At least once a day, I catch myself complaining about something. Usually, it’s about how tired I am, how I don’t think I have anything to wear, how I have so much to clean, or how I have so much to do—even if I created the situation myself. The other day I think I complained about all of that in one felt swoop. Then called the kettle black.
Nevertheless, there always seems to be something. Then I check myself and realize all my complaining really isn’t necessary, and it’s just as bad as whining, worrying, and being cynical. The bottomline is that negativity never helps a situation, any way it comes.
Turning Things Around
So how do we turn this around? Well, it takes focus and a lot of effort. We’ve got to be conscious of what we are thinking, what we are saying, and what we are doing because it affects the people around us.
Philippians 4:8 in the Bible says,
“whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
And whether you are Christian or not, these are great things to meditate on. Who wants to spend all their time hearing about things that are bad, things that are unjust, things that aren’t lovely and things that aren’t going well in your life? I certainly don’t.
I’ve also learned we have to put ourselves in each other’s shoes and treat others the way we’d want to be treated. Just as much as I hate to hear what seems like worrying or complaining from my husband or others I know, I know they’d hate to hear it from me just as much.
Stopping Negativity Before It Starts
There are always days I get the urge to be negative, but I try not to give in. And these three things make that easier to do:
1. Think “will saying or doing this it change my situation for the better or make the person I’m talking to feel any better?”
In many cases, the answer is no so it doesn’t need to be said.
2. Think of a positive thought to counter my negative thought
negative thought – “I am so tired and I don’t want to go to work”
positive thought – “I am glad to be alive another day and have a job to go to.”
3. Stop focusing on myself. Encourage someone else or do something for someone else.
Focusing on someone else keeps me from spending more time dwelling on all my negative thoughts. Sometimes, it even changes my mood.
What do you do to avoid being negative?