Why does negativity not affect you

Negativity: This is why you should get rid of negative people from your life

There are many negative people in the world. Their favorite pastime is whining, they are apparently never satisfied and somehow their fate means it particularly badly for them. Every topic of conversation is about a problem and ease seems to be a foreign word for these people. Do you have to think of one or more people from your social circle when you make this description? Then you should first look in the mirror: it is very likely that you are one of these negative personalities yourself. We would like to explain why negativity is so harmful and what you can do for more positive thoughts.

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1. Only three percent of thoughts are positive
2. Risk of contagion: Negativity spreads like an epidemic
3. Negativity affects the human brain - negatively
4. Positive vs. Negative - How are your thoughts and words?
5. Positive thoughts lead to positive life
6. Turn negative into positive: This is how you can change your (thought) world

Only three percent of the thoughts are positive

Every person is individual and therefore some are naturally more positive and others more negative. Strokes of fate, childhood trauma or other events in the life story can also change a person's mind - sometimes temporarily and sometimes permanently. In addition, people from warmer countries are said to be more cheerful than us Germans, Scandinavians, Icelanders or other Nordic cultures. A look at the higher suicide rates in the darker months of the year as well as in colder regions seems to prove the rumor right. This is particularly extreme, of course, with the ongoing darkness at the Arctic Circle. Whether you are a more positive or negative person depends on both internal and external factors and can change at times in life.

Reading tip: Learn positive thinking: In 10 steps to a new attitude towards life!

But as mentioned in the article on positive thinking, everyone has an average of 600,000 thoughts a day - only about three percent of which are positive. The majority of Germans, including you, have a negative disposition. These people in turn infect their social environment with their negativity and so it gradually spills over into the entire German society - with only very few exceptions. How so?

Risk of contagion: Negativity spreads like a plague

Negative people have a bad influence on their social environment. They infect this, so to speak, with their negativity. This is due to the mirror neurons of the brain:

Mirror neurons are a resonance system in the brain that makes other people's feelings and moods sound in the recipient. The unique thing about nerve cells is that they send out signals when someone just observes an action. The nerve cells react exactly as if you had done what you saw yourself.

(Source: Planet Knowledge)

So when your coworker tells you about his argument with the boss, your brain relives the situation itself. When your buddy talks about financial worries, it's almost like you have them too. And when your best friend separates from her unfaithful husband and sits in front of you crying, you literally suffer with them. Admittedly, thinking positively in such a situation and looking to the future with a smile is almost impossible, at least at the beginning. It is also not forbidden to be negative every now and then. But if you expose yourself to a social environment that is always whining, scolding or crying - or simply generally dissatisfied for no particular reason - you too become more negative every day. The mirror neurons in the brain ensure that negativity in your social environment has numerous disadvantages.

Negativity affects the human brain - negatively

You practically soak up the negativity from your environment, experience the bad weather, the choleric boss or the infidelity of your husband, so to speak, and thus also become a negative person, according to the result of numerous studies, for example "Negativity Is Contagious, Study Finds" from 2007. But this mechanism not only takes place in the brain and therefore affects you on a psychological level, but the body can also be damaged by too much negativity. This is due to several factors:

  • Negative thoughts can trigger depression, anxiety or other secondary diseases in a person if they get out of hand over a long period of time. Even if you are actually more of a positive person, your mirror neurons can cause similar clinical pictures if you are exposed to this negativity for too long.
  • You imitate the people around you not only internally, i.e. on an emotional level, but also externally. So you take the same crouched posture with slouching shoulders, drop the corners of your mouth and shuffle energetically across the corridor. Back pain, neck tension, migraines and a decline in well-being and self-confidence are just a few of the possible effects.

Reading tip: Strengthening self-confidence: 20 tips & 3 exercises for more self-confidence

  • Negativity also damages your brain directly: Unhappier people are more likely to suffer from poor concentration, memory problems and decreased productivity. This shows once again how important a good working atmosphere is for the economic success of a company. A “bad apple” can infect the entire team.
  • In addition, negative people in your environment trigger stress. If you are constantly dealing with other people's problems, you can hardly keep up with your work - or with solving your own problems. The consequences of constant stress are obvious: from changes in blood values ​​to chronic pain, sleep disorders, digestive problems and mood swings to potentially fatal illnesses such as a stroke or heart attack.

And all of this only because you are surrounded by too many negative people - or because you are the "bad apple" yourself. Before you point your finger at your social environment, you should first take a look in the mirror.

Positive vs. Negative - How are your thoughts and words?

Practice self-reflection and observe your own words, thoughts and actions. What you think and speak naturally affects your brain even more directly than the actions of those around you. So if you are a predominantly negative person yourself, you are even more likely to suffer from the disadvantages listed above than if you are only the "passive" part thanks to your mirror neurons. Negative thoughts - almost 97 percent for most people - have even worse effects on your brain: They directly limit thinking by preventing the production of important messenger substances. As a result, you are less resistant to stress, perceive your world in an even more negative way and so go deeper and deeper into the downward spiral.

A negative basic mood in thinking is a declaration of war on life that never leaves its fanatical followers in peace.

(Ernst Ferstl)

In addition, the stress hormones adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol are released. Your body goes into "watchful position". It mobilizes all resources and if this condition persists over a long period of time, you literally burn out. The cognitive understanding in the frontal lobe decreases. So you literally get more stupid - and that's only because of your own negativity. It's good that this mechanism can also be reversed!

Positive thoughts lead to a positive life

Do you know the law of self-fulfilling prophecy? If you have negative thoughts that make you sick and also drag down your social environment, you will be unpopular, unhappy and unsuccessful in the long run. Conversely, as a positive person, you also attract positive things. Because your positivity also has a contagious effect on the social environment. Accordingly, other people will be happy to surround themselves with you. You will be healthier and more productive. You make more contacts, are more successful at work and also more popular in private life. The list of advantages is long. This also includes your health: positive thoughts ...

  • ... improve your logical thinking skills.
  • ... increase your activism.
  • ... enhance your self-confidence.
  • ... increase brain activity.
  • ... give you serenity.
  • ... reduce the release of stress hormones.

So positive thoughts improve your health as well as your self-image. You are more confident about the future, thereby reducing worries and fears and showing that you are more open-minded towards other people - which is why you receive more positive feedback. While negative thoughts lead you into a downward spiral, positive thoughts do the opposite and create an upward spiral. This is how easy it is to explain self-fulfilling prophecy.

Turn negative into positive: This is how you can change your (thought) world

So bring more positivity into the world and infect your social environment with good thoughts and words. To do this, of course, you also have to banish negativity from your life as much as possible. Find out which people are not doing you good because, for example, they are always whining or only talking about problems - their own, those of their company or the whole world. Avoid these people as much as you can and instead surround yourself with positive personalities.

Reading tip: The phenomenon of resonance: It's easy to be popular!

But differentiate between different phases of life: You shouldn't turn away from your best friend just because she is lovesick. Everyone has negative phases in life, bad days or problems. Still, all in all, negativity and positivity should at least balance each other out. So notice that contact with someone is starting to burden you, protect yourself and keep your distance a little. Unfortunately, you cannot keep your distance from yourself. So how do you remove your own negativity from your thoughts and life?

  • Smile more! You will immediately feel better, start the day more positively and have a more sympathetic charisma.
  • Deal with positive words! Write them down and read them over and over again in the morning or in the evening. On the bus on the way to work, say positive words or sentences in your mind and use positive instead of negative formulations in your language from now on.
  • Picture your future positively! Visualize your future as realistically as possible, play it out in daydreams and develop positive expectations.
  • Work on your self-confidence! Then you will stay positive even if your expectations are disappointed. You develop a deep serenity, trust that the future will still be positive, and you also exude this optimism.
  • See problems as a challenge! So try to master even difficult situations in life with the most positive attitude possible. This may not always be possible, but in many cases you will find that in the end it is just an ant instead of an elephant.
  • Start the day on a positive note! The first minutes of the day have a decisive influence on its further course. Therefore, when you wake up, concentrate consciously on having only positive thoughts and expectations. You are welcome to use the corresponding questions that you write down and put on the bedside table, for example: “What am I particularly looking forward to today?” Or “What am I thankful for today?”.
  • "Detoxify" yourself from negativity! So develop a mechanism for yourself how you can recover from negative people, experiences or news. For example, you can practice meditation, enjoy nature on a walk in the fresh air or meet friends for a game night. Pay attention to what is good for you and what helps you to let go of negative thoughts and build these activities into your everyday life at least once a day.

What other suggestions do you have on the subject of negativity? Feel free to discuss with us in the comments!

Photo credit: My Ocean Production / Shutterstock.com

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