Typically, I don’t like to focus on the negative but in this case, it’s the negative that’s the problem so please pardon this transgression. We are immersed in a negative-thinking society. The news is 90% (or more) negative; focusing on murder and other crimes, falls from grace, the downfall of the economy, wars, and doom & gloom. Some of the most popular TV shows have at least one murder before the first commercial. And the commercials are focused on making you feel like your life is not complete without their product. Negative, negative, negative; it’s toxic. But fear not, I have a remedy for you.
First, let’s think about why reading toxic headlines and watching toxic TV shows is bad for your holistic health. Thoughts create a physical reaction in your body. When you watch a scary movie, you secrete adrenalin and your heart pumps faster. When you read about something depressing, scary, or disconcerting, your energy and your physiology respond in kind. In addition, if you focus on negative things, intentionally or not, you draw more negative energy and experiences to your life. Do you find yourself thinking things like “I’ll never be able to…”, “With my luck, I won’t…”, “I can’t achieve/afford/ experience…”
If you think thoughts like that, you are not alone. Our negative society has brainwashed us into a bunch of people who feel insecure and overwhelmed. We are no longer in the days of Rosie the Riveter where the message to everyone was “We can do it!” The messages we receive are things like “You can’t do it without this drug/car/snack/shoe/etc.” It’s no wonder the prescription rate for antidepressants is off the charts!
Positive thoughts have a tremendous effect on your holistic health. Healthcare providers, teachers, and coaches will tell you that a person’s outlook, attitude, or frame of mind will enable them to achieve things beyond their natural ability. Have you ever purchased a lottery ticket? Did you find yourself dreaming about what it would be like to have that level of financial freedom? You think about helping a loved one or supporting your favorite animal shelter and you just feel good about it. Even the thought of being able to help people and animals makes you feel better. Just as the thought of war, crime, and a downturned economy can have you feeling desperate, hopeless, and overwhelmed.
Fear not… here’s a solution! Start by reducing, as much as possible, the toxic TV that you watch. I’m not saying not to watch TV (although that’s not a bad idea) but watch more things like PBS and the Discovery Channel or HGTV instead of watching Cops, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, or Criminal Minds. When deciding to read a paper, watch a show, or participate in an event, ask yourself “is this nourishing or is this toxic?” If it’s not nourishing, find something that is. Finally, catch yourself when you have a negative or self-deprecating thought like “I’ll never win” or “I’ll probably get disqualified” or even “I’m so fat”. Negative thoughts are so toxic to you that you must do what you can to eliminate them. If you have a negative thought, observe it, recognize it as negative, and rephrase it in the form of a positive affirmation. Even if you don’t believe it, you will start to change your energy and create a more positive experience.
For example: “I’ll probably go off-course” becomes “I always stay on course.”
“I never get the left lead” becomes “I always get the correct lead.”
“I’m so fat” becomes “I am getting closer to my ideal weight every day.”
“I’ll never get married” becomes “I am ready for the perfect spouse to enter my life.”
The most powerful words you can say are “I AM…” Those are the words you are sending out to the universe and whatever you put after the words “I AM” should always be positive. One of my mantras or daily affirmations is “I AM full of good ideas!” Once I started saying that, it became more and more true. People are constantly saying to me “that’s a good idea!” and I respond “I AM full of good ideas!”
Like Dr. Wayne Dyer says, “Change your thoughts. Change your life.” Start by recognizing the negativity around you. Just like second-hand smoke, it’s toxic. Remove yourself and put yourself in the energy of happiness and success.
For more on positive thinking and holistic health, check out my 6 Weeks to Show Ring Success Home Study Course.
What’s your positive daily affirmation or mantra? I’d love it if you’d share it here!
I so agree with your article! I would like to just add one more piece to it. The positive words we use are very powerful tools in helping us focus on what we want to achieve in our life. The crucial part in the words or thoughts is the emotion and belief behind them. Words are easy to say… believing and feeling them make all the difference.
I agree Marie! Sometimes people need to start with just saying the words and the believing comes later. Ideally, when someone envisions their outcome, it’s best to employ all of the senses. What will it look, feel, sound (sometimes taste and smell) like when you accomplish this? To put oneself in that energy is the strongest message one can send to the universe. Thanks for mentioning that critical point!
Thanks for this post, Patti. I’m a big believer in visualization. Now if I only had more time . . . :-).
Glad you liked it Nanette! Perhaps I can direct you to the guest blog on Time Management by Lisa Derby Oden? http://naturallyunbridled.com/blog/2011/08/its-all-a-matter-of-time-by-lisa-derby-oden/
Just one thing, Patti-being “depressed” and having clinical depression are two totally different things. I know-I have the latter. It is a medical condition that I have had my entire life. It was not a decision-it is a disease-a biochemical disorder of the endocrine system that affects not just my brain but also my intestines. I have tried leaving the medicine behind. What happens is a dark and dismal place that envelopes not just me but everyone around me. The bone-chilling cold and dispair that J. K. Rowling wrote of in her books when the dementors were in the vicinity of a victim pretty well captures the feelings and impulses of the suicidal ideation. To characterize this as purely a “choice” is naive and simplistic-I would absolutely LOVE to just throw this behind me and walk away, but I cannot. My SSRI allows me to lead a “normal” life. If I did what you suggest, I would be dead within 6 months by my own hand. You are smart, Patti-but you don’t know enough about the human psyche. Leave depression out of this.
Thanks Ellen for your comment and for clarifying that this is an article about positive thinking and eliminating toxic influences and not an article about clinical depression. In fact, the word depression does not occur in the article. I’m sorry that the article did not resonate with you. Please note that the only suggestions I make in the article involve positive affirmations and removing toxic influences (like TV shows about murder) from your life – neither of which should cause you to be dead in 6 months. Best of luck in your treatment.
Patti, I just blogged about this same topic this week! What a coincidence! I am a true believer that thoughts become things. What you think about everyday wil become your reality, and you become like the 5 people you spend the most time with. Be careful what you think. Be careful who you surround yourself with.