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This is How Long-Term Negativity Affects Your Mental Health

In life, it's always about your mindset. Long periods of negativity can have detrimental effects on your mental, emotional and physical health.

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Over the years, I’ve come to learn that how you think is significant and impactful on your physical and mental health. Negativity feeds anger, like pouring lighter fluid on fire and watching the flames blast several feet high. Worrisome thoughts can spring from constant negative thinking as well, which can also lead to burnout if you stay in that place for too long. 

There is an unfortunate stigma that says if you’re a realistic thinker, you’re negative. This would describe me: a realistic and practical thinker, where I’d consider the potential pitfalls and successes of outcomes. I approach every situation with my feet on the ground. In the past, however, I wasn’t like that, and even when I thought I was being realistic, I was undermining myself and capabilities. Someone once called me negative (long ago), and I didn’t take this lightly, but I couldn’t see how my realistic thinking was diminishing and self-sabotaging. I viewed their observation as an opportunity to change something about myself, to restructure my thinking paths.  

I read somewhere that positive thinking isn’t enough and also that it masks the reality of circumstances. But here’s the thing: negativity can be too much and have detrimental effects on your overall mental health and how you function in day-to-day life. It can drain your energy, leaving you fatigued and in a fight-or-flight response. Our brains are sponges, absorbing everything around us and internalizing information we’re taking in. I have done this, where I’d see something somewhere and begin to fear unnecessary things (or things that don’t concern me at all), and I’d allow this to dictate the direction I’d hoped to go. 

Our brains notoriously return to those thinking paths I mentioned with behaviors that only damage ourselves. I used to tear myself apart from the smallest mistakes (that we all make at one point or another) or after a minor blunder that caused a setback. It took a while for me to realize that nobody can do everything 100% all the time and that sometimes things and circumstances fail us. To remain stuck in the negativity and the ‘why me, why me, why me,’ self-talk, that doesn’t resolve anything. I could be sitting here wallowing in the hardship and struggle of chronic pain, heart and lung disease, and a genetic disorder I have, but if I did, I wouldn’t have that business I’d always dreamed of having. 

In fact, meditation has changed my perspective, rewired my thoughts and how I perceive the things that happen to me and found ways to make life more comfortable. But then I forget, a comfortable life is not what I am seeking. Instead, I am continually reaching my fullest potential each day, learning about my health conditions and strengthening my mind with the artistic abilities I possess. It also took a long time for me to acknowledge all of the skills I do have, the things I can do, despite being labeled as ‘disabled.’ I am somebody who loves being challenged and pushing the envelope in my business as a seamstress and a writer. 

When I lingered in the negativity, though, this hindered my ability to function and grow. It stunted my creativity. Negativity destroys that sustainability you need to thrive. I used to be angry about these health issues I have until I decided to become a resource of encouragement for someone else who may be struggling, too, or an impactful influencer in someone else’s life. The way in which we deal and cope with difficult issues matters. In 2009, I had this mental shift after I sought alternative treatments for my depression and anxiety without prescription medication. I wanted to feel the full scope of emotions and be OK after, to feel sadness and move on. Even with depression and anxiety, I’ve found ways to lead a happy, purposeful life utilizing holistic and natural treatments to sustain a healthy mind. 

I exercise several times a day: swimming, yoga, meditation, acupuncture, and homeopathy. I am living proof that homeopathy works miracles as it saved my life when I was a baby, and it continues saving my life. Try keeping your thoughts equal to each other, balanced, and centered—the benefit of meditation. You’ll stop feeling like you’re on a seesaw and will be at ease, at peace, and this is what your mind and body need. 

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- MARCUS AURELIUS

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