How to focus on yourself when you’re surrounded by negativity

How to focus on yourself when you're surrounded by negativity

How to Stay Positive When Surrounded by Negativity

How to focus on yourself when you're surrounded by negativityWritten by Cari Rauch

For most of us, being surrounded by negativity can be one of the most challenging things in our lives, especially when we’re trying to be positive. We want to stay focused on what feels good, but it can seem difficult when the people around us are complaining and talking about what’s wrong with life.

So here are some things that you can do when you find yourself surrounded by negativity:

  1. Remember You Always Have a Choice. Everything is always a choice. We choose what we listen to and watch, we choose what we do & where we go (such as work), and we choose who we spend time with. There isn’t anything that we “have to do”. However, we sometimes think we don’t have a choice because we don’t like the outcome. For example, we think we have to go to work because we need the money so it’s not a choice, but we could choose not to go and not to get paid, but we don’t like what might happen if we did that, so we tend to not see it as a choice.
  2. Step into Your Power. We can’t control what others say or do, but we can control ourselves with our thoughts, feelings and behaviors. So stepping into our power means admitting we are choosing to be where we are. It starts with claiming, “I’m choosing to be here because…” and stating your answer. It may be because we want the money (choosing to be in a job) or we love our family/partner and want a relationship with them (choosing to be around negative family members or partner). Whatever it is, own that you’ve chosen it and you will instantly start feeling better because you took control of your life. Once you own it, then you have the power to change it.
  3. Set Yourself up for Success. If you know you are choosing to go somewhere where you will be surrounded by negativity, then decide before you go who you want to be and how you want to feel. So for example, before going to work you can declare that – “I am the creator of my reality and I focus on what feels good to me. I choose to feel at peace no matter what others are saying or doing.”
  4. Know Your Triggers. Be aware of topics or things that seem to pull you into negativity and decide not to discuss these topics or things unless you can say something that feels good. So for example, staying out of heated debates, or not complaining about what’s happening or about someone else. If you can’t say something or add something that makes you feel good, then refrain from it.
  5. Create & Use a Power Phrase as a Reminder. Having a phrase that you can say in your mind to remind yourself when you become aware of the negativity around you will help you to stop focusing on it. Here are a few phrases (you can tap on any point while you state these to yourself):
    1. “Wow, I’m so blessed to live in my world where….” (fill in with what you want to or already believe about what’s happening or being discussed). We create our realities by our beliefs, so for example, if others are complaining about their bodies & diets – this phrase can be used by saying, “Wow, I’m so blessed to live in a world where my body knows how to be healthy on its own and I get to eat whatever I truly love and enjoy.”
    2. “It’s just their opinion or It’s just a point of view – they are allowed to believe whatever they want, however, I choose to focus on what feels good to me.”
  6. Envision & Create Something Better. This can be a challenging one, but it’s a great way to stay positive. Send the person or situation some love. This can be done by focusing on something you love or appreciate about them (it can simply be that you love their outfit or appreciate their style).
  7. Be Aware & Release It. When you are no longer surrounded or if you have chosen to move away from the negativity, notice how you are feeling. Be the watcher of your thoughts, and if you want to complain or are upset by how negative they were, then you’ve let it affect you. This is where tapping becomes helpful to release and let it go. Here’s a quick tapping sequence:

KC: Even though I got pulled into the negativity, I love and accept myself & how I feel. Say this 3 times.
EB: I’m willing to let this go
SE: I can allow them to be who they are
UE: I choose to release this energy
UN: I always have a choice
C: It’s my reality so I’m going to choose to focus on what feels good
CB: I choose to feel good
UA: I choose to enjoy my day.
TH: I keep my power and choose to feel good.
It takes practice to stay focused on what feels good, but the more you do it the less likely you will be to be surrounded by negativity, and you will find that it really won’t matter because you know you have the power to feel good no matter what.

Negative things happen. It’s part of life, no matter how many quotes we read or how positive we strive to become. Tough times strengthen us and wake us up to the things we weren’t paying attention to. When we allow things to stack up and then add negative people to the mix, this is how we become surrounded by negativity.

Here we feel completely overwhelmed, lost, tired and defeated. Positive quotes annoy us and we stop caring about the things we once loved because we feel like we are constantly putting out fires.

It can be hard to get out of such an emotional roller coaster. Especially when we are surrounded by negative, critical, judgemental people.

We often hear quotes saying, “stop caring about what other people think.” Well, most people agree that’s a lot easier said than done. Quotes can be good, but how do we put it into action?

We are here to help. In fact, we want to inspire you with quotes, yes, but also help you switch that belief system. There’s power in knowing that your thoughts can change your situation. When your thoughts, attitudes and actions are in positive alignment, negativity dissolves.

It starts with keeping positive, support relationships around you. It’s tough to get out of negative situations if you have a daily negative critic in your life – yourself included. It’s easy to be a critic.

We are usually surrounded by negativity, or at least feel like we are, when we are living living for others. How do we break free and stop becoming surrounded by negativity? These quotes will help!

7 Quotes To Remember When You’re Surrounded By Negativity

How to focus on yourself when you're surrounded by negativity

1. Not everyone will understand you.

“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly.”— Albert Einstein

2. Don’t change for others.

“If being an egomaniac means I believe in what I do and in my art or music, then in that respect you can call me that… I believe in what I do, and I’ll say it.” John Lennon

3. Dream big…really big.

“So many people along the way, whatever it is you aspire to do, will tell you it can’t be done. But it all it takes is imagination. You dream. You plan. You reach.”- Michael Phelps

4. People will disagree with you.

“Don’t waste your energy trying to educate or change opinions; go over, under, through, and opinions will change organically when you’re the boss. Or they won’t. Who cares? Do your thing, and don’t care if they like it.” – Tina Fey

5. Sometimes you are alone, but you don’t have to feel lonely.

“Believe in yourself and there will come a day when others will have no choice but to believe with you.” – Cynthia Kersey

6. You are perfect just the way you are.

“There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.” -Marianne Williamson

7. And when all else fails, remember this quote…

Sunsets are proof that no matter what happens, every day can end beautifully. -Kristen Butler

How to focus on yourself when you're surrounded by negativity

Final Thoughts

Let’s face it, we can’t please everyone. It’s an impossible task to live up to the expectations of someone who will end up judging us regardless of what we do.

It’s up to us to start standing up for what we believe in – our own happiness. It’s time we change our focus to the people that matter in our lives and surround ourselves with positive people. When we focus on the people we love and who love us, the other stuff seems to fade into the background. Positivity become part of our every day. We attract more positive people and situations. Negative things happen, but it doesn’t surround us anymore.

Walk, talk, associate yourself with people who are positive. In case you find yourself among people having a negative conversation, remain neutral, or you can refuse to participate in the discussion. Be around like minded individuals who are smart and driven.

Have friends who are proud of what you are doing, respect and love you, and make your day brighter than it already is.

No matter what, remember this: True success comes when we know we are being judged and then realize we don’t care. When that happens, we know we are living our best life.

Let’s switch that old adage around. If negativity is surrounding you, it’s easier done when repeatedly said with positive affirmations and quotes. 😉 Let us know in the comments which # is your favorite!

How to focus on yourself when you're surrounded by negativity

When your life is full of nothing but negativity, do you wish that you knew how to be more positive?

Do you ever have those times when you feel like talking back to the TV when the news is on? They’re always talking about something upsetting and you just want to yell, “Do we really have to hear this negative stuff again?!”

Of course, you can always change the channel if you don’t want to listen to who shot who, what was the worst accident of the day, or how close we are to experiencing the “fiscal cliff.”

And even though that’s a political term referring to tax increases, it sounds like we’re all at the edge of a cliff and about to fall off.

The saying “no news is good news” doesn’t really apply to our lives now because, these days, with 24-hour news coming from every conceivable electronic device, there is no such thing as “no news.”

Truth is, it never stops coming and most of the time, it isn’t so good.

So how can we stay connected to what’s happening in the world without feeling like it’s ending? And even if it is, are we supposed to feel bad because things aren’t always so good?

There is a severe lack of positivity right now.

And somewhere between wanting to bury our head in the sand and feeling deeply concerned, if not genuinely worried, about the state of the world, can we learn to see the bright side of life?

The answer is “yes,” you can still maintain a balanced state of mind that isn’t affected by all the negativity we are constantly being bombarded with on a daily basis — if you learn how to harness the power of positive thinking.

Here are 13 ways to be more positive, despite the seemingly constant negativity in the world.

1. Take in only what you want to see and absorb

If the negative starts outweighing the positive, it’s time to change the channel or switch the station.

You may not be in control of what’s going on in the world, but you’re in control of the TV remote.

2. Don’t just read the front page of the newspaper

Headline news tends to be mostly political unless there’s a natural disaster happening somewhere or someone important has died.

There are other sections of the paper that feature articles that can actually make you smile and feel hopeful about people and the world.

3. Ask yourself if you want to spend time with people who are pessimistic

Do you really want to surround yourself with negative people?

Some people are doomsdayers and subscribe to the Mayan belief that the world is coming to an end back in 2012. It’s 2020 and we’re still here.

Be clear what your position is on how you see things turning out: positive or negative.

4. Make sure you really want to watch something violent before watching a show or movie that is

Sometimes, we’re not prepared for the disturbing images we see on TV or in a movie — it can feel like an assault on the senses.

Decide ahead of time what kind of images you want to take into your psyche. Violent ones can be jarring and hard to shake off. There are many uplifting movies and shows to see instead.

5. Do something daily that supports a positive mindset

Plant a vegetable garden, donate to charity, give blood, volunteer at a hospital or a home for the aging, or even just let someone go ahead of you in traffic or the checkout line that only has two items.

Think of ways to keep your thoughts proactive, productive, and not just about yourself.

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6. Be solution-oriented

Instead of criticizing how things are, decide if you’re a “candle lighter” or a “complainer of the darkness.”

7. Don’t let someone who isn’t nice or is in a bad mood bring you down with their negativity

Try and stay positive and loving toward them even if they’re not acting very lovable.

When your energy is elevated, it can’t help but bring someone else’s higher.

8. Smile at as many people as you can, even if they don’t smile back

Keep on smiling — it can awaken someone’s sad heart and make them feel hopeful about life again.

9. Compliment others

Tell them something nice about what you think of them. Everyone wants to feel valued and important.

When you mirror the best in another person, they feel seen by you for who they really are, and that feels good.

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10. Say “I love you” as often as you can

Offering your love to others is the greatest gift you can give them.

Love will always have power over negativity and create more light and deeper meaning in your life and others.

11. Watch some good comedy

There are so many great comedies to watch that will definitely put you in a better mood. Some of them are classics, like Charlie Chaplin.

Laughing always balances the seriousness of life.

12. Adopt a pet

Caring for an animal you saved from being euthanized is one of the most gratifying things you can do.

The love you will feel for this animal will melt away any kind of negativity in your life.

13. Watch smart news, not bad news

The best type of news to listen to is unbiased and the most informative. Avoid the ones that are blatantly biased and have a negative impact on you.

And definitely avoid the news channels that spend most of their time talking about one horrible thing after the next. They’re like the blues news and not what you want to be listening to before you go to bed.

Put on some Zen music and visualize yourself in paradise, even though the newscasters will make it sound like you’re not.

By making a conscious decision to harness the power of positivity and live your life with less negativity in it, you become the arbiter of what you let in and what you don’t.

We always have a choice as to how we want to live our life and what kind of quality we want it to have. You can limit the amount of negativity in your life by taking control of it and welcoming positive thoughts.

Entrepreneur and motivational speaker Michael Altshuler said it best: “The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.”

Ora Nadrich is founder and president of the Institute for Transformational Thinking and author of Live True: A Mindfulness Guide to Authenticity, named in the “100 Best Mindfulness Books of All Time” by BookAuthority. She is a certified life coach and Mindfulness teacher, specializing in transformational thinking, self-discovery and mentoring new coaches as they develop their careers.

This article was originally published at Huffington Post. Reprinted with permission from the author.

How to focus on yourself when you're surrounded by negativity

How to focus on yourself when you're surrounded by negativity

Embodying and maintaining a positive attitude in your workplace can be challenging when your work environment feels negative and emotionally draining. Here are five surefire ways to arm yourself in positivity, and keep the negativity at bay:

Start your day right: Before you even step foot in the office, it’s important that you find ways to feel good. Consider how you currently start your day. Are you starting your day by listening to dreadful news reports on the radio or television? Instead, as you start your day find ways to fuel up on the positive. Listen to your favorite upbeat music or find podcasts or audiobooks that invigorate you and put you in a good mood. Similarly, on your commute to work, engage in an activity that lifts your spirits.

Beautify and decorate your workspace: Whether you’re in a cubicle, office, or have a desk in an open space, it’s important to surround yourself with things that hold meaning for you and help you feel good. Some of these items can include pictures, inspirational quotes, and plants. Creating a workspace that inspires you and connects you to good feelings will help keep your spirits high and keep you motivated.

Remove yourself from workplace gossip: Many of your fellow colleagues may stand around the proverbial water cooler to discuss all the things they do not like about work and complain about their co-workers. Gossip is one of the greatest erosions of positive emotions and you should take all measures to neither contribute nor participate in this detrimental energy zapping activity.

Express appreciation and gratitude: Thanking your colleagues for their work and expressing appreciation on a regular basis is a small act with a huge impact. The value of utilizing this as a practice with your coworkers, when it comes from a genuine and sincere place, will help cultivate positive feelings in the workplace and benefit the entire work community.

Practice random acts of kindness: Think about it. How pleasurable does it feel when you do something good for someone else? Creating random acts of kindness can be as simple as surprising a coworker with their favorite cup of coffee. Such simple acts in the workplace will create pleasure for you, the giver, and bring joy to the receiver.

– Cynthia Santiago, empowerment coach and founder of Latina Wellness

How to focus on yourself when you're surrounded by negativity

Being constantly surrounded by negative people can affect every area of your life. Identifying when there are too many negative people and energy around you is an important part of being able to change yourself for the better. It can improve your relationships and your overall outlook on life.

How to focus on yourself when you're surrounded by negativity

Keep these things in mind when you find yourself surrounded by negative people and use them to help you move out of the negative space.

5 Things to Remember When Negative People Surround You:

Remember to stay focused on solutions

When questioning and understanding the negative people around you is to focus on how to eradicate it, and prevent it in the future.

Why focus on the solution?

The answer is simple: not only do you end up receiving more of what you focus on, you also send out a ripple of positive energy that is received by others. With that basic principle in mind, it makes sense to focus on the solution rather than the negative energy and problems associated with it.

Remember to accept possibility and release expectation

Happy people aren’t happy because bad things don’t happen to them, they are happy because they know how to handle the bad things better. Someone who is happy has similar challenges to those that are not happy. The difference is that they release expectation of what might happen, and focus to create their best possible situation – no matter whether it ends up good or bad.

Knowing that life could deal you some good apples (and some bad ones), releasing expectation makes it easier to work through situations because you are ready to accept whatever happens. The key is to take action right away to move back into a positive space.

Remember to show yourself compassion.

How to focus on yourself when you're surrounded by negativity

No matter how bad surroundings may get, remember that the negative people around you aren’t necessarily a problem you have to deal with. While you are responsible for the energy you create, the burden of others shouldn’t be carried on your shoulders.

See the importance of this distinction, because if you can separate yourself from the negative energy of others, you can focus on getting to the heart of the matter logically, without allowing the emotion to latch onto you.

Remember to Focus

Sometimes when negative energy is coming at us from all directions, we have a hard time knowing what to do. It is so intense that it can paralyze us into inaction. Instead of tackling the big ball of negativity all at once, try doing one small thing. Just one.

Doing one thing will crack open a space in the negative energy for the positive to begin to shine. That little bit of positive will begin to build and your motivation to do more “things” will propel you to eliminating the harmful energy.

Remember to accept them as they are, and release them if you have to

With everyone in our lives, whether positive or negative, we have two choices: to accept them as they are or let them go. Accepting them means accepting the negative source to the point where you can begin to move through it. It doesn’t mean you are committed to allowing the negative people to remain in and influence your life. Accepting them means handling the challenge and creating change.

When negative people surround you, it’s obvious that change is needed. That doesn’t mean change will immediately occur or solve the problem. If the negativity persists you may see that it has become a toxic cycle that no longer serves you, and have to come to terms with letting them go.

In the end, you have to do what is right for you and your mental well-being and overall happiness. It isn’t easy to let go, but when they aren’t contributing to your highest good anymore and possibly even harming you, what choice do you have?

Become aware of the messages you are receiving throughout the day. Find the sources of negative messages and begin to eliminate them from your daily routine. Learn to recognize the type of unhealthy thinking you are most likely to encounter. Start having an inner dialogue about how to handle these situations now, before you are in the moment. Knowing how you will handle the situation before it occurs, will help you when the time comes.

How to focus on yourself when you're surrounded by negativity

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Staying Positive When You’re Surrounded By Negative

You probably know more than your fair share of negative people! Since they’re everywhere, it’s important to know how to coexist with them.

Negative people can have an impact on your attitude and your day. But that doesn’t have to be the case. There are ways to soften the effect that negative people have on you.How to focus on yourself when you're surrounded by negativity

Practice these strategies to avoid allowing negative people to negatively impact your life:

1. Understand that you can only control yourself, but you can influence others. You can’t snap your fingers and make the people around you take a more positive view of the world.

But you can control yourself and how you choose to react to their negativity. You might even be able to sway people over to your way of thinking a little bit. Set a good example and be a positive influence on those around you. Accept people for who they are. It’s just easier that way.

2. Be grateful. One way to maintain a positive attitude is to remind yourself of the positive. When you’re feeling run down by the negativity around you, make a quick mental list of the things in your life that you’re thankful for. It will give your mood a quick boost.

3. Remember that it’s not about you. Everyone has their challenges and issues. There’s no reason to be upset that someone has a negative attitude. It likely doesn’t have anything to do with you at all. It could be circumstances in their life or their basic nature. Just keep on doing what you’re doing.

4.You have the choice to be positive or negative. You can choose to be affected or not by the people around you. Focus on yourself and keep your chin up. Take care of your business and let others view the world however they choose.

5. Speak up. Sometimes it can be helpful to tell people to just cut it out. Many people will push until someone calls them on their behavior. Have a frank talk with someone that’s never-ending negative. Maybe they’re not aware of the impact they’re having on others.

6. Spend time with positive people. Recharge your batteries with the positive energy of other positive people. Get away from those negative people and spend time with people full of a positive attitude. It doesn’t take long to recenter yourself when you surround yourself with the right people.

7. Make the most of your time alone. Make the most of the time you have to yourself. Do things you really enjoy doing. Read positive affirmations. Watch feel-good movies. Put your attention on positivity. It can be like armor against negative people.

8. Headphones can be your friend. If the situation permits, put on some headphones or earbuds. What you can’t hear can’t bother you. Consider listening to a positive podcast or music that makes you feel good. If your work situation allows this, it would be silly not to take advantage of it.

9. Stay away. There are plenty of people in your life that are optional. Stay away from negative people that you don’t have to associate with. You have some control over who is part of your life and who is not.

How to focus on yourself when you're surrounded by negativity

  • Negative people will drag you down if you let them.
  • Take steps to minimize the impact they have on your life.
  • Practice gratitude each day, and you can maintain a positive perspective.
  • Block negative people out with headphones and stay away from as many negative people as possible.
  • Negative people will always be around, but you can deal with them and still be a positive person.

Learn to recognize negative people.

Albert Einstein reportedly once said, “There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. ”

  • Negative people will never see the miracle.
  • They are always complaining.
  • They expect the worst in life.
  • They are always victims.
  • They have a negative view of the world.
  • They love to dwell on bad news.
  • They are always right, everyone else is wrong.
  • They have then skin, are offended easily.
  • They are rarely loving.

Here are a few things you can say to someone you know that is negative:

  • I know it’s silly, but would you smile for me?
  • It makes me sad to see you this way. Is there something I can do to help you?
  • I love you and hope that you know that.
  • I don’t think all this worry is getting us nowhere.
  • Can I help you with something? You look like you have a lot on your plate, so let me lighten the load for you.
  • How about some fresh air? It’s nice outside and the fresh air will do us both some good.
  • How about a big hug? You look like you in a hug and I know I do.
  • I hope you feel better soon. Is there anything I can do for you?

Sometimes a negative person just needs someone to remind them that they are loved and cared for. That you are there for them. Just remember not to allow yourself to get sucked into their negativity.

Remember not to take things personally. Their negativity is not about you, it is their own feeling, not yours.

Separate yourself if needed. Being around someone that is negative all the time can be very draining both mentally and physically.

Remember not to judge and assume. You don’t know what someone may have gone through and is going through.

Offer a smile. Smiles are contagious and your smile may just be what that person needs.

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

I hope that you reading, Staying Positive When You’re Surrounded by Negative has brought some insight into your world and that it will help you understand the negative person in your life. That you will be able to use these tips.

Leave me a comment and let me know how you handle being around negative people.

How to focus on yourself when you're surrounded by negativity

Negativity is contagious. Hang around it too long and you’re almost certain to catch it. But what can you do when the negative person is your spouse? Or parent? Or coworker? There are certain people in your life with whom you’ll spend loads of time, whether you want to or not. Want to know how to stay positive when surrounded by negativity? It’s really not that complicated.

How to focus on yourself when you're surrounded by negativity

Be Mindful of Each Day’s Activities

  • Start every day off on the right foot. Your first thoughts every morning will set the tone for the rest of your day. So start off on a positive foot! Daily positive affirmations may sound corny, but there’s legitimate science behind them! The idea is that the more you think a specific thought (and especially if you say it out loud), the more likely your brain is to default to that thought in the future. You’re literally rewiring your thought patterns by deepening the neural pathways to those thoughts and mindset. So start every day with positive affirmations, like, “I experience peace and joy daily, regardless of my circumstances,” or “I’m excellent at finding solutions to every challenge,” or even “I live in the present, and am confident in my future.” Those thoughts will still be echoing through your head when you’re interacting with negative people later in the day.
  • Engage in positive activities every day. If you only ever go to work, return home, and watch tv, chances are good you’re missing out on some opportunities to fill your cup. Try turning off your screens for an hour each day, reading a book, taking a walk around the neighborhood, or inviting family and friends over for coffee or even a game night. These activities will help you to keep an open and active mind, and to more powerfully resist negative influences.

Limit Time With Negative People

  • Don’t log unnecessary time with negative people. Sure, you can’t help the fact that you have to spend eight hours a day with your coworker who finds fault in everything and everyone. But you can politely decline their invitation to join them for lunch or happy hour. The less time you spend with them, the less time they have to drag you down into their hole.
  • Surround yourself with positive influences as often as possible. The more time you spend around negative influences, the harder you’ll have to work to proactively seek out and log time with positive people. They’ll help to counteract the influence of negative people, making it much easier for you to maintain a healthy, balanced mindset. So be purposeful as you chose with whom you spend your time.

How to focus on yourself when you're surrounded by negativity

Redirect Negative Conversations

  • Don’t stoke the fire. Now this step requires a little finesse. Most negative stories will drag on as long as you continue responding with statements like, “That really is awful,” or “I can’t believe she did that.” Your agreement feeds into the story and encourages additional detail. However taking the opposite approach, responding with a “hmm” and then completely changing topics, will likely be perceived as uncaring or even rude. I’ve found the perfect balance is to acknowledge their statement, then politely and positively shift the conversation. “Ugh, I hate when siblings pry! I was sort of bracing myself for that when I visited my sister last month, but was pleasantly surprised! We went to the best restaurant…” Politely shift like this enough and your negative friend will quickly learn you’re not their best option for a venting session.
  • Focus on the positives. Another way to combat their negativity is to focus on the positives in their story. If they’re in a fender bender, emphasize that you’re so glad they weren’t hurt. If they’re sick, express your gratitude that they caught a cold, but dodged the flu that’s been going around. This technique might annoy them, but sends the same message as the last – you’re not the right person for their complaints, gossip, or other negative banter.
  • Remember that your positivity can be just as exhausting and influential as their negativity. I read an interesting verse in the Bible a few months ago. God assigned Ezekiel to deliver a message to, essentially, a bunch of complainers. And what God told him in Ezekiel 3:8-9 really struck me, “But I’ll make you as hard in your way as they are in theirs. I’ll make your face as hard as rock, harder than granite. Don’t let them intimidate you” (MSG). I sometimes feel so burdened and intimidated by the words of others that I forget my own influence. Your coworker might be dead set in her negative mindset. But you, friend? You can be even more dead set in your positive mindset. You might just be wearing her down every day with your constant focus on the bright side. So set your face like granite, friend! You can influence others as powerfully as anyone!

Counteract Negative Thoughts

  • Overcompensate for negative thoughts. I once read about a technique utilized by FBI agents to overcome a negativity bias. They encounter death and other dark circumstances on a near-daily basis, and so learn to come up with five positive thoughts to counter every one negative thought. They allow each positive thought to sit with them for 20 seconds before thinking of and sitting with the next positive thought. Agents learn to acknowledge “bad” emotions, label them for what they truly are, and then move forward. Because the truth is that the more you engage with a negative thought, the more power you provide it.

How to focus on yourself when you're surrounded by negativity

How to Stay Positive When Surrounded By Negative Minds

And there you have it – how to stay positive when you’re surrounded by negative minds. By being more mindful of each day’s activities and thoughts, limiting time with negative people, and redirecting pessimistic conversations, you can shine bright in the darkest night.

Have any secrets on how to stay positive when surrounded by negative people? Be sure to sound off in the comments!

Does it sometimes seem like no matter how positive you are, there will always be someone equally negatively motivated, and whose sole purpose in life is that of being a buzzkill? We see this especially in the world of social media and the media where even the most positive news or post will garner at least one response in the negative.

In light of what is going on with COVID 19 and how the media and government seem to fuel negatively, it is even more important to maintain a positive mindset. This doesn’t mean you ignore what medical professionals are saying but be realistic about what is in your control to help keep you, your family and friends informed and safe. How then are you supposed to stay positive when surrounded by so much negativity?How to focus on yourself when you're surrounded by negativity

1. Plan for a positive outcome. When you don’t have a clear direction, you can’t expect to have great results. What is your vision for the future? What do you need to do to get there? Envision the process from start to finish. Then write it down so that you have it available as a roadmap to get you where you want to go.

2. Change your expectations. Don’t let the negative messages mess with your mind. In other words, take control. If you expect things to go badly, chances are they will. Silence the negative voices and instead focus on the positive.

3. Seize the day! If things aren’t going well, rather than listen to the naysayers, carefully evaluate where you are. Is there something you can change that will improve the outcome? Put your focus there. Stoic philosphers said thousands of years ago said that good and bad things are going to inevitably happen during the day and what always remains constant is how you internalize and react to it.

4. Know when to let go. Along with that same vein, realize that if there are things you can’t change. Worrying about them isn’t going to make the outcome any different. Let go of what you cannot change or help.

5. Surround yourself with positivity. Affirmations, books that motivate, people that are positive – all of these should be in your toolkit to combat negativity. If you fill your mind with positive messages, you can’t help but drown out the negativity. By doing so, you’ll find it’s much easier to stay motivated no matter what’s life throws at you.

6. Who’s on your side? When you live under a constant barrage of negativity, the people you surround yourself with become very important. Find the cheerleaders, the Pollyannas, the positive people who love to cheer for you and keep them close at hand. With the right team on your side, you can’t help but succeed. Jim Rohn, who is the famous motivational speaker and philosopher is famous for saying that you are the makeup of the five people you surround yourself with. If you are currently, surrounded by negative nellies, change it. Find people who you aspire to be like, and separate yourself from people that drag you down.

7. Don’t forget to celebrate. Don’t wait for the big milestones to recognize your accomplishments. Small celebrations along the way will remind you in a very visual way of your successes. It becomes easier to expect success when you remind yourself that you’ve done it many times before. If you aren’t already doing this, write down at least 3 things every day you are grateful for. There is always something to be grateful for.

Negativity can’t stand up to a strong positive influence. Keeping motivated then is simply a matter of looking at what’s around you – and changing the scenery if it’s not working for you. Remember: Positive influence breeds positive results.How to focus on yourself when you're surrounded by negativity

The critical thing you must do before confronting a negative person.

How to focus on yourself when you're surrounded by negativity

“There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. That little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.” –Robert Collier

I’m pretty sure I don’t need to tell you how important being upbeat, optimistic and downright happy is to your well-being. For decades, you’ve all heard how being positive improves your relationships, your academic potential, and even how successful you’ll be in your career. And in recent years, research has shown that negative emotions are directly related to a slew of physical conditions, such as hypertension, impaired immune system, cardiovascular disease, digestive disorders, and infection.

Bottom line? It’s better to stay happy!

But even on good days, when you’re bopping around like Pharrell Williams singing “Because I’m happy!” at the top of your lungs, you can run into that professional grump who is determined to ruin your mood with his complaining, whining, criticizing, balloon-popping negativity.

Many of us weren’t around when the L’il Abner comic strip was popular. But there was a character named Joe Btfsplk in the comic who walked around with dark rain cloud over his head. Misery and bad luck struck anyone who came within Joe Btfsplk’s vicinity.

Sound like anyone you know?

The fortunate (and unfortunate) thing is that your brain is naturally sensitive to negativity. Fortunate because if the source of that negativity could do actual harm to you (say, a saber tooth tiger ready to pounce), your brain is ready to signal your body to spring into action to defend yourself. But it’s unfortunate because your amygdala doesn’t distinguish between a real threat and your crabby neighbor whose specialty is doom and gloom. Even if the negativity does not threaten your physical survival, your brain will still turn a good amount of your attention to that negative source—and your happy mood is shot.

So how to get the Pharrell Williams track playing again? How to get the happy back—or never lose it in the first place?

In Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), we use the phrase “perception is projection.” In other words, whatever you see out there is in some way a reflection of what is inside of you. That said, the truth is that there are negative people in the world, people who, given the opportunity, will do harm to others. But before dealing with Mr. or Ms. Bad News, you need to check to see how much of your negative reactions to their negativity comes from your own internal issues.

The first step is to track your triggers, those things that instantly make you feel mad, bad, or sad. It can be a particular type of person, like someone who is very successful or someone who is a non-stop talker. It can be a particular topic like your weight or certain political views. A trigger can even be a certain tone of voice such as a patronizing tone or a high-pitched squeal. Pay attention to whatever it is that bumps you out of your feeling of well-being.

Make a list of those things or people, and notice if you can see any similarities or themes. For example, you might notice that you’re bothered by people who constantly gossip about other people—your co-worker, your father-in-law, or your golf buddy. As soon as they start in with the back-stabbing, you feel particularly defensive and uncomfortable. What’s the real issue here? Are you worried that they’re doing the same thing to you when your back is turned? Are you feeling judgmental about others as well but ashamed to admit it?

Just becoming aware of and acknowledging your triggers can go a long way toward helping you maintain your positive mood around negative people. But sometimes a trigger runs deep and needs a more concerted effort to unplug you from your reactions. When that’s the case, you can use what NLP calls a “reframe” by asking yourself: “How can I see this differently?” For example, with the gossiper, you might reframe it and notice that by gossiping and letting off steam, these people are less likely to do actual harm to the people they’re criticizing!

If reframing doesn’t work, your trigger may run deeper. Perhaps you saw an elementary school bully taunt others before pummeling them. You may have some deep-seated fear attached to people speaking ill of someone else that needs releasing. In prior articles, I’ve talked about several techniques like ho’oponopono and the Mental Emotional Release Process® (MER®) that can help with this release.

However you do it, it’s critical to release your own stuff before you confront that negative person. Why? Because by doing so, you’re able to come from a place that is clear, a place that will serve your highest and best intention. Let’s compare how you might respond to the gossiper with and without your own baggage in the mix:

If you haven’t dealt with your own issues, odds are your confrontation will go something like, “I’m sick and tired of hearing you gripe about other people. What’s wrong with you? Can you say anything nice?” Compare that to: “I’m uncomfortable hearing you talk about others that way and I don’t feel good participating in it. Can we talk about something else?”

I’m guessing both approaches would get a reaction from the gossiper. But which feels more centered? Which has the potential for maintaining the relationship, maybe even allowing the gossiper to consider his actions? Which would get you back to happy the soonest?

Bottom line: You’re responsible for and in control of your own happiness. And being happy is important to your overall health and well-being. To paraphrase a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt, no one can make you unhappy without your permission!