Unplug Negativity – The Effects (Part 1)
Negativity is on the rise and there does not appear to be a stopping point. You cannot even look at the news without being bombarded with a negative news story or a negative point of view of a story. This past weekend we witnessed protests and responses in Virginia which were built on nothing more than negativity and hate. Yet the long-term effects of living in a negative culture seems to be ignored. If we don’t stand up against the incoming negative tidal wave, it will soon crush our culture and souls with irreparable damage.
Many angry people out there are spitting all types of vitriol. While posting your thought on social media about your job, relationships, politics, religion, or school might seem fun or a way to vent. You need to be careful about living in a place of negativity. The lasting effects of constantly conveying a negative message can have unforeseen consequences.
When you are constantly looking at the negative of any situation, you are creating an unhealthy pattern in your life. This pattern will begin to repeat itself in every situation. You will then begin to always see what is wrong, or speak about what is wrong in your life, relationships, politics, social structures, or media. The list is endless because you have created a negative outlook on your life.
The long-term effects of this attitude will begin to crumble your world. Your career, relationships, and overall attitude will begin to deteriorate as you have lost the benefits of a positive attitude and the enormous benefits of gratitude. When you turn your attitude toward the negative you will always see something wrong in every situation.
Negativity in its basic form will eventually evolve into anger. When living with a negative attitude, anger will be a common response to otherwise mundane circumstances. You will feel anger rising up at news, social media feeds, work, friends, or other drivers on the road.
Cultivating those feelings of anger, bitterness, and overall negativity can have unhealthy effects on your life. An angry outburst puts your heart at great risk, ups your stroke risk, and weakens your immune system. Anger problems can make your anxiety worse, is linked to depression, hurt your lungs, and even shorten your life.
With all the violence we have seen over the past few months due to politics or race relations. Anger has been a very central emotion to all these events and showing no progress toward reconciliation. Anger is not the option and will always do more harm, than good, in your life, and the lives of others.
Negativity can also bring about a lasting bitterness in your life. This bitterness is a sour emotion which can penetrate every aspect of your life and being. When your negative with your work, relationships, or life. Then you begin to be bitter about your employer or other employees. You find everything wrong with your relationships. And overall unhappiness with your life.
Bitterness can invariably carry a high price tag. It can:
• Prolong your mental and emotional pain—and may even exacerbate it;
• Lead to long-lasting anxiety and/or depression;
• Precipitate vengeful (or even violent) acts that put you at further risk for being hurt or victimized—and possibly engulf you in a never-ending, self-defeating cycle of “getting even”
• Prevent you from experiencing the potential joys of living fully in the present—vs. dwelling self-righteously on the past wrongs inflicted on you;
• Create, or further deepen, an attitude of distrust and cynicism—qualities that contribute to hostility and paranoid thinking, as well as an overall sense of pessimism, futility, and unhappiness. Moreover, such a bleak, negative perspective prompts others to turn away from you;
• Interfere with your cultivating healthy, satisfying relationships, and lead you to doubt, or disparage, your connection to others;
• Compromise or weaken your higher ideals, and adversely impact your personal search for purpose and meaning in life;
• Rob you of vital energy far better employed to help you realize your desires, or achieve goals that you coveted earlier;
• Undermine your physical health (by engendering such problems as insomnia, high blood pressure, back pain, headaches, or abdominal conditions). For the chronic anger that is bitterness can raise your stress baseline, thereby taxing (or “overloading”) your immune system;
When you begin to step on the path of negativity, you are moving forward in a very unhealthy journey. The negativity, anger, and bitterness will eventually leave you in a perpetual state of funk. A place of unhealthy living with your body, soul, and mind.
Dr. Graham Davey, who specializes in the psychological effects of media violence, suggests that violent media exposure can exacerbate or contribute to the development of stress, anxiety, depression and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
“Negative news can significantly change an individual’s mood. In particular… negative news can affect your own personal worries. Viewing negative news means that you’re likely to see your own personal worries as more threatening and severe, and when you do start worrying about them, you’re more likely to find your worry difficult to control and more distressing than it would normally be.”
The end result from this stress and worry is twofold. First it leave you unhealthy with a broken down body. Secondly, you are looking at every situation with anger and bitterness. We see these people at rally’s and protest spewing hatred and anger. A life leaning toward a more positive outlook is one penetrated with love toward others, not hate.
Even though we are living in a pool of negativity in our culture, it does not mean we have to stay here. In next week’s post I will take a look at your responsibility and response when it comes to negativity. Remember, this is your life to live on your terms as awesome as you can. Own your journey lean toward a more positive lifestyle.
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