Negativity Fasting And How It Can Make You Happier
Surely you’re familiar with the downward spiral your mind takes when you start having those negative thoughts. You might be quick to beat yourself up about something you think you did wrong or second-guess a decision you made. Regardless, the spiral can be detrimental.
For getting through challenging times, life coach Luke Storey shares his most effective tool on a podcast episode of Bulletproof Radio.
Storey says negativity fasting “is a spiritual practice.” Though negativity fasting may sound easy, don’t underestimate its impact. Storey has hacked into drug addiction and childhood trauma using this method and leads a much healthier and happier life because of it.
Negative Thinking: The Neuroscience
Our brains can easily default to a repetitive pathway. Meaning, the more you repeat a mental habit, the more it can solidify and become your automatic response. So, the more you partake in negative thinking, the more likely you’ll continue with it in the future. By contrast, positive thinking leads to more positive thinking.
At first, positivity might feel forced. Trust that in the long term it’ll make a difference.
You should consider negativity fasting if you deal with anxiety, anger, depression, or racing thoughts. Here’s a how-to guide to help you take control of negative thinking.
Try Practicing Gratitude
Focusing on things you are grateful for can build up resilience against negative events and foster happiness. Doing this over and over can make it easier to deal with difficult times. Incorporate gratitude practices into your day and observe how you feel after some time.
Try cutting off negative thoughts as soon as they happen. Acknowledge your brain is spiraling with negative thoughts and interject with positive ones. Say you got a low score on an exam. Instead of belittling yourself for the low grade, try reminding yourself that you did the best you could and plan how you might improve for the next test.
By replacing negativity with positivity, you strengthen those positive pathways in your brain while also weakening the negative ones. With practice, you can revert naturally toward positive thinking.
Avoid Social Media And Online News
Your brain can’t always effectively differentiate between a fake and a real threat. If you see a news report about a terrible car accident or a shooting, your brain could perceive this as real. Humans didn’t evolve seeing pictures and news reports of every terrible thing that happens in the world. The fear and emotion center of your brain, the amygdala, reacts to online information in the same way it would if the event occurred right before your eyes.
Tragedy makes for great news reporting and media outlets take advantage of that. The more you see bad news, and the more you are exposed to fear, the more likely you’ll remember the negative reports and negative thoughts.
In order to fight this cycle, deleting social networks and unsubscribing from the news might offer the relief you need. So many people claim to have felt a difference within days of this information cleanse, and had less extreme views of the world.
The downward spiraling of negative thoughts we experience is common among people but ultimately detrimental. Practicing gratitude, nipping bad thoughts right as they happen, and unplugging from the news and social media could provide relief. Solidifying positive pathways in your brain with any of the above techniques could change what your mind ultimately defaults to. Being kinder to yourself, giving yourself more credit for the good work you do, and experiencing the world physically, as opposed to through a screen, could provide you with an overall more positive outlook.