Do you constantly encounter negative people in your life?
Let me answer the above question for you: yes, you do!
The world is full of negative people – and negative media as well.
We all have negative friends and family members who always seem to find a reason to burst our bubble whenever we encounter them. This could be a spouse, a fellow work colleague or an employer who generates so much negative energy that every time they enter into a room everyone seeks for an excuse to leave.
The media in its varied characteristics is the single largest contributor of negativity in the world. It’s not unusual in a news bulletin to not have a single positive item.
I have had my fair dose of such negativity, some of it too close to home that I constantly find myself on guard against negative influences most of the time.
Towards the end of his life, Solomon became so negative that he branded everyone and everything a vanity – a chasing after the wind.
Obviously, he is not the kind of guy you would have called to give a motivational speech to a bunch of graduating students.
While it is impractical to live in an ideal world where everyone is positive, we can minimize the impact of negativity in our lives by observing a few rules of engagement.
The trick is to ensure that you are absorbing more positivity than negativity. You need to at least pass the critical tipping point of 51% of positive engagements every day.
But how do you ensure that your life is not inundated by toxic influences?
While it may not be practical to live a life completely free of negativity, you can reduce your encounter with such negativity and also minimize its impact.
Below are five ways you can reduce or minimize negativity in your life.
1. Avoid exposure to negative people and news
Although it may not be possible to completely avoid exposure to negativity, there are times when you can actually avoid it altogether. For instance you can switch off the TV or log off should you find the news too depressing – and it is most of the time.
There are also people that you know very well are full of negative energy. These people should be avoided wherever possible; although I acknowledge that some of these people may be unavoidable. For instance, if the source of negativity in your life is a spouse, there is very little you can do in the way of avoiding them. You will however need to seek help in remedying this situation since it can imperil your progress in life.
2. Create a different reality
You can be in the middle of a negative mob and yet come out unscathed. You can achieve this by creating a different reality. Be bullish about changing the direction of a conversation if it is going towards negativity.
Sometimes it may prove difficult to change the direction of a conversation if it degenerates into irrational heated arguments, in which case you should firmly excuse yourself.
3. Be presently absent
Well, this sounds like a paradox; but you can actually be physically present and mentally absent at the same time.
If you cannot, for any reason, excuse yourself from a negative charged session, just switch off! Let your mind wander to another place, a different topic. When you do this, it will become evident to everyone that you are not engaged and the negativity will die down.
I have found myself switching off from a lot of negative conversations. This is especially true when people become adamantly irrational and persist on pushing a negative agenda.
Learn to train your mind to dwell on what you want it to dwell on.
4. Read – a lot
I get more positive influence in the books I read than I get from people I encounter. Besides reading positively uplifting books, listen also to audios and videos by motivational speakers and life coaches. As you do this, you are programming your mind to always dwell on the bright side of life.
Consequently, chances are that you will be attracting positive people into your life while at the same time repelling negative energy generators.
5. Meditate Daily
People meditate differently, but largely for the same reason – to be at peace with the universe and with God.
For me, meditation involves reading the Bible and spending quiet times in contemplative prayer. For instance I use Psalms 23 as my meditation scripture where I let my mind wander into a perfect place with undulating hills, green grass and trees planted besides a river whose waters reflect the rays of the sparkling sunlight. I picture my Savior holding me by the hand and setting me down in this beautiful out-of-this-world place.
After meditation I feel lighter and positively ready to face the day ahead.
Learn to meditate on a daily basis and as many times as possible and you will find yourself insulated from today’s negative world.
Remember that it is not the darkness that drives out the light; but rather it is the light that sends darkness away.
If you remain positive, the light of your positivity will drive out the darkness of negativity; and the world would be a far much better place to live in.