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How Negativity Adversely Affects Your Health
Negativity surrounds us daily. Whether it is thoughtless attacks across social media, unkind words overheard at the grocery store, or internal uncertainty and judgment, pessimism can be a grueling matter to deal with – both mentally and physically.
Ways Negativity Hurts
- Weakened Immune System – Studies have shown that negative emotions are linked to a lowered immune response against disease, making you more prone to illness, heart attack, and even stroke.
- It’s Contagious – We all know that if we experience someone unnecessarily complaining or being overly toxic, we can get worked up. Although we don’t always consciously allow others’ emotions to affect our own, it’s natural and can happen without us even realizing it.
- Intelligence – Yes, really. Negative attitudes can affect your ability to think. When you experience or think about something damaging or unpleasant, the effectiveness of the neurons in the hippocampus (an essential part of the brain linked to reasoning and memory) is compromised.
- State of Mind – Not only can negative thinking affect how you are feeling in the moment, but it can also alter your state of mind. Pessimistic thoughts can linger and fester for hours, days, weeks, months, or even years. How you walk away from any situation affects how you will see it in the future.
- Attitude – Every day we make a conscious decision whether to be happy or sad, cheerful or angry. Negativity affects our attitude, which in turn affects our behavior. Fostering an attitude of gratitude helps us to remember our blessings instead of focusing on the negative.
How Can You Help?
One of the most significant opportunities in combatting negativity, which can be a detriment to your mood and wellbeing, is first to be aware and second, to not feed into it. The goal should be instead to refocus that energy towards fostering the best, most compassionate version of you. Get rid of the toxic people in your life and surround yourself with those who will lift you up and encourage constructive thoughts & behavior. This will lessen the stress you’re dealing with on a daily basis and create more room for positivity, growth, and good health.
Other ways to seriously say goodbye to the negativity surrounding your life include: choosing your battles, inspiring instead of tearing down, and communicating effectively. Additionally, try setting personal limits on what you will tolerate and establishing ideas for how you’ll deal with the pessimism that slips through.