Have you ever had a day when everything seemed to go wrong? You spilled your coffee on your clothes while leaving the house, had a fight with your spouse on the way out the door, hit bad traffic and got to work late?
Each challenge brought thoughts like, “not this again” or “really? I don’t need this right now” and even “will this day ever end?” Negative thoughts, words and actions take only a second to express but can stain our future irreparably.
Remember these reasons why we need to stop negativity from robbing us of our peace.
1. Negativity is ruining your future.
Negative thoughts and actions literally hurt! As you think them and act them out your body tenses up, your jaw clenches and brow furrows. Negative thoughts such as “I can’t stand her” or “I know that things will never get better for me” deplete our emotional and physical reserves. Science has proven that negativity is a slow and consistent killer.
Try it out right now. Say these two phrases in your head and notice the differing physical sensations: “Things will never change. I’m stuck.” Now say, “I hold the key to positive growth in my life. I can do this.” The positive statements lighten the load on your heart and mind.
2. Others find it hard to be around you.
This truth is often hard to accept. Others have a hard time sharing things with you but you might not even realize that it’s gotten to this point. Do you start off your phone conversations with your friends and family by complaining about the day’s events?
Sharing moments of stress and difficulty with our inner circle is normal, but daily venting and constantly rehashing of negative experiences spreads a dark cloud over everything and everyone. While your stress is real, stop and ask your family and friends how they are doing. Pick up the phone when things are good in your life, not just when you are looking for comfort. Share your successes, lighten the mood and try to laugh again. Every positive word and image exchanged builds resilience.
3. Positivity is power.
Positive thoughts have enormous power--they are seeds of growth. The benefits of positive thinking are clear: a longer life span, lower rates of depression, lower levels of distress, better overall health and better coping skills during life’s tests.
For the rest of your day challenge yourself to think and act with positivity. Incorporate words like “love”, “peace” and “power” as often as you can and strengthen your mind and body. That is not to say that when tough moments come up we sweep them under the rug and pretend that all is well. On the contrary, we can feel the stress, recognize where negativity would usually start up and talk to ourselves with compassion and light.
You will want to give up; you may even tell yourself that training your mind to react with positivity and power won’t really work for your real-life problems. But it is precisely now when you must hold on and believe.
Stop the negativity and be alive with seeds of change! You can and will do this!
T.D. Jakes is a charismatic leader, visionary, provocative thinking, entrepreneur and compassion humanitarian with a voice that has reverberated from the world's most prominent stages. His look at life comes from the perspective of a father, a student, a pastor and a friend. His daytime talk show will be premiering this fall across the nation. Follow @tdjakesshow on Twitter!