Tuesday, November 8, 2016

My Bad Habit: Negativity

Even though my blog is called Pure Joy, I've always been a bit lot of a negative Nancy. Really, I am. It's one of the bad habits I talked about last week. Unfortunately, joy just doesn't always come naturally to me BUT I do as much as I can to change that aspect of myself. 

There is so much research and knowledge that having a negative attitude is not good for your health or your relationships. Having a negative perspective on life only creates more anxiety and worry. Not only that, but most people don't want to hang out with negative people. Just ask my poor husband. 

The good is that there is so much you can do to overcome negativity. For me, negative thoughts occur when things aren't going as well as I'd like. Say I get a bad grade on something, then I catastrophize and that one grade can send my life into a downward spiral. It might go something like this: This bad grade means that I will never be able to learn this material. Then, I won't be able graduate or pass my national exam. Then, I'll be jobless and will never be able to pay off my debt or make anything of myself. 

See how it goes? Negativity crops up and makes you feel so inferior. It takes the worst in every situation and makes it feel like reality. 

One way I've stopped this attitude in my life is to stop the thought and evaluate. In this case I might ask myself: 1) Do I really not know the material or is something else going on? Maybe I didn't understand the wording of the questions or I didn't study enough. 2) What is another way I can learn this material? 3) Hello! I can't know everything. Is this one section really going to keep me from being a great Physical Therapist? And the answer is... NO!

Negative people like myself tend to do a lot of catastrophizing and a lot of blaming. We predict that things are going to go from bad to worse. Everything becomes all or nothing. In these situations, I must bring myself back to reality. No blaming myself OR others. And then, I need to go a step beyond and bridge the gap to positivity! 

Positive thinking may not actually change a single event of your life. But it will change the whole course of your life and who you are. It will transform your relationships. Most people will love a positive person, provided that they aren't being fake. I really believe this is true, because it works for me when I focus on positivity. 

And honestly, when I try to focus on positivity, negative people can be just plain annoying. So I remind myself that I don't want to be like that. I want to be a person who spreads joy. 

So what's your bad habit? Any suggestions for helping me overcome mine?   

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