Negative thoughts: Lift the ban & Face the facts.
No negativity allowed in your head is a very nice sentiment. We should all only say, think and feel good and positive things. What a wonderful world it would be! It really would be great if we could only be positive, but the reality is that every now and again, we’re going to say, think and feel bad things. About ourselves, about other people, things and situations. Because as awesome as it would be, last time I checked we don’t live in Carebear Land.
Shit happens. We say dumb shit. We do dumb shit. And sometimes, we feel shitty. If you tell me that you never do, come find me! I’ve never met a My Little Pony before and I’d very much like to.
Sometimes, you are cranky. Sometimes, you have people around you that you don’t really get along with. And there are things about yourself you’re not crazy about. And you know what? That should be okay, not tabooed. Because the more you don’t allow yourself to feel something, the more you pretend you don’t, the bigger it gets and the worse you’ll feel. Why? Because you’re feeding it. You’re focusing all your energy on it.
From personal experience I can definitely tell you that that’s true. The less I allow myself to feel a certain way or think something, the more it bothers me. On top of that, I also have to deal with an increasing amount of guilt that I’m apparently made out of more than just happiness and gratitude, which doesn’t really help matters either.
It’s not a good idea to pretend you don’t ever feel, think or say anything bad. Here’s what I think is a good idea.
Let it out. Be honest with yourself. Like, “there is someone in my life who annoys the fuck out of me.” Or “I’m angry at myself for not working out”. Or, “I should not have made that mean comment the other day, that wasn’t very nice of me.” And “I feel kind of off today”.
By doing this, stating these things as objectively and clearly as you can, you can let it out without making it any bigger or smaller. It is what is it, and that’s okay.
I said acknowledge. That does not mean you should relish. Once you’ve let it out, you should move on. It makes no sense for me (or anyone else) to Facebook stalk someone I don’t like and get increasingly more annoyed. Nor is it constructive for me (or anyone else!) to obsess over that work-out I skipped. Nobody benefits by me declaring I am Satan, just because I said something offensive to someone a week ago. Neither should I crawl into fetal position when I’m not feeling so great. I get very little done in fetal position.
It’s okay to let it be there (see step I). What’s not okay to spend more attention to it than is absolutely necessary.
Find out why something or someone bothers you so much. This is actually another reason why you shouldn’t dismiss bad thoughts or feelings: they sometimes give you valuable insights.Think about the negative thoughts or feelings and ask yourself why you think or feel that way?
If you know you’re cranky because you lack food, rest or sex, you know how to fix it: eat, sleep or hump! If I don’t like a girl because she fucked my ex-boyfriend while we were dating, that’s pretty easy to evaluate. I can pretend all I want she is an idiot with stupid hair, but the truth of the matter is that something she did once hurt my feelings and that’s why I don’t like her. It can be more subtle too, like a mismatch in personalities or the fact I’ve judged someone early based on their likes or who they hang out with.
That one work-out I skipped is no big deal on its own, but I feel ashamed of not taking optimal care of my body. This can result in sadness, self hate spiral and fetal rocking. Now I know I want to be proud of how I take care of my body, which means I should take good care of my body.
(A very common problem here is jealousy. When you’re jealous, that’s a sign your life lacks certain things you want that you see in the lives of other people. It tells you something about you, not about someone else.)
Just let it go. Easy as that. You acknowledged it, reflected on it, if that’s all you need to do, just breathe and let it be.
Go do something positive, something that improves your life and that takes the focus off the negative stuff.
So what you don’t like someone? You have so many people in your life you do like! Go see them! Visit someone you love, text your best friend, meet an interesting stranger, have coffee with your grandparents.
So what you didn’t work out today? You did the day before (or the day before that, or whatever), and you can tomorrow. Plan a fun work-out. Call a friend to go to the gym with you. Dance in your room. Do a Tracy Anderson in front of the mirror.
And so what you’re not feeling as awesome as usual; you can still boost your mood, even if its just a little! Work out, smile, watch a funny movie, have a nap, write down a Gratitude List, walk your dog. Before you know it, you’ve forgotten you were grumpy in the first place.
Basically what I’m trying to say is that while negativity may be a part of our lives, we can be very constructive about it and use it to help our lives, and eventually: our moods. Have a great weekend, you guys!