7 Tips to Break Free of Negativity


We all feel shitty sometimes, but sometimes these feelings start to linger.  Oddly enough, negative emotions can turn into habits if you repeat them for long enough, creeping through your daily life like a silent & deadly virus (cue Jaws soundtrack!)

If you’re constantly beating yourself up, getting irritated easily, and defaulting to anger instead of understanding, you may want to read on:

7 Tips to Shake it Off:

1. Quit Rationalizing.

You can be mad and upset, but it’s unlikely that you can honestly justify getting pissed about everything. You are responsible for your surroundings. Rationalizing all that anger is hurting nobody else, but you.

2. Take some personal responsibility.

Stop making excuses for yourself or others. We can all make elaborate explanations on “principle” of why we deserve to be angry. But when it comes down to it, you can either be right or be happy. Which do you want? And if you’re angry with someone who keeps repeating a behavior you don’t like, you are responsible as well. You choose to continue putting up with it. When you teach someone to treat you a certain way, don’t be surprised when they do. Besides, is playing the role of the victim really getting you anywhere?

3. Stop caring what they think.

I know, easier said than done.  But every time you look for someone else to validate you, you give up your power. Don’t let anyone else define your self worth. The irony is that we’re more likely to accept the negative criticism than any positive feedback. But what makes this truly crazy is that most of the time people are so busy living their own lives that they don’t notice that they made you feel this way. This means that most of that negativity is coming from you. As soon as you stop caring what other people think, you’ll instantly be happier.

4. Address your bad habits.

I love this one. I have many of them. Many of our bad habits are actually coping mechanisms that keep us in a state of negativity. What’s the easiest way to quit bad habits? Remove the triggers (people, places, and things) that suck the joy out of your life. “Obligations” and “responsibility” to stay around negative people are simply ways that we justify playing small. Read #2 again.

5. Pause before you react.

Often times our reactions are habits. They aren’t actually based on the desired outcome we want. So if you’re inclined to respond to that email immediately, give yourself 10 minutes.  During that time ask yourself,

  • “Is this really worth being upset over?”
  • “Will this response ultimately make me feel good or get me to where I want?”
  • “What are the consequences of my reacting this way?”

It just takes a little impulse control to stop an all out war with yourself and/or others. By pausing, you may be able to stop perpetuating the negativity cycle that blocks you from being happy and achieving your desired outcome.

6. Cultivate gratitude as your default attitude.

This is a no brainer, but it's worth repeating. What can you be grateful for in this moment? An attitude of gratitude is a declaration that says what you want more of in your life. And what you give attention to will grow. So take a moment to notice the good stuff. 

7. Get support.

Find people in your life who live life from a positive mindset. Spend more time with them. You might pick up a few tricks. Besides, the negative people aren't doing you any favors. Our support system rarely looks the way we expect it to, but it exists if we're willing to open our eyes.

The Takeaway:

Ultimately, being happy means letting go of the negative emotions. And that takes work.

You know how I got to be so happy?
I work for that shit.
Every. Single. Day.

It’s a conscious choice to be happy. Being angry and upset all the time was simply exhausting.
And it all comes down to one choice: Do you want to be happy or not?

How do you break free of negativity? Share your story in the Comments section below!