Did you know that May was no negativity month? To bid May farewell, a little over a week ago I decided to take on a week-long no negativity challenge, inspired by an online movement that's been happening for about 4 years. For this challenge, where I might typically have negative thoughts or reactions toward myself or others, I aimed to choose a perspective of positivity instead.
Here's what I noticed...
The first thing I noticed while analyzing my thoughts and reactions is that I'm not as negative as I thought I was. Great! We're off to a good start.
The second thing I noticed is how much I respond to something with "that sucks." This response usually happens when I'm trying to show empathy toward someone who is telling me about a negative experience they had.
The thing is I probably said "that sucks" at least 20 times throughout the week, and once I caught on I cringed every time it happened. From this experience I want to work toward eliminating that phrase from my vocabulary and instead empathize in a more positive way, maybe by saying instead "I'm sorry to hear that happened. Is there anything I can do?"
I also noticed occasionally having negative thoughts toward myself, whether it be about my looks, intelligence or another insecurity. This really made me realize how much I belittle myself instead of focusing on the things that make me feel good about myself.
I became more present to the negative responses and attitudes of others, and I didn't make them wrong for it — hey, we all do it! — I simply noticed it. This made me feel good about taking on this challenge because the people around me, and you, could always use more positivity to lift them up and out of a negative slump.
The key takeaways
One of the most important realizations I had through my no negativity challenge is that there's nothing wrong with having negative thoughts or reactions from time to time. In fact, resisting them and pretending everything is happy-go-lucky will probably do more harm than good. It's healthy to allow yourself to feel the negativity, then decide what attitude, thoughts and reactions you'd like to have in response to it.
Surrounding yourself with positive people and being mindful of your mindset and responses to others is key to choosing a more positive path.
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