"You can't afford the luxury of a negative thought."
Have you ever considered the effects that negativity
has on you? Here is why negativity is a plague:
Living in a Negative World:
In our modern world, we are surrounded
by negativity. Just check in with the latest news. Fires, floods, earthquakes,
tsunamis, war, famine, plague, crime, pollution, financial collapse are the
steady diet. Pay attention to the commercials and you will become convinced
that you are not well enough, not pretty enough, not thin enough, not fit
enough… and, in general, not good enough (unless you get their product).
So it is pretty easy, in a negative world, to end up thinking, feeling,
and being negative… it is not a good thing.
Physical Effects of Negativity:
When we are negative, it has
adverse effects on our body. Our whole system experiences stress. Our
blood pressure and heart rate rises. Our breath becomes more shallow
and higher in the chest (which results in less oxygenation of the blood).
Our adrenaline level rises (a constant flow of adrenaline weakens our
body). Our muscles become tense and feel strained (usually creating back
aches). Our jaw may grind our teeth together (eroding them). Our stomach
will churn with acid (which causes ulcers). All this strain will create
headaches as well as weakening our immune system (opening us to illness).
Mental Effects of Negativity:
When we are negative, it has adverse
effects on our mind. How we filter our experience of the world becomes
narrow and limited. We see only problems and never opportunities. We see
what will go wrong and never believe things will go right. We attract
"gloom and doom" people who only reinforce our sense of "whatever can go
wrong will go wrong" and ensure our focus remains on what we do not want
to happen. We have no desire to go for our dreams because we believe them
to be impossible. We stop ourselves before we can even get started
because we know "this too shall fail!"
Emotional Effects of Negativity:
When we are negative, it has
adverse effects on our emotions. How we feel about the world becomes dark
and desperate. We try things but our despairing emotions are like an anchor
that drags us down and eventually causes us to give up on ourselves and quit
because we feel hopeless and helpless. Ironically, the only way we really
fail in life is to quit. This is the real reason that no one can afford the
luxury of negative thoughts and feelings.
"What we focus on, we empower and enlarge. Good multiplies when focused
upon. Negativity multiplies when focused upon. The choice is ours: Which
do we want more of?" (Julia Cameron, "Blessings")
Negativity limits you: it serves no other purpose than to keep you
frustrated, stuck, and powerless. So stop the negativity!
The Biggest Loser:
Are you one of those people who secretly enjoy
being negative? Do you like complaining about the bad karma that runs your
life? Do you feel you are just unlucky because karma is unfair? If this
sounds like you (I hope not), then you are the biggest loser because the
cause of your misery is self-inflicted. Self-inflicted because you are
repeatedly choosing negative thoughts and no one can chose those negative
thoughts for you except you!
The Negativity Diet: Just as you would choose
different diet/exercise if you wanted to lose weight and change your body,
you need to choose different thoughts/feelings if you want to lose negativity
and change your mind. To see just how much you are effected by negativity…
take one day and go on the negativity diet. You should notice a pleasant
difference in your body, mind, and emotions from how you usually experience
yourself. Here it is:
When you feel a negative thought coming on (like a complaint
or a criticism), think instead "all is well in my universe" (whether you believe
it or not). When you make a negative judgment on something (like "this went
wrong again"), think instead "all will come out well for me in the end" (just
allow the possibility).
When you hear yourself speaking negative words, stop yourself
and speak something positive (like "I am sorry I said [the negative thing],
what I meant was [a positive substitute]."). Instead of gossiping about someone,
find something kind to say about them instead. Instead of complaining about
something, remark that the people involved are doing the best they can.
Instead of using curse words, invoke a blessing like "praise God!" Words
have power: use them wisely!
When you find yourself doing negative actions, stop yourself
and do something positive (like pick up and dispose of a piece of trash on
the ground). Ask yourself: "is what I am doing going to help and uplift
another right now?" If the answer is "yes", do it promptly and thoroughly.
If the answer is "no", stop and decide that either you will not do it or,
at least, that you will sleep on it before taking any action. Remember
it always feels good to be and to do good.
"We both read the Bible day and night. Thou readeth
black where I readeth white." (William Blake)
Negativity is a highly toxic brain food: if you are
eating it every day, you need to go on a diet!
Black or White?:
Is the glass of water half full or half empty?
Optimists will say it is half full, pessimists will say it is half empty.
Both are true... but it is optimists who focus on the water in the glass
and easily get more. While pessimists, who focus on the air in the glass,
usually have a hard time filing it up because they focus on nothing and
that is what they get. This is because in the universe what you focus
on magnifies. This is why optimists will tell you that "the better it gets,
the better it gets..." This is why pessimists experience "the worse it gets,
the worse it gets."
Do All 4 Courses:
So if you know you are mired in negativity and
are sick of it, try these four courses of the "Negativity Diet":
Can-Will, No Can't-Won't:
Focus on what can-will work and what
is working. If ten things are failing but one thing is working, focus
on what works. Bless it. Give thanks for it. Say "Oh, yes I can" to
life, instead of having a "knee jerk" reaction of "This too shall fail"
to what happens. Be a CAN-do and WILL-do person.
Doing, No Done:
When you are frustrated and when you say "I'm
done", this is the negativity talking. "When the going gets tough, the
tough get going." At these times, take a breath, do some research, and
find another way to do what you want to get done. The only way you can
fail is to quit. Be a Do-er and PRESS on.
Good, No Bad:
Focus on what is good. Look for the opportunities
that are hidden in the problem. Believe that this is a universe that is
conspiring to bring you your highest good. When you talk about other
people or your past, only say positive things, look for the good, and
avoid anything else. Be GOOD.
Kind, No Cruel:
Be kinder... to yourself, to others, and to life.
If you want to heal your negativity as well as your karma, practice
"random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty!" Living with
is a much pleasanter
way to live. Be KIND. Go on this "Negativity Diet" and your life will
"If you don't get everything you want, think
of the things you don't get that you don't want." (Oscar Wilde)
Who do you talk to the most? Yourself -
of course - so only you can control your negative self talk.
From the Emailbag:
"No matter what I do, I feel trapped in an
endless cycle of negative self talk. What can I do about it?"
The answer is:
"You are not trapped but it will take active
steps to heal this all too common problem."
Negative Self Talk:
When you speak negatively to yourself about
yourself, it is like taking poison because it causes that inner positive
spark to die. No one can think, believe, talk, or act for you except for
yourself. The single difference between those who succeed and those who
fail in life… is their self talk.
Awareness and Action:
Breaking the grip of negative self talk takes
two things. One is awareness: when you know that you have a negative self
talk problem that is half the battle. Two is action: the other more important
half of the battle. Nothing in the physical world is accomplished without
action. Effective action requires both a plan and the willingness to work
on and stick to your plan… no matter what!
Shadow Side Issue:
Many times, the negative things
you just cannot stop saying about yourself… spring from our deepest rooted
issues. When you say "I am just not good enough", is that your voice or the
voice of a hyper-critical parent speaking? When you say "I am just so lazy",
is it that you resent someone in your life who is lazy and who you do not
want to be like? When you say "I am no good with money", is it that you are
fearful of money? When you discover the real issue behind your negative
self talk and heal it, you can end it forever.
Frown Upside Down:
When you catch yourself thinking
negatively, stop instantly. Come up with a positive mantra that you will
then repeat three times. For example, what I say is, "I have an awesome
brain which brings me great abundance for which I am grateful." This is
just an example… you must come up with your own positive saying that helps
you feel good as it helps to break the cycle of negative thinking... by
turning that unhappy frown upside down.
Your habit pattern of negative
self talk was built up over years… so it will take some time to reverse…
that is the bad news. The good news is that the negative self talk habit
can be broken in much less time with consistent/persistent efforts. Only
you are in control of your thoughts and so you can create them anyway you
like. You can stop the negativity if you choose to! Just make that
choice from now on in your self talk... persistently and consistently.
"All negativity is an illusion created by the
limited mind to protect and defend itself." (Ambika Wauters)
Positive thoughts transform your life by filling
it with joy, hope, optimism, and ultimately, success.
Kick the Negativity Habit:
Negativity is a habit that has been
created by your repeated choice of thoughts. Since it is a habit, it can
be broken with determination, repeated practice, and time. To break this
bad habit, two things are required: motivation and commitment. Motivation
comes from the desire to stop the damage to your health, your wealth, and
your happiness caused by negativity. Commitment comes from sticking to
your decision to kick the negativity habit by adopting positive, empowering
thoughts, speech, and actions.
Monitor Your Thoughts:
Do you think about yourself negatively?
As in, you think things like "I screwed that up again" or "I just can't
do anything right" or "I can never succeed because [fill in the blank]",
etc. Do you view people negatively? As in, you think things like "No
one likes me" or "They are out to get me" or "I'll just end up getting
hurt in the end", etc. Do you view the world negatively? As in, you
think things like "I just have bad luck" or "Things never go my way" or
"Things always go wrong", etc. If so, your thinking is against you.
"Negativity Reframing" means thinking the opposite as in "I always succeed",
"I am likeable", and "Things always go my way!" All this takes is
monitoring and managing your thoughts.
Monitor Your Speech:
If you are wondering about what you are
thinking, all you have to do is listen to how you are speaking. Whenever
you hear yourself saying anything negative about yourself, others, or the
world, stop and replace that with positive ideas and words. Monitoring
your thoughts and speech is a consistent, conscious decision which takes
time and practice. Yet the effort is well worth it: one positive thought
can erase 1000 negative ones while one positive word spoken can erase 100
negative ones. "Negativity Reframing" means finding, thinking, and
speaking about the positive in the situation. Soon positivity in thoughts
and speech will become a habit... and negativity will be a thing of the past.
Monitor Your Actions:
If you are wondering about the effect of
your thoughts and speech, all you have to do is look at your actions. This
is where "Negativity Reframing" gains its power. If things did not go your
way, what did positive lesson did you learn? How can you use that learning
to create success next time? How can you turn that problem into an opportunity?
Remember negativity stops you: while reframing events positively keeps you
going in the right direction.
"Shake off all fears of servile prejudices,
under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat,
and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with
boldness even the existence of a God, because, if there be one, he must more
approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear." (Thomas Jefferson)
Whatever does NOT heal, help, and harmonize the body-mind-emotions should
immediately be suspect... like the Negativity Zapper.
The goal of the Negativity Zapper is to help
an individual get rid of their negative thoughts. Whenever the person
catches themselves thinking an unwanted/negative thought, they are to snap
a rubber band on their wrist - painfully. Then they would replace the
negative thought with a positive one. The pain was supposed to train the
person to stop thinking the wrong way. This is a form of "Aversion Therapy"
and it does work... but it is cruel to the body.
Pain can be an effective means of learning… but
it is a poor one. As centuries of past experience attests, learning through
pain eventually stops the individual from wanting to learn more. The whole
reason that your body comes equipped with pain mechanisms is to warn you
that something has gone wrong and attention is needed to correct it.
Inflicting pain on your body is dead wrong.
Pain No Gain:
Inflicting pain for physical gain is nothing new.
Take "Voluntary Trepanning" which involves cutting a hole in the skull to
enhance spiritual connection. This will increase an individual's awareness
but only for a short time. After it wears off (and it will because they
have not earned that level of spirituality), the person is left with a
hole in their head that is at constant risk for infection. Same thing with
intentional starving or self injury to gain awareness: any seeming advancement
in conscious is lost when the body must recover from the abuse.
If you want to rid yourself of unwanted/negative thoughts,
then you do not need to inflict pain on yourself. On the contrary, if you
use your mind to monitor unwanted thoughts, think "CANCEL!" when you find one,
and then replace that negative thought with positive ones… you will have
developed the discipline to create anything you want. This creates gain
without pain. It also respects the temples of body-mind-emotions that God