Now negativity is something different. Negativity begins when we not only use those negative emotions or thoughts as a signal to act, but also keep on repeating them. Negativity is the dwelling and almost cultivating of negative thoughts and negative emotions. It is when negative thoughts become a bad habit. And the sad part is, it mostly happens on a completely unconscious level. So how can you get control over your negative thoughts and negative emotions and turn them into something more positive?
The key to overcome negativity is as always: awareness.
1. Awareness of what negative thoughts are doing to you
Negativity can be a real pain in the neck and keep your mind busy in the most unpleasant way. It can seriously pollute your consciousness and destroy any productive ways to make progress in your life. Notice what effect negativity has on your life, your relationships, your success, your peace of mind. Thoughts are creative and the more you dwell on the negative side the less you are able to attract the positive side.
2. Awareness of why you are negative
By far the biggest reason for negativity is the need to be in compliance with your self-image or your image of the world. If you have a negative self-image for whatever reason, a logical way to be compliant with your self-image is to project out negative thoughts and emotions.
The key to overcome this negativity is to change your representation of yourself and your world. Easier said than done, I know. But that’s why we are here. So progressively building up positive states and with it improving your own self-confidence is one way out of this pattern. There are countless other reasons why you have negative thoughts, doing self-reflection regularly can give you the awareness on why that’s the case and also the push to change it.
A second big reason is just learned negativity. People around you are negative, you see a bunch of negative news in TV etc. That’s when you have to raise your awareness and make a conscious decision to not jump on that train. Overcome negativity by surrounding yourself with positive people. Feed you brain with positive and awareness-opening material (as you’re doing right now!) and avoid polluting yourself with those negative news and messages.
3. Awareness that you have a choice
That’s the key point of this post. You can choose your thoughts, or better: you can choose which thoughts you want to follow. You are not your mind. You have to train your awareness up to a point where you can use your gap between thoughts to choose which thought to follow. If you notice a negative thought or emotion, try to get the message of it as described above and then make a choice not to feed that thought and emotion. Focus on something else and change your state actively.