Last week I posted an article about fighting depression. The article got a lot of positive feedback what made me happy. This super positive mood stayed with me until next morning. Few days after, I got a negative comment criticizing my article. A reader did not like that I share my ways to fighting mental illness and commented that I may not only affect people negatively but also that it makes me responsible for their possible failures.
My article was not to propagate neglecting medical treatments that shall accompany mental illnesses. What I meant was to point out that medication should be accompanied by therapy and training the behaviors. Whatever my intention was, though, I got scared that the reader is right.
One day has passed. Then the next one. I kept receiving positive feedback for exactly the same article, but couldn’t stop to worry. I couldn’t stop thinking about this one negative feedback. How is it possible that with 20 positive comments, the only one that I have in my head is the negative one?
Learning how to deal with this negativity I found TEDx video. Alison Ledgerwood describes in it my problem. She explains it with the experiment she conducted. Within two groups of people, she and her partner were presenting the same facts but in two perspectives. One group was learning about a medical procedure that has 70% rate of success and other about exactly same procedure but described as having 30 % rate of failure. As expected people liked the procedure seeing it through its successes and didn’t when seeing it through fails. That was not the end of the experiment, though. Then Alison and her partner tried to shift participants perspectives. To the first group, they advised seeing the procedure through 30 % failure rate, and to the second group seeing it through its 70% success rate. This shift of perspective caused the first group to stop liking the procedure but didn’t cause the second group to like it.
These results were surprising, so following curiosity, Alison and her partner conducted another experiment. This time they gave participants a simple math problem but presented from two perspectives of gain or losses. In results, they have learned that it took approximately 7 seconds to solve the puzzle when converting from gains to losses and more than 11 seconds when converting from losses to gains. It means that it took participants far longer to solve the puzzle shifting from losses to gains.
What I learned from these experiments and Alison’s speech is that it is easier to be brought down to negatives, than to be brought up to positives. As she says it takes (almost) physical work to convert your thinking.
Unfortunately, our minds are created to pick up from environment all the bad things first, not noticing the good ones but let’s do not stick to this pessimistic vision. Our behaviors and our minds can be easily trained and we can learn how to pick up from everyday events what is positive.
Maybe some of you recall, me mentioning a while ago, a reason why I started blogging. My very first idea of the blog was to have a daily journal of five things that made me proud of myself that day. It was my way to bring positives to my mind. It took only a few weeks for me to shift my thinking and start seeing all that is good all around. With time I have learned few more ways to exercise my thinking. Here are practices that help me to go through the day without sticking to negatives:
Listing each day things I am grateful for helps me to appreciate what I have and forget these things that I don’t have.
Calming down anxieties through practices that help me to keep balance and peace in my mind such as yoga, meditation or spending time in nature.
Keep my mind focused on following my daily schedule, causes I lack time to fall in despair. (it sounds dramatic, but works like a charm)
4. EAT, DRINK & SLEEP.
Cos I can’t be positive while being hungry, thirsty or tired.
5. SHARE POSITIVE ENERGY.
Sharing my positive energy causes people around me to be happier. Happier people create a positive environment, therefore there is no place for negativity.
6. FOLLOW THE PASSION.
Following my passion gives me satisfaction, what later on results in feeling happier.
And on the more positive side for the end of this post, I looove these mules <3 What do you think of them?
How do you fight sticking to negatives? What are your ways to go through the day with positive vibes? Let me know, I would love to learn something new.
shirt LECOMTE (thrifted)/ denim LEVIS (thrifted)/bag ZARA (thrifted)/
shoes (HERE) & glasses H&M