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How to Thrive When Everything Feels Terrible

How to Thrive When Everything Feels Terrible
Five strategies to combat toxic negativity.


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Surrounded By Negativity

Surrounded By Negativity

There seems to be negativity all around us, no matter where we go. Stress is part of our interaction with family, friends, coworkers or the world at large. Mainstream media and social networks aren’t helping either.

Negativity in large doses, a staple diet of the metro cities, has many toxic effects like a decrease in motivation and performance, along with violent and dysfunctional thought patterns. Long term negative thoughts are associated with cognitive decline and other mental issues.




Countering Toxicity: The Art Of Thriving

Thriving is a psychological state when one has a sense of growth, vitality, development, along with positive energy. People who thrive are never stagnated or feed depleted, but are healthy, resilient and focused.

The inevitable stress, negativity and distractions are buffered in thriving individuals, who are confident and in control of the situation, rather than being in self-doubt or misery.



How To Build The Thriving Muscle

  1. Avoid negative consumption of news and media, and do not spend time with negative people.
  2. Watch your words, as what you say has a habit of manifesting. Saying negative stuff the whole day aloud will ensure that positive energy is far away from your environment.
  3. Repeated negative exposure can be contagious, hurting us and others too. It is better to stay neutral, in the moment and adopt a growth mindset. One has to focus on what can be done, rather than playing the blame game.
  4. Practice gratitude to stack up the ‘positivity bucket’ and counter the negative energy. An attitude of gratitude makes us happier and stress-free, assisting us in achieving our goals.
  5. Manage your energy levels by exercising, having a nutritious diet, and getting plenty of sleep. Poor sleep is associated with a host of mental issues and can be detrimental to one’s thriving threshold.
  6. Seek positive relationships and people who energize you, make you laugh and smile, lifting your spirits.




We all feel overwhelmed at times

We all feel overwhelmed at times

We all have days where we feel overwhelmed. Yet, we still need to get things done.

When handled right, work can have a grounding effect that can help you through these days...

When feeling overwhelmed, focus on a familiar activity

Find a task on your to-do list that is satisfying but not challenging - for example, writing a newsletter you've been doing for years.

When we perform highly familiar tasks, it's easy to get absorbed in them and go with the flow. A task that you can finish in one sitting will also give you a sense of accomplishment.

Do an unfamiliar task you’ve been avoiding

On a low day, tasks that you struggle to do in your time off can be the ideal choice. You could also try working on a task that's aspirational and creative. It will help you feel like a competent person whose life is in order.

When people feel low or short on self-confidence, they tend to retreat. When you act as though you have confidence in your ideas and capacities, it provides you with an antidote.

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Accepting that you can't do everything

Accepting that you can't do everything

The antidote to chronic overwhelm is accepting that you cannot do it all.

Prioritizing means embracing the limits of your time and your energy, and taking back control of y...

Things worth prioritizing in life

There are some general areas that all of us should prioritize in order to function well and generally make life worthwhile. These areas are:

  • Health and fitness. Bad health and fitness habits add up over time and have a knock-on effect in other areas of our lives.
  • Sleep and rest. Inadequate sleep leads to unstable emotions, impaired learning, imbalanced hormones and a compromised cardiovascular system.
  • Friends, family, and relationships. It's hard to mend relationships once they've been frayed. Be proactive about being the connector and decide beforehand what you won't miss out on.
  • Productive work. Instead of working harder, we should work smarter (more strategically.)

Things to deprioritize

Intentionally take your focus away from distracting areas in your life.

  • Social media and entertainment. While they can add fun to our days, it's worth reducing how much time we spend on apps.
  • Busy work. These are tasks we do regularly but that fail to move us forward. These tasks should be delegated, automated, limited, or deleted.
  • Negativity. When we focus on the negative, we are prevented from seeing reality clearly. It is then important to be aware of your inner thoughts. Maintain a running record of positive things people say about you.

The negativity bias

The negativity bias

The negativity bias happens when a person dwells on a negative event for a long period of time.

We tend to register negative stimuli every time we go through displeasing si...

Signs of the negativity bias

  • Negative experiences constantly cross your mind more than positive ones.
  • You tend to relive insults more than praise.
  • You're able to recall traumatic situations better than positive events.

What evolution shows about the negativity bias

Paying attention to your surroundings is a typical human behavior exhibiting the will to survive. Being wary about the environment that you are in will make you more likely to survive and pass on your genes.

However, in the current era having negativity bias actually inhibits us to think rationally and make the right decisions.