Overcoming Negativity: Three Strategies for Three Distinct Types

Illustration depicting three strategies for overcoming different types of negativity in the world.

A lot of worry, gloom, and condemnation may be found in the world today. Simply put, I believe that individuals need to begin making the transition towards a state of pleasure and contentment. Yes, it’s a cliche, but it’s time for a change.

DeGeneres, Ellen

Throughout my life, I’ve had to face a lot of adversity.

My father passed away from Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) when I was 20 years old. For two years prior to it, I had to see his agony as his body progressively lost its abilities as a result of the disease.

I was also a frequent target of bullying when I was a kid. I had a lot of resentment built up since I was taught to never fight back and because my abusers always seemed to get away with it.

Even now, there are some big and small things that I have a hard time letting go of.

As a result, it’s easy for me to get caught up in a spiral of pessimism.

Does the constant stream of bad news have you feeling down?

All of the Pessimism Around Us

Unfortunately, pessimism is everywhere.

There will always be some who don’t agree with you or who appear to be out to knock you down. And there’s the dark side of things, when innocent people are harmed without cause and decent people experience misfortune.

As a result, you may find yourself dwelling on the negative.

Why is life so unjust?

Why do I have to go through this?

“What if something terrible happens to me?”

Recognizable, right?

And we’re told to take the bad with the good.

That, if you ask me, is the biggest obstacle to effectively coping with adversity.

Many of us have heard, “That’s just how it is” or, as in my case, “Man up and get over it.”

Disputes are inevitable when there are more than seven billion people on Earth.

However, each of us may decide for ourselves how to respond to adversity. While we may not be able to alter external circumstances, we can alter how we react to them.

Here are three strategies for overcoming three distinct types of adversity:

Managing the Energy of Critics

Confronting someone who has wronged you, taken advantage of you, or appears intent on attacking you may be very frustrating.

Don’t believe the propaganda that these individuals have “won” and are now better than you. Understand that they are deeply insecure inside.

Remember that every assault is a plea for assistance.

This explains the behavior of pessimists. They never try to solve their issues in a healthy manner, preferring instead to inflict their anguish on others.

Attempt to see beyond their acts in an effort to understand and aid them, but be aware that you may need to reconsider your connection with them if you can’t.

Cutting ties with negative friends is a good thing to do for yourself. Since my father passed away, I’ve learned that there’s no point in harboring resentment toward others. Instead of fighting back, I just cut off all communication with my ex.

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In addition, pick upbeat people and associate with them.

Who do you have a crush on? Who motivates you? Which of these people do you trust the most? You might be surprised by the benefits you reap from simply spending more time with them.

Confronting Unpleasant Ideas

No, I don’t think “Stop worrying about it” or “Look on the bright side” will accomplish the trick.

It’s human nature, in my opinion, to occasionally entertain a gloomy thought. The difficulty arises, however, when this line of thinking evolves into a never-ending loop.

One of my closest friends, for instance, lied to my face a while ago. The incident triggers a chain of thoughts in which I imagine myself wanting to challenge him to a fight and then considering the consequences of doing so, including being arrested.

Do you see how intense that is?

This may take many minutes. This is extremely unhealthy.

It’s important to be aware of these mental fogs so that we can clear them before they ruin our day.

Once you’ve become aware of your negative thought patterns, it’s time to investigate their origins so you can address the root cause directly.

Some of the criticism is warranted, as in my own case, because I didn’t actively seek revenge. Instead of becoming self-hating, I made an effort to overcome my need for vengeance.

Recognize a negative thought for what it is, take what you can from it, and release it. Then get a new and improved one.

How to Cope with the Gloomy World Situation

It can be depressing to dwell on the problems facing the world.

Knowing that you’re facing such an uphill battle to make a difference can be discouraging.

The best course of action is to immediately begin assisting others.

That doesn’t mean you should go out and try to change the world in a single day. Go out of your way to help a stranger. Assist a close friend or relative in need. Do a random act of kindness. Put in some time helping others.

When you assist other people, you improve your own situation immediately. And the world improves as a result.

People tend to overthink when and how they should do good things. Act immediately, for the benefit of yourself and the people around you. That simple gesture, on its own, will have a major impact.

It’s Always Up to You

The world and its events may be beyond your control, but you should never forget that you have a say in every situation.

You may have to deal with unpleasant people and circumstances, but you have control over how you interpret and respond to them.

Although effort is required, the outcome is desirable.

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