I don’t know about you, but for me, when someone I love begins to take their anger out on me and is highly anxious and stressed out, this can easily affect my energy and I can leave a conversation with them feeling down for the rest of my day.
This can be detrimental to our mental health, especially when someone’s negativity and pessimism begins to affect us chronically. But recently, I have detached myself from people who drain my positive energy, and have learned to build barriers and keep a healthy perspective, allowing my light to shine.
HOW did I learn to create barriers, you ask!?
One simple answer: Mindfulness.
I have been on a yoga and rock-climbing kick and you know what both of these activities have in common?! A focus on breath and living in the moment.
I have learned to control my emotions by realizing that my emotions are not ME, just a state that I am feeling.
My thoughts don’t need to be dictated by the ebb and flow of my emotions and the people around me who can affect them negatively. My thoughts start with what my intentions are for the day and how I want others to feel when they connect with me.
I have struggled in setting boundaries with my father as we are very different people in our philosophies and ways of life, and I have learned some of these life lessons the hard way.
But here are just FIVE ways that you can manage your emotions when around negative people and keep your values in mind when interacting with others:
1. Your tormentor can be your mentor. Ask yourself why someone’s energy affects you so much. Learn to take a breath before responding, and be PROACTIVE and positive in your words, not REACTIVE. Conflict can be resolved simply with being more mindful of the lessons others can teach you about yourself and your reactions to their negativity.
2. It’s them, not you. Sometimes you need to remind yourself that you did nothing wrong, and that people’s moods are simply a result of their perspective that is dependent on the amount of stress they are experiencing or problems they are facing. Try to bring hope to them in your words and actions, and use your positivity and inner joy to brighten their day and leave them with a smile and a sparkle in their eye.
3. Set boundaries. Surround yourself with friends that make you laugh and are great listeners that support and encourage you to reach your goals. Spend the MOST time with your lifters, and the LEAST time with your downers as possible. Sometimes, you may feel that completely eliminating that negative person from your life all together would be the best for your own health, although, sometimes, this is not possible if you can’t control your situation, such as if they are family or if you see them freqeuntly at work or school, so limit your time as much as possible to keep your spirits high.
4. Draw strength from your Creator. Light comes from within, and positivity starts with where you draw your strength from. By talking to God in the morning, journalling and listening to His will for your life, you can have a grateful and full heart to be able to pour out on others. Let your values be emulated in your words and actions, even when you are around those who are in a dark place.
5. There’s a reason for a season. Sometimes you won’t feel positive, and your emotions won’t match your thoughts. Be patient with yourself and the season you are in, and accept that you may need more time to release your habits of reactivity. Take more time for self-care in order to enhance your mindfulness and let go of stress and your need for control. Enjoy a massage, a movie night, a warm bath, or a good book and observe your thoughts and emotions while being fully present during these times of self-care.
So I encourage you to be gentle with yourself, and with those who are hurting in your life. Set boundaries for yourself in order to preserve your light and be aware of the difference between your thoughts and your emotions. By surrounding yourself with loving and positive people, you can enhance your health and your longevity.
Listen more, laugh more, love more and react less.
Peace & Love,
Jill – your veggie villager xx