You are not a Negative person; You have negative thoughts
No one ever taught us to be negative, yet Negativity dominates us the most.
We never choose to be negative, but Negativity keeps crawling around us with a chance of us being tainted by it.
Even though positivity is preached in every nook and cranny, negativity still seeps in, proving that Negative thoughts have a tremendous power to dominate the positive.
How does Negativity cultivate?
The people you surround with, the environment you are brought up in and your basic instinct that you cultivate while growing up, together contribute to structuring of your thoughts. The thoughts which can either shape you or distort you.
Each one has his/her own individual unique language to communicate with the world and respond to different small to big situations. This is where the different types of thoughts cultivate.
Neither the world is all pleasing, humble and polite, nor does life come with shiny bright days always. Amidst all this is you who got to deal with the different faces of the world and navigate life.
You do not create negativity; you are exposed to situations that have chances to trigger the negative reaction from you which in return build Negativity in you.
Negativity does not develop in a fraction of moments. It’s when you fail to silence the voice of negative thoughts and allow them to nest in your mind, you become victim of negativity.
Besides this, the world is racing, and you are subjected to its tough competition.
For a moment even if I assume that you were brought up in the best positive environment, the competing and the comparative world is still enough to develop in you the fear of lagging. And if you fail to combat the fear, you allow the negativity to nest in you.
This starts from the very moment you are subjected to comparisons, be it with your siblings, your friends, or your classmates. And then if you do not navigate this negativity early on, this pattern keeps on building in later stages of life as well.
And this is when the negative pattern starts to build.
I want to be the winner, or I cannot see someone else winning.
I want to work to achieve my goals, or I cannot see myself lagging.
I want a beautiful life, or do I want life to be more beautiful than theirs?
I want to be happy, or I want to be happier than them.
I want my kids to grow wise or I want my kids to shine more than my relatives.
I want my husband to be very loving or I want my Husband to be the Best among all.
I want my dreams to come true or I want my dream life to be grander than my friends.
These negative thoughts crop up when your perspective to live life is centered around the emotion of Comparison rather than companionship.
When you see people around working for the same goal as yours, chances are that you might forget your real goal and be diverted to how better you can perform than theirs.
This triggers a negative emotion in you and If you fail to suppress it, it brings a cascading effect that ironically keeps you away from your main goal.
People who are positive thinkers are not devoid of negativity. They just keep grappling with their Negative thoughts.
Can we Remove Negativity?
The first step is to no longer think of removing the Negative thoughts.
The solution is not in erasing the problem but in finding a solution to it.
If Negativity is the problem, the Solution is not removing it but finding something that can replace negativity is the Solution.
And it is only by cultivating positive thoughts that can combat negativity.
Just like in a Darkroom which is full of Darkness, you do not remove darkness to bring light.
You rather bring Light into it and darkness is replaced.
This is what you have to do with your negative thoughts. You do not have to take your attention towards the negative that your mind is in, you have to search for the positive thoughts to replace it.
So how can you channel yourself towards positive thoughts?
The goal is to cultivate positivity, so it needs a plan.
And the plan starts with a mind shift.
Being habituated to negative patterns, you first need to break down certain patterns that might not be negative on the surface but have negative undercurrents.
The 5 strong mind shifts that can make you get rid of negative thoughts.
Having negative thoughts does not make You a negative person
You cannot control thoughts from coming in, but you have the authority to not chew them. Having a negative thought does not claim you to be a negative person but giving a positive response to these negative thoughts does contribute to your negativity.
For the longest time, I kept feeling guilty about having negative thoughts. I assumed that I created these negative thoughts that somehow make me a negative person.
After digging deeper into the psychology of the human mind, I found that our mind does not seek permission from us before generating a thought. These thoughts pop up as an involuntary response to the environment or situation we are exposed to.
The moment your mind senses these thoughts, it filters them instantly. It knows what feels like a negative thought and what sounds positive.
After the mind has found the category of the thoughts it wants to stick to, you become liable for the one that you choose to take further action on.
A negative person is not one who had negative thoughts, but one who responded positively to them.
Do not repel negative thoughts, welcome them but don’t treat them like your guest
Have you ever noticed how things you keep moving away from, haunt you more?
Things you fear the most somehow happen to cross you more.
If you keep resisting negative thoughts and try to push them away, then they will follow you like a ghost. Shake hands with your negative thoughts. Tell them, ‘Come here and sit with me. I will not leave you, and you will see how they quickly disappear.
– Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
I know you keep striving to be at arm’s distance from negative thoughts but the more you avoid them, they appear to hover over you.
Instead, let them come in.
You cannot stop a thought or know a thought before it comes. And when it comes, it also goes away immediately. If you are a witness to the thought, it simply drifts away and vanishes. But if you hold on to it and chew on it, then it stays with you.
The idea is not to block them but to stop entertaining them.
You do not have to keep your doors locked from negative thoughts; you just need to be indifferent to their presence.
They will come, sit and when they see zero interaction, they will leave.
You cannot stop the involuntary thoughts from coming to you, but you can voluntarily choose to decide which of them you want to couple with.
Things trouble you more only when they know that you are being Troubled.
And if you show zero reaction to the trouble, they become powerless.
You are like the sky, and your thoughts are like clouds
If anything could give the closest linkage between you and negative thoughts, it is the sky and the clouds.
You are the Sky. And your negative thoughts are the clouds.
Clouds come and go in the sky, but can they disturb or limit the vastness of the sky in any way? No, not at all.
So, when you fly above the clouds, when you go beyond the clouds, you see that the sky is untouched. It is the same, it is unchanged. It is only the thoughts that keep moving.
Sky never fears its identity from being hidden by the clouds, it stands still and strong in its position knowing that the Clouds never stay.
So are your Negative thoughts. They do come but they never stay.
Identify your negative thoughts
What type of negativity are you more prone to? Identify them.
Before you do the treatment, the diagnosis of the cause is important.
It’s like You cannot go for medication until you have not found the cause of your illness.
So, start with self-introspection.
Check your thinking patterns, assess your reactions and monitor your behaviors in different situations.
Observe them and label them to give yourself a clear identification of all the negative thoughts you get caught by.
Try to assess yourself for the following negative thinking patterns and figure out which of them you feel the most.
- Taking things personally
- Failing to see someone excel
- Over possessiveness
- Cannot take criticism
- Strict perspectives
- Jumping to conclusions
- Taking one bad experience as fate
- Always Thinking of negative outcomes
- Inferiority complex
- Jealousy or arrogance
Many different types of cognitive distortions contribute to negative thinking.
By identifying and labelling them, you get clarity of your negative pattern.
When you have your problems in the form of a listicle, the problems no longer overwhelm you for a reason that you have identified and segregated them.
You get relieved by the fact that there is a clear identification of your problems which resolves half of your problem.
Learning more about these distortions and remembering that thoughts are not facts may help lessen the power of these negative thinking patterns.
Negativity loves idleness and idleness makes more of this negativity
As the adage goes, “An empty mind is the devil’s workshop” which means that evil thoughts enter our minds easily when we are lazy and idle.
When a man is ruled by idleness, all sorts of evil ideas come to his mind, and it becomes the perfect place for the devil to do evil works.
This is when the negativity proliferates.
When negativity tries to dominate you, do not sit with it. Get yourself involved as soon as possible in something that keeps your mind busy and working. You have to grapple with these situations before they leave you unarmed.
The normal tendency is that to get rid of one negative situation, we do not search for positive things but rather we start engaging in the stuff that generates more negativity.
Remember, to combat the Negative you do not have to divert your attention momentarily, but practice indulgence in something positive.
The Internet has become a juggernaut, battle it before it ruins you
The biggest powerhouse of Negativity is the Internet.
I still remember when I heard the word Internet for the very first time in my school days and I was perplexed.
It came like crazy and made each one insane for it in no time.
Access was expensive back then and with time, the internet became a play.
When things are easily accessible, the chances of misusing them increase.
The excessive indulgence of the youth in the limelight of the internet foreshadowed a catastrophe.
And now we all are battling the outcome of this catastrophe.
The mind shift that can save from this internet annihilation is to use the internet maximum for learning, on average for entertainment and refrain from gaining those toxic pleasures by peeping into lives of others.
Most of the trash that we build comes from the internet.
We don’t want to be negative, but we want to indulge in tempting things that generate negativity.
Internet addiction has turned out to be the most life-threatening. The one which does not kill you but does not let you live peacefully.
Watching people’s lives activates our hormones triggering us to make comparisons and we get trapped in this negative loop. Comparisons with people who are living different lives, in different places, with different situations and with different energies are the main reasons contributing to our negativity.
These mind shifts are not a ‘quick fix’ method for creating permanent change of long-standing negative patterns. True change takes time, but I promise you with a bit of patience and practice these mind shifts have the capacity to truly change your world from the inside out.
The more you practice these tools, the more they will become like second nature to you. It’s like building a muscle—the more you use them, you become mentally fitter and stronger. In time the old habits are worn away and rather than being preoccupied with negativity, you’ll become more calm, centered and self-aware, leading to better relationships, greater overall happiness and a sense that your life is being fully lived.
I hope this blog was helpful to you. Let me know in the comments section below.
In case you have any doubt at any point, jot them in your comment, I’m always happy to help you.
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Hi! This is Sarita Mian.
Welcome to The Locks and Keys where “Little will be valued and Huge shall be contained”
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