Negativity is this weird abstract concept that you can only really relate to when you have felt it practically sucking the life out of you. The problem with tackling negativity is that it can be quite a challenge to determine where the negativity in your life is stemming from. I was such a negative person throughout high school and into my first few years of college. During that time, I honestly didn’t understand where my negativity was coming from. I started to believe that I, Lauren Wixon, was the problem, and that I was an inherently negative human. However, growing older and wiser has given me the realization that I was never the problem. Instead, blame should have been placed on the way in which I had configured my life. Below, I will explain the easiest ways I have invested in to block out any negativity from entering my life.
The first step in blocking negativity from entering my life was via social media. If there was anyone I was following on Instagram or anyone I was friends with on Facebook that would cause me to audibly groan when seeing their posts, I unfollowed them. (Side note: Facebook has a cool feature where you can unfollow a person without deleting them as a friend, which I have found really useful. I have unfollowed a vast majority of my 900+ friends on Facebook so that I won’t see their updates on my news feed!) Though it seems like (potential) fun keeping up with people from high school or stalking your ex, it actually causes more harm than good. There is virtually nothing positive that comes from getting that gut-wrenching feeling (you know the one) when you scroll past a person’s post that you have unpleasant feelings towards. It seriously makes no sense to do that to yourself, and only causes YOU to feel crappy afterwards. Meanwhile, that other person has no clue what’s happening on your end, and is continuing to live their life however they please, so why make yourself feel bad for no reason? Get rid of anyone, and I mean ANYONE, that gives you even the slightest urge to screenshot their post and send it to a friend. It doesn’t matter if you lose a few followers in the process because personal happiness>follower count.
The second step I took to block negativity from entering my life was to get rid of friends who constantly talked poorly about other people, or who didn’t share the same morals/values that I do. This was difficult, but I had to value myself enough to want to maintain my personal happiness over the needs of these negative people. It is vital for your own personal positivity to get rid of people in your life that contribute to any negativity, whether that is through them talking poorly about others or through their life choices that you don’t agree with. People that talk poorly about other people are *extremely* unhappy about themselves. I can’t stress that enough. I never understood this growing up, and I would join in on mean conversations, only to feel bad afterwards. If you are hanging out with people who spend their valuable hours talking poorly about others, it means it’s really important to those people to make themselves seem better in relation to everyone around them. Do not let those types of people bring you down! Stop hanging out with them! Don’t respond to their texts! Unfollow them on Facebook! Do whatever you feel necessary to get away from those negative people. Equally as dangerous are people that don’t share your values, because you’ll end up being dragged into activities that you don’t believe in or agree with. It’s up to you to interpret that however you would like, but a vague example I can give is that if you are friends with someone that drinks and drives, chances are pretty high that you will start to adopt that same behavior.
Lastly, to block negativity from entering my life, I stopped participating in activities that I didn’t like and started doing things that I enjoyed. This seems obvious, but for so long I was spending time doing things that my friends liked to do and not realizing why I hated everything I was doing. Now, I lay around with my dogs and cuddle because it fills me with joy. I go on hikes without bringing a cell phone, but instead take photos with an instant film camera. I snowboard often, I am learning to surf, and I bought a bike to ride around my town. These are just a handful of things that make me feel happy inside and keep me upbeat and positive while I am doing them!
Take it from someone who used to be extremely negative and suffered through life: it’s worth cutting any negativity out of your life in order to have a brighter and more positive mindset!