Heads up – this post is actually for me. You’re welcome to listen in though.
Most of my family has been sick this week.
It seems like we all get a bug around the same time, but staggered just enough so that family members get to enjoy a second round after mostly recovering.
Let me tell you, it’s fun.
As a mild germaphobe, I can tell you that my family varies in diligence in hand washing, sanitizing, cough-covering, and sugar-avoiding during these small-scale plagues. But everyone is at least more careful than usual because they don’t want to get (or stay) sick.
The negativity bug
What if we treated negativity like the flu? We don’t want to “catch” it, so we avoid things that transmit it. No more joining in on someone’s gripe, revisiting a favorite sore spot, or complaining about someone else’s driving. We might as well be sharing a drinking straw with a sick person.
(Interesting note: I have actually gotten sick after letting my emotions get the better of me. Negativity can make you physically ill.)
Breaking the habit
Negativity can easily become such an ingrained habit that it’s really hard to not take opportunities to be negative. When we’re talking with strangers it seems to draw us closer together if we can complain about something – the weather, the price of milk, the boss. It makes us feel like we have at least something in common.
That’s why we have to take it one situation at a time. My oatmeal boiled over this morning and that wasn’t fun, but I took a light-hearted approach and thought – “oh well, I probably didn’t need to eat all of that anyway.” People cut me off in traffic and I decide to be happy that I’m not stressed out and late like they might be.
I am not telling you this as someone who has perfected this pearl. It is a constant struggle and I have good days and bad. Lots of bad! (But let’s not be negative! :D)
Don’t be too hard on yourself if you can’t nix the negativity habit overnight. One little trick I have learned is to refocus your attention when you feel negative thoughts coming on.
I have a bit of a drive to work, so that is my time to psych myself up for the day. Since no one else is around to think I’m a lunatic, I talk out loud to myself and say “Why is today going to be a great day?!” Then I come up with as many reasons as I can. Try it out, see if it works for you.
Feel the clean
I feel one hundred percent better when I refrain from being negative. It’s like having a healthy immune system. When something unfortunate happens I can deal with it better when I am not steeped in negativity. I feel physically cleaner when I don’t take every chance I get to be negative.
Instead of doing a juice cleanse this year, try to avoid negativity! If you can avoid indulging in negativity for even just one day it will feel like a clean shower. Try it!