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  • Writer's pictureLara Ozarslan

Embracing Positivity: Choosing the Path of Growth by Creating Distance from Negativity

Maintaining a positive mindset in the presence of negativity

It's not uncommon that we all of us have individuals in our lives, who honestly speaking, have a negative impact on us. In fact, even if we're not always in the best mood, spending significant time with someone who tends to be negative can be emotionally exhausting. Moreover, the people we surround ourselves with play a significant role in our lives. If we consistently subject ourselves to negative influences, their attitudes and emotions can seep into our own being, depleting our sense of well-being and inner peace. Eventually, their perpetual lack of enthusiasm can even distort our own perspective on the world. Remember this saying? That goes like ..."Surround yourself with those who elevate and inspire you, for the influence of the people around you shapes the person you become."

Emotions are contagious and according to Dr. Sherrie Bourg Carter, “Negativity keeps pounding away at you and ultimately results in significant second-hand stress, which as you might expect, has the same effects on your mind and body as direct stress. The body experiences and interprets it as one and the same.”

Habitually negative people cannot be left unaddressed. The following five strategies have definitely helped me to up the level of positivity:

1. Stop agreeing: You teach people how to treat you. Continuing to nod along to someone’s ‘this is awful’ rant. If you disagree, say so.

2. Set boundaries and self guard your mind: Politely but firmly redirect conversations. Do your best and let go.

3.Balance it out: Surround yourself with people who bring you up and seek the silver lining.

4.Redirect their energy: In Aikido, you're taught that when someone attacks you, you don't push directly back. Instead, you direct the energy elsewhere.

We show up to work as imperfect people and we are navigating this strange world in imperfect ways. You are only in control of your own behavior. Negative people will always exist, but you don’t have to let them seep into your day and hijack your mood.


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