If your goal is avoiding negativity altogether; you’re going to come up way short.

Within reason, everything is in some form of balance. The good comes with the bad. Now, that’s easy to say, as there seems to be very little balance in 2020. Whether that be health-related, political activities or not being able to travel, this year’s pendulum of energy seems locked on the negative half of its swing. We could certainly do with a bit of good right now.

Yet, in a way, that’s the point. It’s hard to always be avoiding negativity, as in one form or another, it will always exist. It’s going to be around, so trying to pretend it doesn’t is both a lie to yourself and to the world. If you set it as a goal to be avoiding negativity completely, you’re going to fail. It’s as simple as that.

The answer is not to set the goal of having no bad vibes, but to ensure you’re not consumed by them. Ensuring that you have methods and techniques to help to keep the negative energy at bay is a much more realistic goal to set.

You can’t control what’s going on globally. You can’t control things that are happening on a macro level. It’s important to focus on what’s within your realms of control. It’s very easy to get wound up because of politics, when you see the many blunders happening worldwide, which do affect your life. But, you can’t change that (yes, of course, vote, but global decisions are still going to happen, of which some you’ll like and some you won’t). 

What you can change are the choices you make in your immediate environment.

Again, you will not be able to crush out all negativity. But there are two main things you can do; dilute it and drown it out.

If you work on what you can, you can ensure you’ve got enough positivity around to hardly hear the bad stuff. Yeah, it’s still there, but it’s a small fraction of your energy. Plus, that small fraction will only take up a small fraction of your mind space.

So instead of avoiding negativity for good, here are 9 ways to dilute and drown the bad vibes out.

 

Watch what content you consume (and where from)

A woman on her laptop checking her phone.
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The content you consume is vital to your outlook.

In a similar way to ‘you are what you eat’, you are the content you consume. If you fill your free time with negativity, or negative traits, such as gossiping and drama, then you can’t be surprised if you start seeing that in your own life.

Although the pros and cons of social media are widely discussed, it’s important to realise you have a choice. We know it’s not as simple as deleting all social media apps, despite the benefits of doing so. But, if you do decide to keep them, you control what you see. Unfollow pages or people that aren’t good for your mental health, and replace them with things you want or need to see. After a while, you’ll begin to see your feeds change and gradually become more positive.

On top of social media, make sure you’re taking other forms of information in. Nothing beats a good book when you get into a rhythm, so find things that captivate you, not drain you.

 

Who you surround yourself with

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You’re the sum of the five people you spend the most time with.

It really does average out. If you’re around five negative people, who moan, gossip, and complain, then no matter how positive you are, it will seep into your own psyche. Yet, if you’re around five people who uplift others, encourage you to do better, and have a genuine love about them, you’ll become a mirror.

Before you class yourself as a negative person, make sure you’re not surrounded by negative people.

 

Watch your self-talk

A man sat on top of a mountain.
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Your self-talk is the most influential tool going, although it can be for good or for bad depending on the person.

It’s very easy to sink into bad habits with your self-talk, from thinking you’re not good enough, to always bemoaning your luck. If you can’t find a way to manage and work with your own inner voice, you’ll find it difficult to portray a positive self if you don’t believe it.

We all have that inner chimp who works on emotions and tells us to react to anything. But the human in us can work with that innate primate by hearing it, understanding it, and then making an informed decision.

You have to praise yourself for how far you’ve come and what you’ve achieved, no matter how small. From now on, learn to react positively to yourself as much as what you’ve reacted negatively in the past. It will produce a monumental swing in your self-talk.

It’s not easy, but like working your muscles in the gym, you need to work your mind and self-talk.

 

Don’t worry about what others think

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Avoiding negativity is easier if you don’t care about what others think of you.

Notoriously hard to achieve, especially in this age of comparison. Yet achieving it produces a freedom that very little else does. It’s hard enough managing your own thoughts, let alone thinking about others. Plus, even if you could understand what they’re thinking, you can do nothing about it anyway, so why bother?

We understand it’s very easy to say this, but doing it is anything but. Begin teaching yourself to not worry about it. Every time you catch yourself doing so, remind yourself “I don’t know, I won’t know, and it’s not my business anyway”.

When you start acting on what you think as a person, you’ll notice that you begin to start making a lot more happen.

 

Practice gratitude

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What good are you grateful for in your life currently?

Even if it seems bleak, find five things a day that you’re genuinely thankful for. In the beginning, it may seem futile but stick with it. You’re building a positive habit to look for the good, even in tough situations.

The benefits of gratitude have been praised by a lot of self-development experts and form a central part in living a well balanced, positive life.

 

Do things that make you happy

A man backpackig and sat on a mountain, overlooking a forest.
Photo by Nguyen Le Viet Anh on Unsplash

What makes you happy? What do you love doing?

If you’ve got a hobby or a talent, are you actively partaking in it? If we can’t add some creativity and fun to our everyday lives, then what are we doing? We have to have an outlet for enjoyment and we have to practice it.

It could be carving out time to go with your friends for dinner each week, or setting some time aside for gaming.

We’re not talking about filling boredom, but genuine happiness. Whatever it is, do it. If you don’t know, then it’s time to experiment. Try new things, take a risk, and yes, fail if needs be.

It’s the best learning curve, but it’ll be more fun in the pursuit of happiness than not trying at all.

 

Mindfulness

A woman stood on the top of a rooftop overlooking a new city.
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The majority of the time, negativity focuses on things that have already happened or a worry about what is about to come.

Anyone that has started any level of mindfulness understands that all we’ve got is the present moment. Forget about everything else and learn to sit with yourself and the here and now. Thoughts all come and go. How many times have you overthought a situation, spent countless hours of restless energy on it, to get past it and realise how pointless it all was?

The benefits of meditation for things such as this are well known, and like gratitude, it’s a habit you need to practice.

Begin, stick with it, and see how the exercise can work for you.

 

Exercise

Two runners out early having worked exercise into their daily routine
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The science is clear; exercise makes you happy.

Now, I know that most of the time, we’d all prefer to be anywhere but the gym. But the physiological and psychological benefits of exercise can’t be refuted, and contribute to a long term lifestyle change which then affects your happiness.

Find a way of making exercise fun, though. If you’re not a gym person, try bouldering or rock climbing. If you’re not a fan of busy places, complete a walk in the park, or one of Joe Wicks’ home workouts done.

Don’t make it a fad, make it a lifestyle, and happiness is one of the benefits that can flow from it.

 

Worldwide, things seem pretty bleak.

Yet, that doesn’t mean you have to be. Just because everywhere else seems dark, doesn’t mean you can’t stick a light on. Avoiding negativity altogether is impossible, so stop trying.

What you can begin trying, is working on yourself and your methods in creating positivity. Once you do, the warm buzz of being positive will dilute the negativity that will inevitably occur, and after a lot of practice, drown the majority of it out.

Positivity is an exercise and a habit, so get practicing today.

 

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