Have you ever heard of a ‘Negativity Diet’? Do you need to go on one? Let’s find out.
A negativity diet may sound like a foreign concept, but really it’s a tool that anyone can use to help lessen stress, anxiety and the chances of developing depression. At this time of year, when it is cold and dark outside and we are seeking comfort already, as well as the holiday stress, a negativity diet might be just what you need.
So how does it work? Well think of a diet. Usually it involves eating less food, or cutting certain types of food out altogether. A negativity diet does the same thing. Cutting out negative influences, people and stressors, allowing you to feel their effects less. Even that sounds daunting, am I right? Let me help. Here are some of the things I cut out when I’m enforcing a negativity diet:
- The news. I will not under any circumstances listen to or watch the news. It’s a massive source of negativity. If there is a headline that I need to know about, I have friends and relatives who can pass that on to me, without having to hear headlines about rape, murder and financial crisis.
- People. Or that one person, I think we all know one, who always manages to make us feel a bit down. Is it a friend? A co worker? The one who always gives backhanded compliments? It’s not always easy to cut people out. It doesn’t have to be forever either, but if you are trying to reduce negativity then avoiding those extra triggers can be helpful.
- Extras. Those extra errands, that favour for someone, that piece of work you took off someone’s hands to help out. It’s lovely to do extra for people when you can, but if you are trying to lessen stress it might be better to just do the minimum right now. It’s okay to say no to people sometimes, you don’t have to feel guilty for putting your needs first.
There are all sorts of things you could cut out on a negativity diet; the clue is in the name. Anything that makes you feel negative should be reduced or even phased out altogether, until you feel better equipped to deal with it.
Of course some things, such as grief or worry, can’t be made to go away. Family feuds, for example, shouldn’t be put to one side and dealt with later, but little things can be cut out to make way for self-care time. Be it watching a cartoon instead of the news, or sleeping that extra half an hour instead of running your friend’s errand, small acts of self care go a long way.
Will you be going on a negativity diet? What will you be cutting out? Let us know!