How to keep negativity at bay and foster a healthier state of mind

Keeping your head up and remaining happy is sometimes easier said than done. Once you hit that stage where depression or pessimism kicks in, you can’t get rid of it as you would hunger or a cold; there’s no outright solution to it. Negative feelings can come from everywhere, that is why it’s so tricky. It can be a bad day at work, a series of unfortunate events (like the movie), or even a fight with your family or friends. You won’t know when it’ll hit you, but if you’re hit, you will be emotionally compromised to an extent, sometimes even physically. A worsened state of mind can spawn many negative byproducts such as lethargy, general indifference, depression, and pessimism. None of these things are good for you, so what can you do to keep them at bay?

Managing a negative state of mind can be especially difficult at this age when you have 24/7 access to the Internet, continuously exposing you to the noise and chaos happening around the world. Today, you can easily find yourself spiralling in negativity simply by being on the Internet even if you’re not having a bad day, worse if you are. There are two reasons for this. One, negative things tend to get more exposure than positive things because people react more to them. Scandals, rage-infused contents, and generally negative content make it to the mainstream side of the Internet because it gets people going. Now, a moderate amount of this is fine, but the thing about being on the Internet is that it is often not done moderately. Too much exposure to this interrupts your state of mind and will gradually make you feel negative and have a negative outlook on things. It may seem harmless at a glance, but it will certainly chip away at your positivity and cause you to feel more pessimistic.

The next factor is something I personally dub the “grass-is-greener-on-the-other-side” syndrome. Ever find yourself on Twitter, Instagram, or good ol’ Facebook, looking at pictures of your friends doing better than you? Once or twice is fine, but imagine this on a daily basis. Now, if you’re having a stellar day then it’s all peachy, everyone’s happy. What if it was one of those days when you’re not doing well? You see everyone around you doing well, does that make you feel better? No. In fact, you could (and usually) end up feeling worse about yourself, envying everyone who suddenly appears to do better than you. Your poor state of mind would go into overdrive as you wallow in your own sadness, and feelings of inferiority and jealously will surface. You may think the world is against you and only you, but in reality, everyone has their own problems; you’re merely seeing one aspect of their lives, not the entirety of it. The grass often appears to be greener on the other side, but looks can also often be deceiving.

All that said, the Internet is not inherently a bad thing. Simply being on it doesn’t worsen your state of mind. However, it is recommended that you navigate the Internet with more care. Two tips in regards to the Internet is to always do it in moderation (know your limit) and to tailor your use of it for your own good. If you know you’re having a bad day, try not to make it worse by being online more than you need to and looking at things that will make your mood worse. Stop when you should or use the Internet to find something to make your day better in the form of a good read or a fun video for starters.

What else can you do to foster a healthier mindset?

Hobbies are critically important to maintaining a good and healthy mindset. Often times after a rough day, you find yourself at a loss. You don’t know what to do to shake the negativity off you and end up just ending your day on a bitter note. This is where hobbies come in, they keep you motivated ahead of a rough day. Knowing you have something to look forward to even in your darkest times is more important to your mental health than you think. It keeps you motivated to move past a tough phase and provides you with a little extra positivity as you know that your day will eventually be better when you get to it. The thing about hobbies however is that you need to find them and it needs to be a routine. You need to instil a hobby and it needs to be something you enjoy deeply. So, take on many activities and see what strikes your fancy, if you do find something you like, spend time integrating it into your daily routine. I promise you, it will be a weapon unlike no other for you when the going gets tough.

While we’re on hobbies and routines, something extra to recommend is to establish a positive routine to reset your mind. The mind is a powerful thing. If you eat the same chewing gum multiple times while reading certain material, you can refresh your memory of the material in the future by eating the same type of chewing gum again. With that in mind, have a routine that is embedded in positivity to help you reset if you’re having a bad day. It can be something simple like stretching, deep breaths, or even a ritual such as drinking a cup of coffee or chewing a gum. Once you do something enough times, it will become second nature. So, make use of this to program yourself to always be on top of negativity with a routine that is embedded in positivity, you never know when it can help you.

Ultimately, different people deal with negativity differently. There is no guarantee anything written here can be of value to every reader who chances upon this. However, I sincerely hope that it does help and if not, at the very least spur an intent to try and attain a healthier state of mind.

Hartwick is a content writer under Headliner by Newswav, a programme where content creators get to tell their unique stories through articles and at the same time monetize their content within the Newswav app.
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Author: Hartwick

Eats chicken soup for the soul on a daily basis