Quit your negativity

Are you one of those people who isn’t happy unless you’re complaining? Do you always cast doubt on people’s plans and find reasons why they might not work? Are you quick to point out other people’s mistakes and errors but you’re oblivious to your own? Are you someone who shouts at other drivers from the safety of your car? Do you believe that people are basically bad and stupid, and that if you want anything to be done properly, you have to do it yourself?

If you are such a person, you might not even know it. You’ve never observed yourself from another’s point of view. You haven’t listened to yourself moan and whine. You forget about your tantrums, unlike others, who take your negativity home with them and let it drag them down into depression.

You might want to ask yourself if there is anything that you truly enjoy. If you can only come up with a short list of things you quite like (including ones like ‘going to sleep’ and ‘finishing work’) but your mind is flooded with thoughts of all the many things that you hate – bad TV, bad coffee, incompetent bosses, people who walk too slowly, people who talk too loudly, people who speak with strange accents, the way kids don’t seem to know anything or have any respect, etc. – then you’re probably suffering yourself. You might find that people don’t want to be around you and before you know it, you could be living a solitary and joyless life.

It’s probably the case that you don’t want to share your life with just anyone, and you don’t want to have to feign interest in pointless things in order to try to have fun. Nobody ever tried to have fun successfully. What you need to make sure of, is that you don’t drive away the kind of people whose company you enjoy, by constantly appearing to be passionless.

Working in a mind-numbing job can have a serious impact on your outlook and your mood. If there’s any chance that you could make your living doing something more stimulating, start looking into the possibility of doing so now. Even if you have to take a pay cut, it’s likely worth it for the sake of your mental health. There’s nothing more certain of making a person miserable for a long time than having to wake up every day and do a job which they hate or find intensely boring.

Another thing that will affect your mood is the amount of physical exercise you get. Simply taking a walk with the dog after dinner is great, but you might need something a little more strenuous to release those endorphins. If you don’t like the idea of rocking out your sweatpants and headband, why not quietly order a piece of home gym equipment from http://www.homerower.com/buying-guide/, get it delivered when your neighbors are out and work out on it in the privacy of your own home.

If you feel mentally unstimulated, it’s time to turn off the TV. Go and join the library. There are books about everything you can think of and many more things that you can’t think of. Take your time when reading – don’t try to rush through books. Read and re-read. Make notes and summaries. If you feel that reading is too much of a one way street and you’d like to participate in an intellectual conversation, you could join a study group or take an online course in a field which interests you. Who says you’re too old to go to university? It’s not a piece of paper with a qualification that you’re after – it’s the acquisition of knowledge and intellectual stimulation which motivates you.

The last thing is this: force yourself to smile a couple of times each day. Perhaps when you step into work and when you see the guy who annoys you the most. It will probably make people treat you with more warmth, and it will relax you. Once that’s done, every other little thing becomes that much easier. People might offer to help you with things unexpectedly, they might ask about your wellbeing. They might even strike up a conversation, and, who knows – it might turn out that they share just the same interests as you.

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