I am pleased to host Ryan Rivera today from Calm Clinic. He is a former anxiety patient who is now free from the condition. If you visit his site you will find many tips on managing anxiety and panic. When he asked me if he could write a guest blog, I asked him to write about something that helped him.
Here is his post:
The Amazing Power of Positivity on Anxiety
I hate negative people.
No, not really. But I did want to write that sentence, because it illustrates something that affects my life every day, as well as the lives of countless other people. Reading that sentence again, the first thing that pops out is that the word “hate” is so negative. If I were to read that sentence in someone else’s article, my first thought would be that they must be a negative person. They must be someone that doesn’t experience much happiness, or allows themselves to get too affected by the non-positive things that happen in life.
Perhaps what is most interesting about “hate” is that for someone to hate something it must be important. I am not particularly fond of jelly beans but I don’t hate them, because they’re not important enough to hate. I dislike disco dancing, I could do without cherry flavored water, and I think that crane flies are pretty frightening for a non-threatening insect, but I don’t hate any of them either.
I don’t hate them because they’re not important enough to me to hate. For me to dislike something passionately enough for me to hate it, it must have some sort of value to me, which it doesn’t. Yet hate is such a common word, with almost 1,000,000,000 Google results. Why? It is my belief that negative people give negative things a great deal of power, and when you give something negative that much power, the negativity starts to bleed out in other areas of your life. This is my awkward way of transitioning to the following:
Surround Yourself With Positive People
As an ex-anxiety sufferer, I experienced the mother-load. I had panic attacks, I had agoraphobia – I had anxiety that was nearly debilitating. It was not until I started relieving my anxiety that I realized that some of my anxiety was brought on by the people I was surrounding myself with. Many of my friends were negative people.
I mentioned earlier that negative people give negative things power, and that’s what I felt when I was around them. Negativity bled into every word they spoke. Rather than encourage me to achieve my dreams or minimize my failures while praising my successes, any conversation I had about a life goal was met with a list of all of the reasons it would probably fail, and any time I achieved that goal, it was met with cynicism or justification that diminished the happiness, clarity, and confidence I felt for achieving it.
It is my firm belief that many people suffering from anxiety are feeling the power of negativity from the people they surround themselves with, and it’s disrupting their ability to cope with life’s stresses. That is why it’s important to surround yourself with positive people when you’re on the road to anxiety recovery. Positive people will:
- Reinforce Good Behaviors – Behavioral psychology teaches us that we respond well to praise. When we’re praised for our confidence or happiness, we’ll experience more happiness and confidence in the future.
- Minimize or Ignore Mistakes – Positive people don’t harp over errors, or point out all of the flaws with you or your plans. This helps prevent these problems from overshadowing your ability to find relaxation, and reduces the chance that the negativity becomes an anxiety cause.
- Prevent Stress – Positive people often don’t create stress on their own. Stress can be brought on by negativity. By preventing stress, they prevent anxiety, and help people recover from their negative thoughts in order to focus on what will work for them.
Positivity is simply a powerful emotion, and like negativity, it can bleed into other areas of life. But with positivity, that ability to spread is a good thing. For anyone suffering from anxiety, look at the people around you. If they’re negative people – if they’re people that can “hate” – you may find that they are impeding your ability to heal. Find positive people, and you’ll find that your anxiety reduces as a result.