Why oh why are there some people who are just so negative? Why do they have to always be such downers? Well, I guess I can kind of relate to those “Debbie downers”. Once I start rolling on something that irritates me or frustrates me, it is hard to stop me. It is hard work for me to stay mentally positive.
For the past five years I lived in one place. There were various aspects about this place that I loved. There were many people that I loved. There were also things in this place that were difficult. There were things that were a drain on my mental positivity. As a result, I let myself have a negative mindset. It got worse and worse over the course of a few years and eventually it was difficult to function positively. I take responsibility for my mindset and emotional state. I try not to be bitter. I am especially thankful for my husband who was a major support and who worked so hard to help me stay positive.
Now I like to say that I am in recovery. I am recovering from the both the situation and the choices that I made that led to the negativity in my life. As much as I try to take responsibility for my mindset, I also must take it easy on myself and know that the situation was not easy and was outside of my control. In my time of recovery, I am working on positive thinking. Just yesterday, I was in two situations where I quickly realized that if I let myself, I could do into the negative spiral. The first situation was in the school parking lot where I managed to get myself stuck between 3 other cars. All the other drivers seemed to be expecting me to get out of the way and were not willing to help. The second situation was in line at the grocery store. The put my basket of items on the conveyor belt and the cashier just stood there. Eventually she said something to me in Hungarian and swept her hand towards the basket, indicating that I needed to empty the basket. She then turned and ranted to her fellow employee about the bad customer that I was. Somehow that made me quite upset in that moment. As I was reflecting on these situations after leaving the parking lot and the store, I stayed annoyed. But I knew that if I let it get to me then in a very short time, I will be annoyed with anyone who is rude to me. And Hungarians are not known for the customer service so I could spend a lot of time being annoyed. In both of these situations (which are fairly minor in the grand scheme of possible difficult situations), I realized how my mindset can affect me and my positivity and just the general atmosphere of my day and my life at that moment. I love living here in Budapest and I want that enjoyment and love of this city and the country stay with me so I need to ensure that I do not allow those challenging situations affect my positive mentality. Althought these situations might not be big, the negative spiral can start small.
In my morning “readings” (between Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram), I found a few articles on negative thinking. The first comes from a Christian meditation that I follow on Facebook. It is called Proverbs 31 Ministry and the article is Re-Routing Negative Thoughts. The idea of the meditation is about changing one’s focus when thinking negatively. Think about something else. Think about things that are true, lovely, admirable, and excellent!
Another reading that I found is this fun infographic that looks at ways to change negative thoughts with relevant research and information. (I found it in two separate locations: Self Magazine and LifeHack…that is how good it is!)
Another aspect of being a negative person is that it can push other people away. It is never nice to be around someone else who is negative and brings you down. In this article on Mark and Angel Hack Life, it discusses thoughts that we might have that can cause us to be negative and as a result make others less likely to want to spend time with us. Basically thinking that you need to be something else than who you are and what you are like, is negative: “I am not enough of something” or “I should be more like this or that”. Not allowing yourself or others to make mistakes and to be forgiven is another thought that pushes others away. Love and care for others and yourself! (Another article on this same website discusses 12 Toxic Behaviors that Push People Away).
And the final article I read this morning was from powerofpositivity.com and it was about 3 ways to handle negative thoughts. Know that negative thoughts are actually quite normal and will happen to everyone. Give yourself a break and accept that you will have negative thoughts. Then try to gain understanding at where the issues are with the negative thoughts.
Are you a negative person? What are your negative thoughts? How can you refocus or adjust those negative thoughts?