We all dream of living a meaningful, happy, and positive life. Accomplishing this means living life to the fullest. Every moment has a special importance that carves an imprint in your life, character, or personality. Happiness can be influenced by the way you think; and your thoughts can lead you into action. As Confucius said, “The more a man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large.”1 When you remove negative things from your life, you can put your energy toward a more positive life—for yourself and others.
Carl Jung wisely stated, “We cannot change anything until we accept it.”2 Identifying the negative aspects, understanding them, and accepting them are the first crucial steps for filtering out the negativity. After noticing what can be dealt with and let go of, focus on meditation. Contemplate the beauty life has to offer. Read a book, listen to a beautiful song, go for a walk, go to the gym, or meet a friend—fill your time with pleasant activities that will reduce negativity in your life. Being present in every aspect of your life—by living in the moment—can help redirect your negative thoughts. The past is gone, and the future is yet to come; the present is your focus.
We can retrain our brain to think differently, allowing us to act differently. Though a seemingly involved concept, it’s not that complicated; but it does take time. It may be hard at the beginning, but it’s definitely worth the effort. Everyone has negative thoughts; the difference is that some people have conditioned themselves to actively address those thoughts. You can do the same:
- Catch yourself in the act of thinking negative thoughts, recognize them, then shift your focus to something positive. Engage in positive activities, such as work or helping someone in need. You will give yourself and others a beautiful gift.
- Start a journal. Writing is a technique that has helped many people during difficult times. When you write, you download from your mind all the negative elements that have been torturing you. It will be as if you have shared your pain with a friend who understands without judgement.
- Ask for help. Consult a therapist if necessary; it’s better to be safe than sorry. Sometimes when you try to hide your problems, they only become worse. Don’t let negativity be the culprit for anxiety and its consequences. Consider asking for help from a loved one; it is not a sign of weakness, for no one can be strong forever.
- Accept life for what it is. There are things beyond your powers. You cannot change everything and everyone around you. If you cannot change it, leave the outside world the way it is. Focus on your inner world where you do have control and where it is your responsibility, and yours alone.
Negativity comes in many forms—from a family member or a friend who appeared to be something else but later showed their true colors, to an unfortunate circumstance that befell you. Negativity is always lurking, and it’s easy to fall victim to it, but you can choose to let the world know you can be better than this. Reading can offer the experience of the people of the past. We have learned that whatever you are exposed to, you will reflect in your life. If you fill your mind with a certain genre of books, your mind will reflect that knowledge. Whether you read history, poetry, religion, or something else, what you’ve read directly affects your way of thinking. The people you meet are no exception. As with everyone else, your mindset can be affected by the people around you: either positively or negatively. The jealous will always be jealous. Ignore them and let your success speak for you. Surround yourself with positive people who see the best in you and care about your well-being.
Unfortunate events occur. You cannot change many facts, events, and experiences that negatively impact you, but you can change the way you perceive them. Sometimes the problems are not as serious as they seem to be. Having a positive outlook, or simply said, being more optimistic about life, is the way to go—for the glass is always half full if we choose to believe so.
Don’t focus on what is wrong or on what went badly, because you have a lot to cherish and be happy about. No one’s life is perfect; we all share more or less the same sufferings. We all are humans. And what makes us human is our mistakes, flaws, and errors. It is better to accept not only life for what it is, but also yourself for who you are. Don’t let anyone judge you, and, in turn, don’t judge others. Ifeanyi Enoch Onuoha has given good advice: “Don’t judge yourself by your past, you don’t live there anymore.”3 Nor should you judge yourself from what has happened to you, because as Carl Jung perfectly stated, “I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to be.” 4
1. Confucius quoted in AZ QUOTES, accessed October 17, 2020, https://www.azquotes.com/quote/62127?ref=meditating.
2. Flavia Medrut, “15 Most Enlightening Carl Jung Quotes,” GoalCast, January 23, 2018..“https://www.goalcast.com/2018/01/23/15-enlightening-carl-jung-quotes/.
3. Ifeanyi Enoch Onuoha quoted in Pam Stanton, “Don’t Judge Yourself by Your Past! You Don’t Live There Anymore!” [Pinterest post], Pinterest,
4. Medrut, “15 Most Enlightening Carl Jung Quotes.”
“How to Block Negativity from Your Life,” Becoming Natasha. October 2, 2017. https://www.becomingnatasha.com/life/how-block-negativity-from-your-life.
Maros, Michelle. “4 Steps to Filtering Out the Negatives in Your Life.” Peaceful Mind PeacefulLife (blog). Accessed October 15, 2020. https://peacefulmindpeacefullife.org/4-steps-to-filter-out-the-negatives-in-your-life/.
O’Donnell, J. T. “4 Steps to Quickly Kill Off Negative Self-Talk.” Inc. October 26, 2015. https://www.inc.com/jt-odonnell/4-step-fix-for-that-nagging-negative-self-talk.html.
Star Katharina. “Mental Filters and Panic Disorder: Conquer Your Negative Thinking and Perceptions by Reframing.” Verywell Mind (blog). Updated July 14, 2019. https://www.verywellmind.com/mental-filters-and-panic-disorder-2584186.