Posts Tagged With: Positivity

How Negative Energy Affects Your Life and How to Clear It

We know that like attracts like. Ergo: Positive people are drawn to positive energy; negative people will be drawn to negative energy.

We tend to perceive negative energy as something other people have. Sure, sometimes we feel negative – as in, “go away and leave me alone!”. But did you know that negativity can be so ingrained in you that it goes unnoticed? That’s because negativity sometimes wears a disguise called ‘reality’. It’s easy to rationalize that you’re ‘just being realistic’ in not daring to act on a dream – and then you believe it!

You may assume that positive people are not being realistic – that they’re being naive, that they are in denial with their heads stuck in the sand, that they put on fake smiles in the face of difficulty and so forth. But are they only ‘happy idiots’ or is there something more to their positivity?

Consider this: Does ‘being realistic’ necessarily mean that things will go wrong and that you have to accept that as the truth?
I think not. Surely, one cannot believe that being realistic is automatically negative. No sooner, you view the world from a ‘realistic’ standpoint, you can’t help but be negative – but and only IF your version of reality is negative. Then, you are conditioned to believe that whatever can go wrong, will go wrong and whatever can go right, will probably go wrong too. Your unconsciously held beliefs make you into a negative person without your being aware of it! The question that arises is – if this negativity has gotten ingrained in you so much, that you don’t notice it, how does one determine whether you’re stuck in a cloud of negative energy – that is attracting the wrong people, wrong situations and wrong feelings? And how can you be sure you’re not perpetuating that negativity?

Here’s a quick quiz to gauge the level of negative energy within you:

  • Do you complain? All the time or just sometimes?
  • Do you often discuss what’s wrong in the world more than what’s right? This includes the ‘terrible’ weather, ‘horrible’ traffic, ‘idiotic’ government, ‘lousy’ economy, ‘stupid’ in-laws, etc.
  • Do you criticize? All the time or just certain people?
  • Are you attracted to drama and disaster? Can you remove yourself from the TV when there’s a news story of a disaster? Can you avoid getting involved in the lives of dysfunctional celebrities?
  • Do you blame? All the time or just certain situations?
  • Do you believe that you have no control over most of your results?
  • Do you feel like a victim? Do you talk about people doing things to you?
  • Are you grateful for what is or will you be grateful when things finally start going right for you?
  • Do you feel like things are happening to you? Or do you feel that they are happening through you?

The last two points are important.

If you are not grateful – except when things go right – you are negative. Gratitude is positive. If you are grateful for what is (including the unpleasant school of life lessons), then you can invite more and more positive energy into your life.

Believing that things happen to you puts you in the role of victim. It becomes easy to be negative as it is convenient to give up that power. Alternatively, Who or What is to blame when good things happen to you? Do you acknowledge that you are responsible for the good things – as in, you worked hard, you earned it, etc. But blame external events or other people for your failures? So, when good things happen, they are a result of what you do, but when bad things happen, they are not your fault? Nobody likes to hear that. It takes courage to accept that you create your life experience!

Going back to the small quiz – If you answered yes to any of those questions – you are holding on to negative energy to some degree! To clear your negative energy, you will need to re-train yourself to choose a positive attitude. You will need to empty your mind of ‘the past’ and re-map it with current, happy, positive feelings and emotions. Actions which you can and should control.

Another interesting aspect – Have you noticed that positive people seem to get what they want out of life, and even if things don’t go their way, they still enjoy their lives… while negative people whine and moan about their misfortunes and even the good things in their lives.

To clear negative energy, try this 3-step process:

1. Take ownership.

“When you think everything is someone else’s fault, you will suffer a lot. When you realize that everything springs only from yourself, you will learn both peace and joy.” – the Dalai Lama
Your success will depend on your ability to take ownership of your actions. So, don’t just ‘make actions’, but own them and really do the that can be done.

2. Cancel negative thoughts and replace them with positive thoughts.

“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.” – Willie Nelson
This takes practice, dedication and making a decision to see the world through the eyes of “what can go right” instead of “what can go wrong.” You’ll have to catch yourself anytime you are acting out or speaking out your negativity, and immediately change your tune.

3. Bring more light and love into your life.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Visualize the positive instead of getting sucked into negativity; overcome past conditioning; think intuitively from the soul instead from ‘reality’; create a new, desired reality in your imagination and manifest it in the outer world. Nobody wants negative energy to permeate their lives, yet many of us allow it. But we allow it unconsciously, based on past conditioning that suggests an inevitable outcome to certain situations. When you overcome that conditioning and realize that the future is NOT cast in stone but that you have more control over your circumstances than you believe – then you can begin to consciously design your life.

What is going to happen then? Your positive energy will magnetically attract what you consider to be good and right for you: people, situations, things … and you will notice a huge, huge increase in happiness and inner peace. Why not choose positive energy? Make some changes within, and you’ll quickly see positive changes in your life.

“The world is full of a lot of fear and a lot of negativity, and a lot of judgment. I just think people need to start shifting into joy and happiness. As corny as it sounds, we need to make a shift.” – Ellen DeGeneres

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Calmness – Will Bring Success

“The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his influence, his power for good. Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom.” – James Allen

The ability to manage your emotions and remain calm under pressure has a direct link to your performance. Research shows that 90% of top performers are skilled at managing their emotions in times of stress in order to remain calm and in control. Research also shows the havoc stress can wreak on one’s physical and mental health. The thing about stress is that it’s an absolutely necessary emotion. Our system is designed in such a way that it will not take action until we feel at least some level of this emotional state. Performance will be effective under moderate levels of stress. As long as the stress isn’t prolonged, it’s harmless.

Hence, it is important to keep stress under control. Besides increasing your risk of heart disease, depression, and obesity, stress decreases your performance. Fortunately, though, unless you are being chased by a tiger, most of your stress is subjective and can be controlled. There are a few tricks to coping with stress – strategies employed by successful people. Or looking at it another way – people who manage and control their stress levels to enhance their productivity and performance are more successful.

When one begins to talk about them, some of these strategies seem obvious. The real challenge, therefore, lies in recognizing when you need to use them.

Appreciation – What You Have
Take time to contemplate what you’re grateful for. Not because it is right. This improves your mood and it reduces the stress producing hormones. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude and you will experience improvement in your mood, your energy, and your physical well-being.

Avoiding – What If ?
“What if ?” statements create suspicion. They cast aspersions on your confidence levels. And they fuel stress and anxiety. Of course, things will go in different directions. Things can always go wrong. But more the time spent worrying about possibilities, means the lesser you have to focus on taking the actions that will calm you down and keep your stress under control. Calm people know that asking “what if? will only take them to a place they don’t want – or need – to go.

Generating – Positive Thoughts
The biggest cliché. Easier said than done. Positive thoughts help. We know it. The idea is to make your brain generate positive thoughts. Give your wandering brain a little help by consciously selecting something positive to think about. Any positive thought will stabilize your attention. When things are going well, and your mood is good, this is relatively easy. When things are going poorly, and your mind is flooded with negative thoughts, this can be a challenge. In such moments, think about your day and identify one positive thing that happened, no matter how small. If you can’t think of something from the current day, reflect on the previous day or even the previous week. Or you can look forward to an exciting event. The point here is that you must have something positive that you’re ready to shift your attention to when your thoughts turn negative.

Detaching – Refresh Your Mind
Taking regular time off the grid can help keep your stress under control. To make yourself available 24/7 – to your work – only exposes your to a constant barrage of stress inducements. Forcing yourself offline – simply turning off your phone – can give your body a break from continuous stress. Even an email break can help control stress levels. We know that technology is extremely intrusive. There is constant communication and the expectation that you should be available all the time. It is extremely difficult to enjoy a stress-free moment outside of work when an email that will change your train of thought and get you thinking (read: stressing) about work can drop onto your phone at any moment. Detaching yourself from work-related communication is a must. When and how depends on you. Choose blocks of time where you cut the cord and go offline. You will be amazed at how refreshing these breaks are and how they reduce stress by putting a mental recharge into your schedule. In fact, not worrying about any negative repercussions this could have is the first step to controlling stress.

Reducing – Intake Of Stimulants
This is not a laughing matter. Coffee breaks can be stimulating. More because the caffeine actually releases adrenaline. Adrenaline is the source of the “fight-or-flight” response, a survival mechanism that forces you to stand up and fight or run for the hills when faced with a threat. This response avoids rational thinking. Of course, it’s great if you are being chased by a tiger, but not so good when all you need to do is calm down and respond to a not-so-nice email. The caffeine puts your brain and body into a hyper-active state and the stress that is created takes a toll on your system.

Sleeping – And Sleeping Well
One cannot say enough about the importance of sleep to increasing your emotional intelligence and managing your stress levels. When you sleep, your brain literally recharges, shuffling through the day’s memories and storing or discarding them (which incidentally, causes dreams), so that you wake up alert and clear-headed. Your self-control, attention, and memory are all reduced when you don’t get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation raises stress hormone levels on its own. Taking the time to get a decent night’s sleep is often the one thing keeping you from getting things under control.

Erasing – Negative Self-Talk
Most of our negative thoughts are just that – thoughts, not facts. When you find yourself believing the negative and pessimistic things, call on your inner voice to stop and write them down. Literally stop what you’re doing and write down what you’re thinking. Once you’ve taken a moment to slow down the negative momentum of your thoughts, you will be more rational and clear-headed in evaluating them. Using words like “never,” “worst,” “ever,” etc., cannot be true. Still, should you feel your statements look like facts, take them to a friend or colleague you trust and seek a second opinion. Then the truth will surely come out. When it feels like something always or never happens, this is just your brain’s natural threat tendency inflating the perceived severity of an event. Identifying and labeling your thoughts as thoughts by separating them from the facts will help you escape the cycle of negativity and move toward a positive outlook.

Redefining – Your Perspective
Stress and anxiety are fueled by our perception of events. It’s easy to think that unrealistic deadlines, unforgiving bosses, and out-of-control traffic are the reasons we’re so stressed all the time. You can’t control your circumstances, but you can control how you respond to them. So, take a minute to put the situation in perspective. If you’re thinking in broad, sweeping statements such as “Everything is going wrong” or “Nothing will work out,” then you need to redefine the situation. To correct this unproductive thought pattern, list the specific things that actually are going wrong or not working out. Most likely you will come up with some simple things – definitely not everything – and the scope of your stress will look far more manageable.

Breathing – Practice It
By far the easiest way to deal with stress – and something you have to do anyway – breathing. The practice of being with your breath will induce your brain to focus solely on the task at hand. (This is also called Meditation and there are many simple techniques to practice – dealt with more extensively – elsewhere in this blog). When you’re feeling stressed, focus on your breathing. You will notice an abnormality. A heaviness, an increased pace. So, put aside all distractions, sit in your chair, close your eyes and just breathe. The goal is to spend the entire time focused only on your breath – to prevent your mind from wandering. Think about how it feels to breathe in and out. This task may seem too easy or even a little silly, but it is the one thing with guaranteed results.

Developing – A Support System
Attempting to tackle everything by yourself may be tempting, but could be quite disastrous. To be really productive, you need to understand your weaknesses and seek help when you need it. This means you should have a support system. Identify friends, colleagues, any individuals in your life whom you can trust. Seek their insight and assistance when you need it. Talking about your worries will provide an outlet for your anxiety and stress. At the same time, the replies in this conversation will provide the new perspective you need. This is because doing the same thing and looking at the problem from the same angle causes ‘operational blindness’. Other people can see solutions that you can’t because they are not emotionally involved with the problem.

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