Negativity is an energy-drainer. It is perpetual, and can create a viscous cycle if not addressed. People can waste their entire lives because of pessimism.
At the very least, this attitude of negativity can keep us from using our energy to create change, and has the potential to create a major roadblock on the path to achieving our goals. Being pessimistic can not only harm productivity, it can put stress on those around us and put families and coworkers under unnecessary stress.
“It would be easy to become a victim of our circumstances and continue feeling sad, scared or angry; or instead, we could choose to deal with injustice humanely and break the chains of negative thoughts and energies, and not let ourselves sink into it.” ~Erin Gruwell
Pessimism can ruin our relationships or connection skills with others. It can lead us to assume the worst about people we don’t yet know. Our beliefs of them can then influence our future interactions with them, and can cause others to reflect that same attitude towards us. Moods are contagious, especially in the workplace— this is where many people spend most of their waking hours. One negative pessimistic attitude can spread around the workplace, resulting in poor communication and inducing stress from constant complaints, impatience and carelessness.
Negativity Bias: How do we overcome it?
People are hardwired to focus on negative things, and sometimes, we don’t ever learn anything different from that. ‘Negativity Bias’ refers to our tendency as humans to attend to, learn from, and use negative information far more than positive information. Even when we experience many good events in one day, negativity bias can cause us to focus on the only not-so-good thing that occurred. It can lead us to contemplate on such small things, worry over what others think, and focus on negative comments. Negativity holds more weight with our thoughts— so how do we overcome the negative and focus on positivity?
If we give something positive to others, it will return to us. If we give negative, that negativity will be returned. ~Allu Arjun
Here’s some tips to help you Take Back Your Power and overcome negativity bias:
- Negativity bias is very much concerned with where we direct our attention. By directing more of your conscious attention toward the positive events and feelings you experience, you begin to understand your thought patterns and start to shift the needle of negativity bias towards positivity. It requires practice and devotion.
- Check your thoughts throughout the day. When you catch yourself feeling upset, frustrated or angry, work backwards and think about what caused those feelings, and what you can change about your mental perspective.
- The next time you experience a positive moment, take a little longer than you usually would to enjoy it. Dive into the feeling, all the sights, noises and smells of your surroundings and make a note of what you enjoyed about it all. At the end of the day, try to reflect on this happening and turn this skill into a habit!
“Optimism is the most important human trait because it allows us to evolve our ideas, to improve our situation, and to hope for a better tomorrow.” ~Seth Godin
Positivity, whether you’re at home or in the workplace, has numerous benefits to you and others around you. Your optimism reflects on those around you and cultivates an environment of productivity, comfort, and growth. When you redirect your thoughts and focus on opportunities instead of obstacles, you’re telling yourself and others that you are resilient, focused, and capable. It takes practice to cross out the negatives and start giving yourself and others the benefit of the doubt, but your entire life can change if you do!