While you may have tried mindfulness, yoga, sleep, or even watching comedy to wipe out negativity from your life, you might be wondering why it still lingers?!
The answer is because you need to go on a diet. Only this time, it’s a healthy one.
Instead of fasting from food, you will actually be fasting from negativity.
Writer Katie Hoare says that a negativity fast is the practise of “actively tuning out of the negativity around you and reframing your mindset to a more automatic positive approach”.
So far, so good. But isn’t it easier said than done?
Well, the good news is you don’t have to sign up for an expensive course, you simply need to acknowledge when you’re spiralling into a cycle of unkind thoughts and retrain your mind.
In the article, there are four top tips to guide you on the mission which involve understanding just how much negativity you consume and stopping it in its tracks.
First up, is to acknowledge negativity.
This means, being conscious of when you’re struggling with negative thoughts rather than just allowing them to seep into your unconscious and bury themselves there.
It is believed that this puts negative thinking under the microscope and by becoming aware, your thought processes become clearer and consequently you can take action to say adios to negative situations such as time on social media or challenging relationships.
Speaking about this approach, counsellor Joanne Greaves said: “Constantly focusing on the negative things in life has an effect on the brain and switches up our overall anxiety levels, telling us we’re in danger and that we need to be on high alert.
“Our mind starts to come up with ways to keep us safe, in the form of negative scenarios of things that could happen, to try to pre-empt the perceived danger.”
Secondly, you need to set an intention.
By setting goals, we avoid making snap decisions that could do more harm than good (and make us wish we could rewind the clocks on certain behaviours).
It is also said that creating a new habit such as daily mindfulness or practicing affirmations can take 66 days to form, meaning trying new positive ways of thinking will need to be done repetitively over this time in order to break the cycle of the negativity.
Writing your intentions in a journal can be a helpful way to implement the new habits as it allows you to revisit them and ask yourself if you’ve applied them. You can even give yourself gold stars!
Number three, is managing negative influences.
Yet while deleting accounts that leave you feeling neggy is one thing, what about real-life friends and family who have a knack for sapping the energy from you?
When cutting people out isn’t always an option, then practising meditation or mindfulness can help you to observe the thoughts of frustration and see the situation objectively.
Joanne explained: “With regular practise, you learn to observe and give space to thoughts and accept that they are just thoughts and let them pass in their own time.
“This can be very difficult if your anxiety is high but setting a small amount of time every day to practise gets the mind in the habit of letting thoughts pass.”
Last but not least on the negativity fast, you have to reframe your mindset.
Essentially, this means recognising your triggers then managing them so that you don’t begin to spiral into a negative thought loop.
To help spot things that make you tick, you can start to keep a tracker of when you feel anxious or explore talking therapy with a counsellor or support group.
Gratitude is also the Holy Grail when it comes to reframing the mind as it silences negativity by focusing on good fortune. And it’s damn tricky to be negative and thankful at the same time!
Good luck on your fasting and wishing you success on your mind travels.