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What Life Is Actually About: A Refreshingly New Perspective

What Life Is Actually About: A Refreshingly New Perspective

Painful memories can make us strong, teach patience, and cause us to appreciate more enjoyable, easier moments. Sure, our complete memories make us who we are but that does not mean we can’t choose an increased well being.

Various Perspectives

Traveling around the world, you uncover many ways different cultures and individuals justify the meaning of life, their individual experiences, and their personal lifestyles. Sure we’re all familiar with the notion of karma or reincarnation, but what about more obscure beliefs? For example, Pharrell William’s of N.E.R.D. fame supports his and fellow band mate’s beliefs on life by equating Eintstein’s theory that “energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another” to the band’s eponymous acronym: “No One Ever Really Dies.”

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A New Take

Another particular lifestyle that is so organic and is the practical notion to live by is the idea of life being about collecting memories. Particularly within this lifetime, these memories are to be gathered and recalled at any time. For feelings of contentedness, the aim is to collect as many good memories as possible.

The Aim

Various emotions are often tied to our different memories and recalling happier times often leads to a better well being. Reminiscent of the premise of many video games, imagine life as an aim to collect more positive experiences to recall, which can result in more life satisfaction. Learn to duck when needed and always look for bonus points.

What about Negative Memories?

Many of us have had sleepless nights regularly recalling feelings of hopelessness, shame, anger, fear and many other worrying emotions. Theories suggest that these type of feelings are better preserved than happier or neutral memories – possibly as a way to remind ourselves not to relive such a situation, similar to how we learned that fire was hot when we were young. It is important to note that we also have a higher risk for not properly recalling an incident.

In addition, scientists have discovered that anger, anxiety, and depression affect the functioning of the heart as well as increase the risk for heart disease. Atherosclerosis is a process where blood vessels supply the heart and brain, and strokes and heart attacks are caused by progressive damage to these vessels. Atherosclerosis increases when there are high levels pro-inflammatory cytokines or chemicals in the body.

A new way to deal with negative memories has been suggested by researchers at the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois, led by psychology professor Florin Dolcos of the Cognitive Neuroscience Group. Their studies claim that once a negative memory enters your mind, we should recall the event holistically, which allows us to remember not only the bad, but the positives that occurred, too.

Recalling some positives surrounding our bad memories allows us to gain a more well rounded perspective on the matter. Negative memories can continue to serve as reminders as to how better to collect good memories.

Collect Good Memories

While memories that we often try to avoid can teach lessons about future choices and make good memories much better by comparison, learning to focus on our positive memories can lead to increased self confidence and self-fulfilment. If you find yourself focusing on the negatives, studies recently found that recalling something more holistically can help gain a better, general perspective on our lives. Try to aim to collect one good experience, conversation, or accomplishment per day. This might include reading something you would not normally read, extending yourself at work, school or for volunteer work, or savoring something including a tasty treat or fun event. Aim to learn and to connect good experiences with certain places. Surround yourself only with people you admire for one reason or another. As for the inevitable negative people, use those memories to learn from. Like Gaven deBecker states in his book, “the Gift of Fear, know yourself well enough to trust your instincts.

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Last Updated on January 18, 2019

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

Some people will have a rain cloud hanging over them, no matter what the weather is outside. Their negative attitude is toxic to your own moods, and you probably feel like there is little you can do about it.

But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

If you want to effectively deal with negative people and be a champion of positivity, then your best route is to take definite action through some of the steps below.

1. Limit the time you spend with them.

First, let’s get this out of the way. You can be more positive than a cartoon sponge, but even your enthusiasm has a chance of being afflicted by the constant negativity of a friend.

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In fact, negativity has been proven to damage your health physically, making you vulnerable to high levels of stress and even cardiac disease. There’s no reason to get hurt because of someone else’s bad mood.

Though this may be a little tricky depending on your situation, working to spend slightly less time around negative people will keep your own spirits from slipping as well.

2. Speak up for yourself.

Don’t just absorb the comments that you are being bombarded with, especially if they are about you. It’s wise to be quick to listen and slow to speak, but being too quiet can give the person the impression that you are accepting what’s being said.

3. Don’t pretend that their behavior is “OK.”

This is an easy trap to fall into. Point out to the person that their constant negativity isn’t a good thing. We don’t want to do this because it’s far easier to let someone sit in their woes, and we’d rather just stay out of it.

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But if you want the best for this person, avoid giving the false impression that their negativity is normal.

4. Don’t make their problems your problems.

Though I consider empathy a gift, it can be a dangerous thing. When we hear the complaints of a friend or family member, we typically start to take on their burdens with them.

This is a bad habit to get into, especially if this is a person who is almost exclusively negative. These types of people are prone to embellishing and altering a story in order to gain sympathy.

Why else would they be sharing this with you?

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5. Change the subject.

When you suspect that a conversation is starting to take a turn for the negative, be a champion of positivity by changing the subject. Of course, you have to do this without ignoring what the other person said.

Acknowledge their comment, but move the conversation forward before the euphoric pleasure gained from complaining takes hold of either of you.

6. Talk about solutions, not problems.

Sometimes, changing the subject isn’t an option if you want to deal with negative people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be positive.

I know that when someone begins dumping complaints on me, I have a hard time knowing exactly what to say. The key is to measure your responses as solution-based.

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You can do this by asking questions like, “Well, how could this be resolved?” or, “How do you think they feel about it?”

Use discernment to find an appropriate response that will help your friend manage their perspectives.

7. Leave them behind.

Sadly, there are times when we have to move on without these friends, especially if you have exhausted your best efforts toward building a positive relationship.

If this person is a family member, you can still have a functioning relationship with them, of course, but you may still have to limit the influence they have over your wellbeing.

That being said, what are some steps you’ve taken to deal with negative people? Let us know in the comments.

You may also want to read: How to Stop the Negative Spin of Thoughts, Emotions and Actions.

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