What is negativity?
Negativity is a state of mind, which includes pessimism and blame, low expectations, beating yourself up and passing the buck. You can easily fall into it, but people find they can’t climb out of it so easily.
What has negativity got to do with depression?
As I have said before, you can talk yourself into being depressed, if you see only the worst in situations, in other people and in yourself. It generates anxiety and stress, making you feel worse. You can suffer at least some of the pain for something that hasn’t happened yet and might not, because you convince yourself it will. Perhaps you fail to see the upside of failures, mistakes and setbacks, and, rather than learning from them, you wallow in them.
Where does negativity come from?
There are three main sources:
- your personality
- your experiences
- and your environment
What can you do about negativity?
- You might think your personality is fixed, but you can change if you want to, if you are aware. Decide to reject negativity and look for the upside. Forgive others, forgive yourself, learn your lessons, move on.
- Re-evaluate bad experiences and learn from them. Don’t accept that the past controls the future, but think how you could act or react differently next time.
- Try to avoid negative people. That’s not always easy, if you’ve got a lot of negative colleagues, relatives or friends, but try to mix with a few more positive types when you can. Also, try to take negative comments with a pinch of salt, whether they are about you, about others or about life.
- I have become more positive since I left work in a corporate environment, where most of us didn’t make important decisions. Since then, I have got involved with self-employed people, who accept responsibility for whatever happens and see opportunities rather than problems everywhere.
- When you feel yourself getting depressed, make an effort to think more positively. General Bill Slim led the British Army in Burma in World War II. He always said things weren’t as bad as they looked, although they looked pretty bad, most of the time. Slim kept up his own spirits and those of others. Looking back, we can see that he was right. Things were not quite as bad as they looked. They seldom are.