A Negative Mind will never give you a Positive Life
A radio station I listen to here in Houston frequently advertises a juice fast on their morning show. The DJs rave about how alert, sharp, and cleansed they feel after a few days of participating in the juice fast. After reading some acrimonious Tweets last night I wondered….what would it look like if people made a decision to participate in a negativity fast?
Investing in a fast which eliminates emotional toxins can increase your happiness and at the same time boost your immunity!
What is a negativity fast? Essentially, it’s a very easy concept and it costs nothing, yet the results could be a game changer. Just as people feel physically cleansed after a juice fast, you could feel emotionally and psychically cleansed after ridding yourself of emotional toxins which invade our bodies as negative thoughts, feelings, and complaints. In addition, several studies show that there is indeed a correlation between brain activity and negative emotions and a lower immune response against disease*.
First of all, In order to distance your self from negativity, you must examine what in your life is draining your energy. When do you feel uncomfortable or yucky? What’s going on during that time? Who are you with and what are you doing? For instance, how do you feel after you engage in social media? What is your mood after watching news programs or certain TV shows? Do you find yourself viewing programs in which commentators yell and bully others? Reality programs in which the “stars” engage in manipulative behavior and physical and verbal confrontations? Take a moment to be mindful of how you feel after you observe these programs. Does the content lift you up? Do you feel angry or peaceful?
How do you feel after being with certain friends or acquaintances? Do you notice feelings of anxiety, agitation, or sadness? Gossip, bullying, or complaint sessions can leave us feeling empty or unsettled.
Of course, not every situation will feel awesome to you. For most people, going to school or a job is not a day at the beach. That is reality because we have to go to work in order to pay bills or attend school so we can get our dream job. Your fast involves situations that you control.
GUMBO AND POLITICS
In my coaching practice, clients-teens and adults alike report that they all feel that they spend too much time online, and many times the end result leaves them feeling anxious or regretful of the time that they have spent looking at a screen. Pay attention to how you feel after being on Facebook or other social media sites. Take a close look at the groups and feeds you subscribe to. In my case, I found that unfollowing all news feeds helped me to feel less agitated. The news was bad enough, but reading the comments below was absolutely toxic for me. I even stopped my participation in a southern cooking and recipe group. Believe it or not, the members would berate each other’s choices of preferred gumbo ingredients. I grew up in Louisiana and I understand that gumbo is a precious resource, but it did not feel healthy to me to witness the shaming or criticizing of group members because they chose to use different ingredients.
Similarly, you may have “friends” or family members who feel differently than you do about politics, religion, or your favorite NFL team. Facebook gives you many choices today regarding the amount and kinds of posts you want or don’t want. Use these options to better control what you are exposed to. Of course, you can just unfollow groups or “friends.” You do not need an excuse, nor should you feel bad about making that choice. If you chose to remain on social media, you can easily subscribe to groups and people who lift you up and energize you. Imagine feeling uplifted and positive after being on social media! Clients who have taken a social media fast report feeling more relaxed and less agitated. They report less anxiety and feel more in control after not engaging with social media for a week or so.
Renouncing negativity also includes refraining from judgment. If you are judging yourself, someone else, or an event, it most likely involves a negative thought process. Religion and politics are significant triggers for many people. Is engaging in discussions around these issues lifting you up, or are they inducing feelings of anger? How does this feel to you? Not making judgments goes hand in hand with a negativity fast.
Boost your positivity immunity!
In a juice fast, you actually fast from food and instead drink juice to sustain yourself. In a negativity fast, gratitude, doing good deeds, prayer, or meditation can sustain you while you make the changes. Feeling agitated? Take a few minutes to relax and have gratitude for family or friends who are supportive and love you without judgment. Feeling angry? Make an effort to engage in non-judgment. Allow yourself to completely understand that just because someone holds different beliefs than you do doesn’t mean that you are not able to appreciate other characteristics of that person. Make an attempt to have a perspective of “what’s right” rather than “what’s wrong.” Indeed this takes practice, and it is a lifelong process. Make it as simple as possible. You don’t have to be a Zen Master to learn to feel positive and calm. You have the power to remove yourself from situations which are unhealthy. Evaluate the TV programs, social media, or relationships in your life which invite negativity.
Replace negative thoughts with positive ones. When I’m feeling down or in a grumpy mood, I summon up pleasurable memories of hiking, running, or the Saints winning the Super Bowl. Thinking of my cats can calm me down when I’m feeling agitated. The key is taking small steps to change your mindset. Have patience as you fast and evaluate what brings light to your life.
You hold the power to live a more inspired and meaningful life free of negative thoughts and judgments. You have everything you need to cleanse yourself of negativity (toxins) and live a life filled with joy and peace. When will you begin your fast?