The Power of Negativity

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Negativity: the kick in the pants that keeps on kicking.

Negativity is like bacteria. As it enters the mind it spreads like a virus at multiplying rates until it consumes all positive thinking, and the hard truth of the matter, is that you believe it all. A diseased mind does not know it is sick just as a negative mind doesn’t recognize its negative thoughts.

When we reach this point, we lose control over our emotions and we are controlled by circumstances with very little ability to dig ourselves out of this deep hole. We are less happy, more emotional, and feel helpless in controlling the outcome of our life. We are but a leaf blowing in the wind, hoping to rise to the heavens, but the worldly forces are too strong and too much to keep us afloat.

Ralph Waldo Emerson says it best:

“Condition circumstances instead of being conditioned by them!”

Who has the power? Do you have the power to condition life’s circumstances, or have you surrendered or given up a long time ago to negative thinking?  Of course you haven’t.

No one goes out of their way to think negatively. No one decides they want to be a downer and try to enjoy life less (aka Party Pooper). It is usually a slow descent brought on by allowing our mind the freedom to be too strongly impacted by short-term emotions without mental checks and balances. When you are bothered and a negative emotion is activated, how do you mentally respond? Do you sulk, complain, or hate? Or do make a solid effort to find something positive, stay calm, or search for a solution instead of focusing on the problem? If you are on the downward slide, it’s much easier to recognize your path and change it before you fall completely into the abyss of negativity and are more sour than a grapefruit.

So, what tends to happen to negative people?

  • More stressed
  • Decreased Health
  • Unstable or Strained Relationships. The relationships they keep tend to be imbalanced and unsupportive because negative people thrive with other negative people.
  • Typically Not as Successful. They do not make good leaders and tend to be stuck in their current position and enjoy complaining about it instead of doing something about it.
  • More Emotionally Unstable – Negative thinking doesn’t attempt to prohibit unjustified emotions from being expressed.
  • Have less self-control, and less self-motivated.
  • Overall, are less satisfied with their life and their ability to change it.

These are but a few factors you can find if you research the outcomes of negative thinkers. No one wants to be around negative people, and I don’t recommend it, but let’s talk about some ways to ensure that you are not the deadweight that pulls everyone else down.

How to train the brain to fight negativity:

  • Awareness! You need to be able to recognize your brain’s weaknesses before you can deal with them. Or an analogy, you must first notice the weeds in your garden before you can pull them out.Our thoughts are guided by the words we think. Change the structure and make it positive… our brain will get the idea and will deal with the rest.
  • Stop Complaining! If you have a choice between doing nothing, and complaining… do nothing! Complaining is the land where all productivity goes to die, and not only that, you annoy and bring down everyone else who is within earshot to hear you! Become aware of hearing your own voice complaining, and do your best to make a positive spin on the situation, laugh it off, or just SHUT UP.
  • Realize that negativity robs you of happiness and your mental peace of mind. Positive thinking is not just something you have to decide to do; it’s something you have to work hard to keep! Just as negativity builds over time and is easy to fall into, positivity takes time to reestablish and is difficult work!
  • Don’t focus on your discomforts; focus on how you can establish more comforts, DAILY. An initial factor of a bad day is the expectation of a bad day. If you are dreading going to work, giving a presentation, or talking with your boss… this creates a baseline for the brain’s expectation, and your brain likes nothing more than to fulfill your desires and wishes. Unfortunately, the brain doesn’t recognize if it is negative or positive and only tries to fulfill what you give your conscious attention to… good or bad! Sometimes when you focus on the bad part of our day, we forget to enjoy the good things that happen (even the little things), such as a hot shower, a morning coffee, going out to lunch with a friend, the feeling of a job well done after completing a project, a quiet ride home, a home and family to come home to, a comfortable bed, etc!
  • Positive Mind-Chatter – Self-talk is something that everyone does but when we are instructed to talk positively to ourselves, some people look at you as if you are crazy. Everything we say to ourselves consciously or unconsciously is actively programming the brain for failure/success, happiness/depression, positive/negative, and will lead you to self-fulfilling prophecies. So, get in charge of your self-talk, improve your mind, and improve your life!
  • Learn what makes you happy and promotes positive thinking and do it as often as possible. Hang out with positive people, do something you are good at, listen to positive audios, or watch happy movies.
  • Read the Power of Positivity.

Important: Learn to Recognize

Negativity is a vicious, vicious cycle and once it becomes a developed habit, it is more difficult to stop. Everyone deals with negative thoughts on a day-to-day basis, yet it is how you deal with them that will change your life. The most important idea to learn from this talk is recognition! Recognize your thoughts and where they are leading you, and you will equip yourself with the ability to make the change. You have the choice to allow a negative thought to finish, add more negative thoughts to follow, or you can stop them abruptly before they have time to spread.

Unfortunately, negativity does not work like a magnet and attracts its opposite.  It loves to attract other negative people, because people actually enjoy (in a twisted way) sharing pains and struggles, and battling over who gets to complain next. Do yourself a favor and don’t join in on these Negativity Fests.

A Happier World

The world is made a happier place when you are positive. Positive people are easy to spot and they can brighten up a room, a workplace, or even the queue at the DMV.

Recently, I walked into a Wendy’s and met a beautiful old lady by the name of Karen who was running the register. She had worked there for over 7 years and couldn’t be happier than a puppy getting a belly rub.

She was all smiles and wanted to know how she could make MY day better. As it turned out, before Wendy’s she spent 15 years at McDonalds and 7 years at Dairy Queen! In my experience, long-term fast-food workers tend to get a little calloused and downtrodden. This amazing woman enjoyed every second at work; and she was 75 years old and didn’t look a day over 70!

After talking to a few co-workers, they mentioned how they actually look forward to coming to work when they find out Karen is working. The other managers just yell and get angry, yet they are pleased to work just as hard when Karen is there. She is making those around her positive and happy just by practicing positive thinking.

In Summary

I use the title ‘The Power of Negativity’ and the ‘Power of Positivity’ because our line of thinking is definitely a power; it has control over many areas of life. It has an effect on the people around us, outcomes of the day, and our overall enjoyment of life. Everyone has a choice to make and when asked, everyone will obviously choose Positivity. Yet, it’s apparent that not everyone does consciously make the decision to think and live that way. It is hard work, and it can be a long road and improvement is made day-by-day. When you feel you have reached the state you have desired, it is still a challenge to maintain… be diligent of your thoughts, and reap the benefits every day!

What do you think?  Is a positive or negative mindset that big of a deal?  Do we need to be mindful and work on it, or does it come naturally?

This post was written by

Greg has written 69 articles on Student of Me.

Greg is the creator and primary writer for Student of Me. He probably spends way too much time on the computer writing, researching, programming, and working on his photography. He loves escaping from screen-time to travel, ride his motorcycle, experience the outdoors and spend time with loved ones. You can contact him at greg (at)!

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2 thoughts on “The Power of Negativity”

  1. Barbara says:

    Great article. I found SoM because I googled “how to get out of a funk”. I had this tab open all day and kept coming back to it when I could read a bit more. I feel a lot better. I was so surprised to see just how deeply I got into this particular funk. It swallows you whole and it’s pretty hard to stop that flow once it gets a hold.
    I think, for me, it starts when I have too much going on and can’t even pick one item to work on. The picture gets too big. Then I’m overwhelmed. And suddenly it’s all hopeless and on and on and on………..
    Thanks for working on this blog! I’m subscribing and will keep reading.

    1. Greg Yung says:

      That is wonderful to hear Barbara! Funks are suppose to be temporary but can last a long time if the light at the end of the tunnel feels so far away. When I get into a funk, I find it sticks around if I don’t take the time to take a step back and reflect on everything going on and consciously choose my next steps. I also remind myself that ‘this too shall pass’ and spend time focusing on happier or less stressful times and realize that there will be more!

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