No-one wants to be a Negative Nancy but its time to admit that the positive whitewash simply doesn’t work and isn’t conducive to good mental health. While clichés like ‘look on the bright side’ do come from a good place, blind optimism isn’t always the answer.
Negativity isn’t always a negative emotion, in fact, it can be a powerful part of your deep intuition, and is your body, mind and soul telling you that something is out of balance. Suppressing negative thoughts can actually be bad for your health; those negative thoughts flying around are actually saying ‘hey, something needs addressing here’.
Of course, if you read between the lines you see that we are talking about balance. Falling into a pit of negative despair every five-minutes is also not that great for your mental health. If you want to nurture your negative side in a healthy way, these tips can help to bring about perfect harmony.
Take a Look At Your Mindset
Time for clear unfiltered honesty. Take a look at yourself; do you find that you are more often a cheery optimist or a Debbie Downer? Being honest about which camp your mind normally rests in enables us to check in with where we may need to think a little kinder about situations and self, or when there is room for letting reality sink in. Remember it's natural to feel negative about things from time to time. But if you are constantly in a state of despair and negative thought cycles then maybe this is something to also think about.
Feel the Feels
Emotional suppression isn’t good for anyone – whether that be positive, negative, joy, anger, sadness or whatever. The trick is to always try and feel the feels because this is how you process. That doesn’t mean you get a green card to fly into fits of rage and not watch your behaviour, it just means making space for feelings, acknowledging your moods and how you feel about something, and taking it from there. If you blindly try to suppress your emotions you never know how you feel and therefore won’t have all the information you need to grow or make a change.
Steer Back to Reality
If you ever feel lost in either negative or positive thinking then the trick is to steer yourself back out of stormy waters and to reality. Reality is always a really good anchor point for addressing a situation and enables you to see whether or not you have fallen into a trap of bad thinking. For example; if you screw up at work and just try to overcome it with positive thinking then you may not take accountability and be in a position to put things right. If you screwup and fall into a deep negative cycle that comes with loads of negative self-talk then this also isn’t going to help put things right and may lead to anxiety. Steer back to reality; be as objective as possible, get outside input, and after feeling all the feels, don’t let your emotions take you on some crazy ride.
Use Your Voice
We are always huge advocates of using your voice. It’s a hugely powerful tool and as women, we aren’t always encouraged to tap into that power. A hint of negativity can help you to use your voice to speak up when things aren’t right. In today’s culture, we have a lot of untangling to do when it comes to so-called good emotions and bad emotions. We often think that being angry or sad or unhappy or feeling scared about something are all ‘bad’ emotions, but really isn’t it just a way that you get to know yourself and your likes and dislikes better? A journey to finding out what you want all starts with finding out what you don’t want – the process of elimination leads to enlightenment you could say.
It’s What You Do With It
It’s not the thought patterns that are the problem, its what you do with that information. Negative thinking can become positive thinking, not by wrestling to overpower your brain but through the process of action. Basically, if something isn’t making you happy and you feel negative about it, then you can start taking the small steps to change it. This is the true power of positivity, but you wouldn’t have got there without that hint of negativity.
What are your thoughts on negative thinking? Big no-no or all go? Share in the comments!