Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Negative or Positive?

Are you negative, does your battery need a bit of positive charge like my land rover???
(c'mon had to get my landy in here somewhere)

“Negative, grumpy, glass half empty?
Blaming everyone else? You can find plenty!
Bad day, no cash, too many problems to handle,
Other people just ruining your life like vandals?” ©LH2012

Does this sound like your journey so far?

Grumpy old man/women syndrome I have heard it termed; moaning, complaining, negative, doom and gloom. Here is a thought, what if it is just a case of the brain taking the easiest path and blaming everyone but ourselves and what if we have been conditioned to just resorting to complaining and being negative?

I am the worst culprit ever in this trap, and any NLP bods out there will automatically be blowing that claim out of the water, I can hear them shouting, really, worst ever, what makes you think that, according to who and how do I know that! So, okay, maybe a slight exaggeration but I am top of the game at finding a problem and moaning, then getting myself into a negative state and all is lost!

An observation: In past research and recent work I have learnt that there is some truth in the idea that being around negative people can have some impact in creating or perpetuating the downward frame of mind.  I have discussed before about Facebook, make a negative status update and many will happily jump on the bandwagon and join in! Put a happy status update and most times you will get no comment! Why do we choose to behave like this, why do we not only extend our own negative-ness but also join in with others? Is it the pack instinct? Is it a social ‘thing’ to join in the doom and gloom? Could this too be evidence that we are conditioned into being negative and complaining? Is it just the ‘norm’?

For whatever reason it appears this is an issue we all face daily, regardless of why we act this way. 

So what can we do about it?

A huge action that can help is being mindful and actively assertive when spotting this behaviour. 
In issue 45 of The Green Parent I recently came across  http://www.acomplaintfreeworld.org/ in an article by Gemma Crutchfield p. 17-18. The basic idea of a complaint free world is going 21days without complaining, you can purchase a purple wristband and every time you find yourself moaning, talking about others and being negative, you swap the band to the other wrist. You are actively acknowledging the frame of mind and mind set. You gradually become mindful to this mind set and actively seek out being positive and showing gratitude in your life and everything around you and you end up not having to swap the band between wrists.
Sounds easy?
Well here is your challenge - try it for just a few hours!
Actively note each time you are negative or complain – how many times would you have swapped wrists!!! Let me know how you get on!

Another action is be actively mindful of others around you whom are negative. Be pro-active and take on board at a personal level that this is the individuals belief, respect this and move on.  You could suggest a positive input to the situation where possible, however caution and tact are the keywords.
How about when you see a positive status update, jump on the positive bandwagon! Make it your mission for the day to tweet or update your Facebook with a happy factoid or feeling?

Other actions that my clients have found useful are:
·         Mantra’s: Where you  repeat  a positive statement reinforcing a positive idea or action.  For example, you have an interview and feel unconfident, negative and doomed to failure - you keep repeating, maybe write it down somewhere you can see it, the phrase ‘I am confident in interviews and the job is mine’.
·         Writing the negative-ness down: often just by making a note of the situation is enough to slow down the path of negative doom. Through the action of physically writing it and you then see it in writing, this act alone releases the feeling.  This is similar to keeping a journal or writing a letter to get your thoughts and feelings out of your system.

So this week, join me, be positive and reduce the complaining.