I recently started a negativity-free diet. What’s negativity? Negativity is whatever makes for a poor experience. The breeding ground for negativity begins with the thoughts I focus on. If allowed to grow unchecked, those negativity-weeds will flourish and infiltrate my everyday life. Therefore I must pluck them whenever found. To aid in the identification of such weeds, I’ve compiled a list of what to look-out for (negativity comes in many forms):
Pessimism, expecting the worst.
Ex: Whatever I’m about to experience is going to be horrible.
Ex: That awesome outcome you’re describing is impossible! Don’t waste your time! Give up now!
Complaining, criticism, disgust.
Ex: Ugh! What a horrible day! Ew, that’s nasty! Gah, this is gross!
Mockery, making fun of individuals or life itself.
Ex: Ha, you’re actually trying! Life is so lame, don’t bother!
Ex: He is SO dumb! Did you SEE what she was wearing!? What’s with his weird face!?
Fear, worry, panic, hoplessness.
Ex: OMG! Something could go wrong at any moment! We’re all gonna die!
Anger, outrage, frustration, irritation, annoyance.
Ex: GAH! Screw you! This sucks! I hate everything! This doesn’t work! Hulk SMASH!
Resentment, offense, bitterness; feeling victimized, persecuted, or threatened.
Ex: I can’t believe what she did to me!! I’ll never forgive her! Why is everyone laughing at me!? Why is life out to get me!?
Lack & limitation.
Ex: I can’t have that. I’ll never be able to do that! Things will never improve.
Ex: Hmm, there’s nothing interesting to do. My life is SO boring!
Pain, captivated by ailments.
Ex: Ouch, my head hurts! (Proceeds to poke head) Yep! It still hurts! Ow, my elbow hurts! (Proceeds to bend elbow repeatedly) Ow!!
Existential dread, death fixation.
Ex: Nothing matters! I don’t matter! Whatever I do is futile! Life is meaningless! Oh no, I’m going die!
Problems of the world.
Ex: A global catastrophe is around the corner! The environment is collapsing! Economic crash! Pandemics! War!
Misunderstood, rejection, loneliness, unloved.
Ex: Psh, no one truly understands me. No one wants to be my friend. I am truly alone in this world.
Shyness, timidity, unworthiness.
Ex: Well, he’s probably busy and doesn’t have time for me. He probably wouldn’t want to talk to me anyway. I can just sit quietly and hope that I’m acknowledged eventually.
Ex: That’s too good to be true! Oh, you’re gonna do something nice for me!? Yeah right!! I bet you will! Hm, what is that guy up to? NO WAY am I doing that! It’s a trap!
Comparison to others, covetousness, jealousy.
Ex: Psh, look at all that awesome stuff he has. If he’d only give me some! Ugh, he has intelligence, good-looks, and succeeds at EVERYTHING!
Ex: I messed up big-time! Now nobody’s gonna respect me. Why do I have to be so awkward!
Disappointed, dissatisfied, unappreciative.
Ex: Hm, could be better. Well THAT wasn’t what I expected! That was completely worthless!
Ex: Why did I do THAT! I could’ve done better. I should’ve picked the other one! From that one wrong decision, EVERYTHING will go awry.
Gloominess, sadness, misery.
Ex: Dark forces are looming. I can sense bad things about to happen. Woe is me, for I was born in a dark and dreary world.
Ex: I can’t do anything within this giant world. I’m merely a bug on a rock waiting to get squashed.
Ex: This thing doesn’t work anymore, it’s dead — it had a limited lifespan anyway, it was bound to break sooner or later. I guess the service is down, maybe it’ll return one day.
Know thy enemy, and thy enemy is negativity. This is not an exhaustive list but it should provide a decent indicator of what shouldn’t be allowed to take root in the garden of the mind.
I’ve also noticed that the entertainment I consume greatly influences my thoughts. Therefore, I must be selective and cut-out all forms of entertainment that derive their allure from negativity. This includes scary stuff, anything too intense, the news, anything political, legal, or medical related, stuff that portrays life as fundamentally flawed, anything that makes a mockery of life, and basically anything that leaves a bitter aftertaste.
A diet by its nature is about restricting yourself from certain things in order to get into a better state of being. In this case, I’m restricting myself from engaging with negativity in the hopes of improving my overall experience of existence.