“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23 NIV
Did you know you can choose to allow or not allow whatever you want to enter your mind and heart? Our brains work kind of like a computer. You can actually program yourself to be positive or negative. Whatever we put in, we will eventually put out. It’s like my dad used to say “garbage in, garbage out.” But the opposite is true too – When you fill your thoughts with positive, only positive can come out in your interactions with others! And this truly has a ripple effect on your attitude, on your husband, your kids, your friends, etc!
Here are 5 ways my husband and I committed to ditch the negative from our lives:
Ditch the cable (& save money!!)
It was five years ago, right after I met my husband and we started our business, that I decided to do this. This means no more news channels, no more pointless sitcoms, no more commercials. It is SO freeing!! During the election, for example, we had absolutely no stress, worry, fear, anger, and so on. Try to imagine that peaceful feeling! We do still have Netflix for the occasional late night movie once we’ve been productive, but even that we have been limiting more and more. I haven’t paid a cable bill since!
Ditch the news feed
Yes, this means the inevitable Facebook “scrolling.” The main reason behind this for me and my husband is all the negative videos, news articles, stories, and arguments flying across social media. We just found that avoiding the news feed cuts a lot of negative and worry out of our lives. But more than that, has anyone else heard that social media posting releases adrenaline, so our minds process it like a drug that can become addicting? Check out this great infographic on the topic!
Worried you’ll be out of the loop, not knowing what’s going on in the world? I was too at first, but you’ll be okay, I promise! We still are informed, we just get the information from the sources we choose, rather than what the world is throwing at us.
Ditch the gossip
I don’t know about you, but the most common place that I have been around people who gossip is in a workplace environment. If you do work a traditional job, here are a couple tricks I’ve found to politely avoid being a part of those conversations:
- It’s okay to politely excuse yourself – go to the bathroom, go get some water, go make a phone call, or do a task that involves you being in a different part of the office.
- Put your headphone ear bud in one ear to listen to Christian music or success podcasts. (I also ditched the radio a few years back unless it’s our local Christian station.)
- This one may go without saying, but you can also avoid those conversations by not starting them yourself…
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29 NIV
Ditch the complaining
Our words are powerful. They impact how we feel about ourselves and can impact how others think and feel too. If you’d like to read more on this topic, I wrote about the creative power of our words recently here.
Beyond that, there’s a scientific reason to stop complaining too! Our brains actually release hormones and neurotransmitters to tell our body to react to the negative or positive thought we are experiencing. I’m not the best at science stuff, but this very short article is fascinating and explains it much better than I ever could!
“Be careful of your thoughts, for your thoughts become your words. Be careful of your words, for your words become your actions. Be careful of your actions, for your actions become your habits. Be careful of your habits, for your habits become your character. Be careful of your character, for your character becomes your destiny.” -Chinese proverb
Ditch the “Anchors”
Recently, I saw a tweet from Terri Savelle Foy where she shares a John Maxwell quote. “There are two types of people: “Anchors” and “Motors”. Anchors drag you down, but Motors propel you forward.” But how do you identify the “Anchors” in your life? Ask yourself these questions:
- Does this person complain about their problem before or without asking me how I’m doing?
- Does this person support my dreams and goals wholeheartedly, even acting on them with me when possible?
- Does this person have a generally positive outlook on life? Or do they always see the bad side?
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2 NIV
So join me today and take the “Ditch the Negative” Challenge: