13 Ways To Avoid Negativity & Feel Happier

There's nothing worse that can hurt our moods than surrounding ourselves with negativity during the day. While we have the power to control our own emotions and alter our moods, it's clear that external factors can create a negative environment and dampen our states. Thus, it's important to avoid triggers that create negative energy and work towards getting over the hurdles quickly in order to get back to a happier state.

As a certified health coach, I work with people on clearing negative energy from their lives and avoiding toxic elements that can damage their emotional and physical health and wellbeing. Such toxicity can come in the form of relationships, work assignments and office environments, pollution in the air we breathe (which is especially prevalent in big cities, such as NYC, Chicago and L.A.), and dirty living environments. By balancing healthy living aspects and removing harmful ones, we can be happier and healthier each day. However, unexpected situations can pop up where we are surrounded by negative elements, and we must remain our composure and positive outlook to get through them unaffected. Here are thirteen ways to avoid negativity and start feeling happier and more relaxed when a poor mood strikes.

1. Practice Gratitude Every Day

"Gratitude can fortify your emotional well-being by transforming your energy and reinforcing positive expectations," says Life Designer + CPCC + ACC of InnerBrilliance Coaching, Rosie Guagliardo, over email with Bustle. "If you shift your thoughts to focus on what you do have and what makes you happy, your brain will continue to notice the abundance in your life, leaving you feeling grateful and ultimately happier. Fortunately, expressing and feeling gratitude is a choice that can be exercised at any time," she adds. When you're feeling negative, think of something you are grateful for.

2. Practice Radical Forgiveness

"An important step to avoid negativity is eliminating old resentments and forgiving not only others, but also forgiving yourself. Holding on to grudges can block your ability to love. After you release yourself from any past pain and truly love yourself, you can move on to receiving love, and in turn, you’ll be able to give love more freely," says Guagliardo."With forgiveness creating more room for love, you’ll feel more open to love for yourself and ultimately for others. And you can make choices to experience your life in a whole new way to feel happier," she adds.

3. Focus On The Present Moment Instead

"Negativity arises when we're ruminating about what happened in the past or worrying about what could happen in the future. In the present moment, all is probably well. So, to stay present, ask yourself 'What is absolutely true in this moment?'" says Guagliardo. "For example, I'm alive, I have a great family, etc. You'll experience a sense of peace, and then have access to greater joy in that moment," she adds. Move past the negativity hump and think of positive things that can be enjoyed here and now, instead.

4. Do Something That Makes You Happy

If you are in the midst of doing something that is tearing you down and putting you in a bad mood, do something else that doesn't seem like a chore, but rather a privilege. By acting in a positive manner and doing activities that you love, you can break a negative mood and start feeling happier and more energized instantly. "Shift from an activity that feels like one you 'have to do' to one that you 'want to do' by re-connecting with the purpose of why you're doing it," says Guagliardo.

5. Stick To A Schedule Filled With Happy Breaks

Scheduling "happiness breaks" in the day is a great way to rejuvenate yourself and promote positive energy. Plus, when negativity strikes, you'll be better able to avoid rumination because you'll likely have a positive activity approaching in the near future to clear your mind and break the tension. "Taking care of yourself with daily positive habits and regular periods of rejuvenation will help generate energy to pursue the life results you want and feel happier," says Guagliardo.

6. Write Down Your Goals

"Evidence shows that your brain can adapt to the intentions you set, so writing down your goals increases your commitment to and your chances of achieving them and gaining success," says Guagliardo. "The mere act of setting and pursuing goals can affect your happiness, regardless of whether you attain them. The idea is that if you commit to an objective, you’re more likely to enjoy the journey toward achieving it," she adds.

7. Avoid Negative Self-Talk

Sometimes we can bring ourselves down by not believing in ourselves or feeling too scared or insecure to move forward. "To move past what holds you back, you have to recognize a major inhibitor—the negative voice inside you that tries to keep you safe by reminding you of what can go wrong or how you might not be enough," says Guagliardo. "It’s important to be aware of that voice and how it influences the way you think, feel, and behave. But don’t let it run your life or let it lead you to worry about the past or fear the future," she advises.

8. Have Positive Mantras To Boost Mood

Having a few positive mantras to turn to when confronted with a dampened mood is a great way to immediately uplift your spirits and channel positive energy to feel happier. Experts suggests that these mantras can be said out loud or silently, as long as they are powerful in their content to be effective and inspiring. Examples include, "You have the power to change your mood," "You're awesome and shouldn't be holding back," or "This is your day. It's time to enjoy it."

9. Go Outside

Taking a walk outside can bring fresh oxygen into our lungs, boost circulation in our bodies, and clear our minds of negativity. Experts say that connecting with nature can make us immediately feel happier and more rooted in our lives, and such purpose helps eliminate negative energy and a bad mood. Next time you're upset, step outside for some fresh air.

10. Buy A Plant

Studies suggest that having plants at home or in work environments can make us feel happier overall and more creative and productive in the tasks and activities that we do. Thus, keep a plant on your desk can help rid the mind of negative, defeatist thoughts at work, and it can help suck away harmful aspects that can put us in a rut.

11. Look At Something Yellow

Whether you decide to paint an office or home wall yellow to keep positive energy high and stable each day, or you choose you purchase a yellow handbag, wallet, key chain or bracelet, studies suggest that the color yellow can make us feel brighter and more positive. So, try bringing some yellow into your life or purchasing a bouquet of yellow flowers.

12. Avoid Negative Relationships & Be A Good Friend

By being a good, loyal friend who listens well and is attentive to his or her circle's needs, you'll be better able to find meaningful connections with people and foster positive, encouraging and supportive relationships. Likewise, evaluate negative relationships and try and detach from such negative energy. While it might be hard, it'll be better for your health going forward.

13. Get A Little Sweaty

Experts say that exercising regularly can make us feel happier, more productive, energized and more creative overall, and this effect can last for hours after your session has finished. Due to an endorphin rush, we can break out of negativity and enhance our moods instantly. If you feel a negative vibe approaching, hit the gym to avoid an effect and to start feeling happier.

Doing activities and positive exercises and reciting feel-good, mood-enhancing mantras can make us feel happier and more confident in a matter of minutes. Increasing self-esteem and confidence, as well as bringing more joy into our lives and reducing toxic elements and things that drain us, can make us feel more powerful and in control of our lives, emotional states and ability to have a great day.

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