Negative thinking and subsequent emotions are probably two of our worst enemies, and not just because we are feeling down, frustrated or overwhelmed with negativity… What impact can these thoughts have? Here’s a rundown of their terrible effect on our lives. They:
- Kill productivity
Can you fully concentrate on the present moment when you’re overwhelmed by worry, fear, emotional pain or other negative emotions? I didn’t think so! You can’t be productive without completely focusing on what you do. You are ‘doing your thing’ but at the same time you’re not really there; your brain is gummed up with negativity. You could be stuck in this rut for hours, days or even months. In some extreme cases, people can’t escape this damaging cycle for years. It is well-established that we, as human beings, are incapable of engaging our full concentration on more than one thing at a time; if you are doing more than one thing at once, you’re already not 100% focused. Your attention is diluted. Very often, negative thoughts completely dominate us. What happens next? We lose our connection with reality, and as a result, experience a drop in productivity.
- Supress creativity
When we do this it is impossible to be fully creative, and we carry out tasks on auto-pilot. We become remote, detached and mentally disconnected from our surroundings. What could we make without creativity? You’ve got it – nothing of real value. I haven’t even touched the topics of inspiration or motivation, which vanish instantly when ‘bad’ thoughts emerge. Passions are supressed, and the fire of life is doused by a flood of painful memories and negative thoughts.
- Activate fears
As we dwell on those negative things in our lives we increasingly fear the uncertainties of the future, and consequently our levels of anxiety rise. Negativity has regenerative characteristics: We think it’s conquered, but it can quickly take root again with only the slightest of triggers. It can also grow with astonishing rapidity, overwhelming us almost without warning. Memories of old grievances, lost opportunities, frustrating and anger-inducing situations and people who have, in some way, abused us, may all form part of the dismal mental fog in which we find ourselves, and which distorts our perception of ourselves and the world around us.
Our brain becomes locked into a sort of confirmation bias, in which we only see the negative things which happen around us and use those selective events to reinforce our world-view. It is a self-perpetuating cycle which can turn our world into a personal hell full of imaginary monsters and personal demons. Always try to remember that the ‘reality’ we perceive at these times is a fiction, created by our mind when drugged with negativity.
- Affect your vibrations
How do you feel when constantly surrounded by abusive people, unfairness and cruelty? I imagine that the answer is “miserable”. Always keep in mind that your feelings determine the energy (vibrations) you radiate. As soon as you start feeling dejected and apathetic, other people will sense your vibrations and treat you accordingly. I knew one talented young man who was always unfairly treated by his colleagues and peers. Their behaviour toward other people was completely different, however; something he was constantly aware of. Finally, he was fired with no explanation and a few days later his girlfriend left him. When I asked him why it happened his answer was simply, “Those people are stupid”. It was difficult to believe his argument that absolutely everybody around him was both foolish and blind, and didn’t see his amazing qualities and personality. That young man was, in fact, vibrating on a very aggressive and arrogant frequency, which people picked up on. It was for that reason that they distanced themselves from him, partly as a protective mechanism. Why was he aggressive? Probably because of his past fears and anxieties. He tried to hide his internal insecurities behind scorn and criticism, adopting a position of ‘attack is the best form of defence’.
The moral? You get exactly what you give.
- Affect communicative skills
You cannot interact with others productively when vibrating, let’s say, on a frequency of fear or anger. Even if you mask your true feelings with a friendly smile and polite demeanour, people will sense your vibration anyway. Moreover, sugar-coated negativity always tastes even worse. Can you imagine a piece of rotten fish coated with the finest Swiss chocolate? Both start smelling awful, don’t they?
- Hold you from achieving your goals
Summarising all of the above points, negativity holds you back from achieving your goals, rendering you unable to fully concentrate, express creativity, and properly interact with other people in a truly friendly and collaborative way. Negativity generates ever more negativity, leading to a vicious circle which can have a devastating impact on our quality of life.
By increasing your levels of self-awareness, and through perseverance, you can break out of that circle. Try starting today.