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negativity: the (not so) silent killer

Negativity is poison to the mind, body and soul.  It really should come labeled with a warning from the Surgeon General.  It’s an absolutely devastating epidemic that is spreading quickly and relentlessly across the globe.  And yet most of society seems unaware or perhaps simply uneducated about the impact of its presence. If an illness of any other type were to wreak as much havoc as negativity does each and every day, it’d be front page news and we’d be making efforts to quarantine those afflicted and protect the rest of society from becoming infected.  But very few individuals seem to desire to invest the time necessary to understand the true effects of negativity. In fairness, its impact can be very difficult to quantify.  But one thing that we do know for certain is that much of what we recognize as disease originates from stress on the body, leading to the physical ailments that we label and treat accordingly with medicine.  A body with disease is simply a one that is not “at ease”.  And negativity is often a major factor in disrupting the balance essential to keeping us healthy and functioning at optimal levels.

Admittedly, I was not born with a smile on my face and a willingness to offer a positive outlook towards everything that life was going throw my way.  It’s taken a very arduous journey in self-realization and faith for me to construct a healthier mindset and commit to promoting more positive outcomes in the lives of others.  I’ve had to work through a load of deep-rooted, negative conditioning that led me astray for the majority of my years on this earth.  And to this day, I am nowhere near perfect.  I still slip back into my old patterns of thinking and behavior from time to time.  But now I generally recover very quickly.  I am far more aware of the presence of negativity today than I ever was before.  And thankfully now that I’m more cognizant, I’m able to routinely escape its most devastating effects on my life.  There is great opportunity for protection and response with awareness, as there is with any other disease present in this world.

It wasn’t until I truly hit my bottom with anxiety that I began to understand the impact that negativity could have on both my mental and physical well-being.  When I was reborn in my faith and invited to confront my demons, I came to view things as I never had before.  Somehow my senses became perfectly tuned in to absolutely everything around me.  It’s as though I could finally see and feel things in their true light, as if the veil had been lifted from my eyes and heart.  And while that sounds wonderful (and it truly was) it was also a bit overwhelming from time to time.  Because being in the presence of negativity and darkness felt deeply uncomfortable to me.  And I became much more aware of where it resided.  The unfortunate thing that I came to understand was that it was present in many of the areas of my life where I had spent a considerable amount of time in my past.  So in order to get myself to a healthy place, I learned that I needed to cut some ties and prepare myself to better handle certain things that I couldn’t immediately release.

With God’s mercy and grace backing me, I worked extremely hard to pull myself from the depths of despair and overcome some of the worst anxiety that a person could ever know.  And in order to make the strides that I did, I had to be extremely diligent in my efforts.  The slightest misstep could send me spiraling back down to the dark abyss where life was virtually unlivable.  It took great awareness for me to restore myself from an agoraphobic mind to one that could function normally again.  I knew that I had to escape negativity whenever possible, because I recognized it as a completely destructive obstacle in the way of my progress.  When subjected to it, it was literally as though I was swallowing poison.  My body would shake, my chest would get tight, and I would feel deeply uncomfortable in the environment that I was in.  Those symptoms prompted me to make some tough decisions about how I wanted to live my life and where and with whom I wanted to spend my time.  And I’m thankful today for the pain that I felt in the presence of negativity because that adversity helped me to make the choices necessary to promote a better future for myself and those around me.

Sometimes you don’t realize how devastating something is until you find yourself in a vulnerable place where you need those around you and the environment in which you reside to serve as catalysts for your healing.  Many people spend their lives beating down their bodies with negativity.  But it won’t likely be until they are ill with disease that they will question what led them there.  And often, that’s a point in time when it’s too late to reverse the damage.  You may not see the effects now, but trust me negativity is having an impact on your life.  Take it from someone who has witnessed its strength first hand.  Its effects on the mind and body are horrific.

I encourage you to not waste another minute of your life fostering negativity.  Learn to identify its presence, first within yourself, and then within those around you.  And begin making every effort to eliminate it from your life.  Choose your friends and acquaintances wisely.  Get involved with people who promote positivity with their thoughts, words, and actions.  Flood your brain with positive reinforcement in moments when you are most vulnerable.  I often listen to motivational audiobooks and speeches before bed to ensure that I dream well and rest easy.  Whatever your personal needs may be, choose to take the steps to overcome your susceptibility to negativity.  It will be the best decision you have ever made for your future.

May God Bless!