Have you ever known anyone who is so negative you can’t stand to be around them? Do you ever find yourself in a rut of negative thinking and heaviness?
About twelve years ago, my husband Mark and I were on our honeymoon on the island of Maui in Hawaii. We were so excited to start this time in our lives as a newly married couple and on our second night there, we went to a luau. Neither of us had ever been and we looked forward to the dancing, eating Hawaiian food and spending a warm night by the ocean.
When we arrived, we were given a fruity drink and guided to a table. We sat close discussing our plans for the next few days as we people watched and breathed in the beauty of the scene and the sound of the waves.
And then (cue the music that played in the Wizard of Oz whenever the Wicked Witch came on), we met Helen. She plopped hard in her seat and threw down her drink and her purse on the table as she frantically looked around for someone else. She sighed audibly, the kind where not just your breath comes out, but your voice too. And then she looked at Mark and I with a forced obligatory smile and said, “Hi, I’m Helen.”
We introduced ourselves to which Helen replied, “Have you ever been to such a joke of an outfit? This drink has no alcohol in it and I’m sure the food will be just as bad. I should have known it would be a rip off when we had to pay for parking and couldn’t find a spot closer than the back forty!”
Mark and I had no words, so we just nodded.
Helen proceeded. “And then we had to switch hotel rooms twice because the first one was infested with spiders and the second one had a broken down air conditioner! This was supposed to be a four star resort!”
After listening to her complain for about ten minutes, she asked where we are from.
“Minnesota” we replied.
“Ugg… Minnesota, isn’t it cold and snowy there?! I was on a layover in the Minneapolis Airport once and my flight was delayed because of a snowstorm. Then she proceeded to talk about how, “they really need more restaurants in that airport!”
Scanning the area again for someone, she fretted, “I have no idea where my husband Stan is, but he went to the bathroom and hasn’t come back!”
In shock that this would be the energy of our whole evening, Mark and I couldn’t help but look at each other and laugh. Just then a kind looking but somewhat stressed older gentleman sat down next to her and gave us a knowing smile.
“Hi, I’m Stan. I see you’ve met my charming wife.” And then he winked at us.
Later we both agreed… “Poor Stan!”
When it comes to negativity, Helen is an extreme case, but we can all get a little negative at times. Sometimes it’s warranted but sometimes that mindset can be hard to let go and once the flames are fanned, it can grow and impact not just ourselves but also those around us. Negativity eliminates the magic of possibility.
I invite you to consider the negativity in your day-to-day life. Don’t judge yourself for having it. After all you’re only human, but just become more aware of it and consider joining me on a 7-day negativity detox.
To detox your negativity, just follow these steps:
For 7 Days eliminate the following:
Worry is an attempt at controlling an uncontrollable situation. It actually holds you and others back and can result in a negative effect.
If you catch yourself doing any of the above, gently say,“I choose to create love and joy in my life” and replace the negative thoughts with positive thoughts and write them down. Examples of positive thoughts can include:
A joy filled memory.
A self-love statement.
The exact opposite of the negative thought.
Finally, share with friends and family that you are going on a negativity detox and ask them to gently notice and let you know when you are focusing on the negative so that you can get back on track.
Good luck and be patient with yourself in this process. Don’t expect perfection. It can take time to change your thought patterns. I just reread that last sentence since I have to remind myself of these things as well!
*The Negativity Detox is used with permission from the Global Association of Holistic Psychotherapy and Coaching.
Lynne Fredrickson is a life and wellness coach and founder of Wellness Concepts, LLC and Lynne Fredrickson Coaching. With over 25 years experience specializing in Health and Wellbeing and coaching clients throughout the world in lasting behavior change, Lynne is passionate about helping people quickly release the anxiety that is holding them back and keeping them stuck. She is a certified holistic life coach, certified health and wellness coach, certified personal trainer and strength and conditioning specialist.