Have you noticed that negative events and comments stick with us much longer, and sometimes influence us more than positive ones? I’m sure you’ve experienced this several times. A positive comment by a mentor or a teacher for example is appreciated, but the effects wear off quickly. A negative comment on the other hand sticks with you much longer. Why is that? It’s because our brains have a bias to negativity. It’s measurable and there have been brain scan studies that show that our brain reacts more strongly to negative stimuli. The big question then is how do we fight against our brain’s bias to this?
What can you do to make sure negative thoughts, remarks and criticism don’t bring you down? The first step to change anything is awareness. Now that you know this exists, you are one step ahead. This will allow you to take each piece of negativity in your life with a grain of salt. It can be incredibly helpful to acknowledge that your mind and heart may be overreacting about something negative. Conversely, this knowledge also allows you to make it a point to savor all the wonderful positive things. Don’t dismiss a compliment out of hand. Instead, savor it, think about it, and make it a point to remember it, and allow it to raise your spirits whenever a negative thought attempts to bring you down.
This will take some time because like most things, it’s easier said than done. Since this bias to negativity is hard wired in our brains, it takes a lot of time and effort to build new, more positive habits. Remind yourself each morning that your mind is attempting to force you to focus on negative things and that it takes a conscious effort to balance it out by being mindful off all the good and happy things in your life. Really think about this. There are a lot of wonderful things going on in your life.
Over time this will allow you to grow a thicker skin when it comes to unwarranted criticism. Should you ignore every single comment or suggestion that you don’t like? Of course not. Constructive criticism is good because it helps you grow as a person and get better at what you do. But what you do need to guard against are the negative words, events, and feelings that make you want to go crawl under the covers. Use the positivity around you to lift you up and help you make it through the tough times, get stronger, and get better at who you are and what you do.
Reflecting on both the good and the bad on a daily basis can be a great exercise to help you gain a little distance and see everything that’s happening to you in a better light. Be sure to review the positive things a little more keenly. Keep a journal or set aside some time every day for some quiet contemplation. Talking things out with a family member or a good friend, particularly when you’re struggling with something negative that you’ve having a hard time getting past, is another great action step you can take. First and foremost, do what you can to outweigh your negative thoughts with positive ones. Write down all the positive comments, events, emails, etc. that you receive and experience. Go through them whenever you need to counteract something negative.
Work on changing every negative thought you have into a positive one. It will change your view of yourself and the world around you!
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My mission is to Educate, Empower and Elevate Savvy Women to step into their full potential and passion for health, wealth and happiness. I am a dietitian by trade but an entrepreneur in my heart, as well as a best-selling author and speaker who values authenticity, honesty and ethics while taking my message to the world and helping others shift from dependence to independence in all areas of their lives. I see my connections and relationships with others as a way to encourage, energize, and empower them to live up to their full potential.
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