Within minutes of a single negative thought, like shaking soda, our minds can fizz up, causing an uncontrolled spill or outburst. The consequences can spoil your mood or day, or impact your relationships, workspace and career path. While we may not always be able to prevent the first bubble from surfacing, we can learn to control or diffuse the long-term impact with awareness and patience. Here are nine diffusers to help prevent the negativity stream from taking over your life.
1) Stay grateful – Finding gratitude in all things is a natural blocker to negative thoughts. The extent to which you are grateful for what you have allows them to subside.
2) Difficult conversations – Address situations that are hurtful or resentful as soon as possible, in a safe space, to prevent festering of negative thoughts.
3) Daily reflections – Make time for self-reflection to gain awareness of how you are contributing to a situation. Understanding this can help you get a sense of control and stop the negative energy in the moment.
4) Break the pattern – Stop the activity that triggers negative thinking in the first place. For example, being in a toxic relationship can foster feelings of self-doubt and insecurity; it’s time to end that pattern.
5) Forgiveness – Practice forgiveness until it becomes more instinctive to let things go rather than hold onto a grudge. Start with letting go of small things like someone bumping into you on a subway or cutting in front of you in a line.
6) Inner chant – Find a motto, a quote or a song that can flip the switch for you and bring you back to a more peaceful state of mind–something that reminds you that negativity only hurts you and doesn’t help.
7) Silver lining – Make it a habit to always look for the silver lining and find a positive interpretation to what is happening to you. When life gives you lemons, how can you make the best lemonade?
8) Phone a friend – Call that person in your life who is your best cheerleader, always makes you laugh and reminds you that you truly are amazing and that things are gonna work out.
9) See the good – Part of what triggers our negativity is seeing others in a harsh light. Stop the judgment and actively make it a habit to find something good in the other person. They are messy, sure, but they may also be handling many things because they’re motivated.
When you find yourself thinking or feeling thoughts like, “life is unfair”, “why me”, or “this is not right”, understand you are about to spiral into negativity. Use one of these diffusers, or find your own, to put you back on track to your best self.