Can't turn your eyes away from those tabloids at the supermarket checkout?
Always at the center of some drama in your love life or family? Addicted to shock jocks and muckrakers?
For many of us, negativity doesn't seem like a big deal. In fact, we may be so used to it that we don't even consider negativity negative. It just seems like well life, the way things are. When you reach a point where negativity seems normal or second nature, you really should have a rethink.
Negativity or pessimism has a profound impact on your life. Just consider the following consequences for a moment:
1. Negativity affects your relationships
When you tend to be pessimistic towards yourself and other people, youre more likely to be judgmental. Rather than trying to look for the good in others, you constantly seek out what you consider their shortcomings or failings.
This causes you to be more disappointed in your relationships. Few people, if any, can ever live up to your discriminating standards. So, your relationships tend to be superficial, unfulfilling and most likely, short. They're also more likely to be full of conflict. After all, when you judge others and let them know it they are often inclined to fight back and even find fault with you. Many couples who come to see me for marriage counseling in Los Angeles have fallen into a pattern of negativity and need help in changing their attitude in order to save their marriage.
2. Negativity keeps people away
In some cases, you may not even be able to form relationships because people sense your negativity. What's interesting is that you may think you camouflage your negativity well, but others who are more positive can suss it out rather quickly.
You may ooze pessimism in the way you speak, your body language, or certain activities you do, for instance, undermining someone at work or joining a hate group. Unwilling to subject themselves to your cloud of doom, people seek out others who make them feel good when theyre around them. In the end, you remain alone or in "associations" that do not help you to grow or lead a fulfilling life.
3. Negativity puts your goals on hold
There may have been times when you really wanted to pursue a passion or interest. However, you may have been overwhelmed by negative thoughts that grew into fears. In my work as a Los Angeles Life Coach, it has become abundantly clear to me that those fears turn into obstacles, preventing you from reaching your goals.
Sometimes, all it takes is one or two negative thoughts to push your goals from your focus. This pessimistic thinking can happen in a few seconds or a few minutes so it's easy to underestimate how much it affects your ability to excel and succeed in life.
4. Negativity contributes to substance abuse
Negativity limits your perspective. It prevents you from seeing other solutions to problems you have, or from imagining a positive outcome. As a result, you may turn to alcohol, drugs or other "fixes" in order to cope. According to Joyce H. Lowinson, author of Substance Abuse: A Comprehensive Textbook, negative emotions are also common triggers for relapses.
On the other hand, adopting a positive attitude opens up your mind to possibilities. You are more likely to see solutions or alternatives that you can't see when you're in the abyss of pessimism. You're also more likely to seek treatment or professional advice to cope with difficulties you're facing.
Another amazing thing about positivity is that it spurs you into action. Instead of feeling that you can't cope, you start taking actions that will help you to meet a challenge in your life or achieve a specific goal.
5. Negativity makes you less appreciative
You may have heard someone try to inspire or reassure another person (or maybe you) by reminding them of how fortunate they are. They may point out that you have your health, the power of your mind, a roof over your head, people who love you, or money in the bank.
These may seem like platitudes, but they're powerful reminders of how being negative can prevent you from truly appreciating what you have in life. Think about it. What if tomorrow you lost some of the things you take for granted in your life today?
When you think of what your life would be like without all the advantages you have, you begin to understand how pointless negativity can be. You'll also become less angry, feel lighter in spirit, and youll enjoy your life even more.