Negativity breeds and spreads. I realised this more than ever after reading through my Facebook news feed when I got home.
I sat down at my desk with a lovely cup of white organic tea (no milk or sugar of course) and decided to see what I’d been missing on Facebook. The sun was shining through the window, it was open, there was a warm breeze, I could hear the seagulls, I had some lovely music on and all was good with the world, I felt happy.
Thirty minutes later I stood up, plodded into the kitchen flicked on the kettle for another cup and started to feel like I needed something sweet to go with it. Biscuits were my real downfall, a packet stood no chance with me. Biscuits and cookies are easy to eat, they’re just there, they taste good, they go down fast and I used to use them to soothe my troubled soul. I realised I didn’t have a troubled soul, so why was I craving one?
I’ve learned to feel the craving and then question where it’s coming from. I thought about it and realised that I was feeling a little bit down, I was not as happy as I had been last time I flicked the kettle on and the thought of a biscuit was nowhere on my radar, this time I was in a very different mood and yet only a few minutes had passed. How could this change of mood have happened so quickly?
I realised that almost every post I’d read on Facebook had been miserable. I finished making my tea and went back to check and there were 15 status updates by one friend which were all doom laden, woe is me, my life is intolerable. All attempts at advice were rejected and more woe laid on top. Another friend clocked up 6 miserable posts. Another, a colleague, managed to share 11 dismal sad news stories, most sensationalist or ridiculous when examined further. Amongst a huge swathe of status updates spanning at least a week there was one, just one solitary piece of good news… someone had secured a new job.
I sat back in my chair and thought about the authors of these posts, none had suffered a bereavement, a loss of income, a relationship breakdown, none were ill, their families were healthy and well, they’re all decently well off financially and quite secure… on the surface there is nothing to be miserable about.
I realised that reading all of that doom and gloom had actually affected my mood and had made me feel sad and had me reaching for food as comfort when there was actually nothing wrong with me, I was perfectly happy until I started to read all of that negativity. I realised it was so ‘normal’ that I’d been oblivious to it being there as I’d read yet it had clearly been silently depressing me.
I chose to delete everyone from my Facebook who I realised frequently or always posts negative thoughts and comments. I know some of them will be offended and I’m happy to explain honestly my reasons why. These people are ruining my enjoyment of life. I love social media but when it impacts on us in such a way I think we have to be real about how powerful it can be and take some remedial action to prevent it altering who we are.
I don’t want to look at the world through rose tinted specs, I know people struggle and need support but come on, all of the time? Nothing good ever happens? We’re alive! If that is the only thing to celebrate now and then, celebrate it just to shed some light on your own corner of the world and into other people’s lives.
On this blog, by its nature a lot of the issues discussed are sad and deep and dark and lots of reading I do comes from painful places but there is an overwhelming sense of hope and of something better and the tough stuff is interspersed with triumphs, joys, achievements, humour and happiness in so many areas of life. I think this is another reason why I gain so much strength from blogging because it is largely positive. After reading through posts I usually feel empowered, happy, amused, stronger even when there have been tears shed and that helps me to achieve what I want to achieve.
I’m washing out negativity, I don’t want somebody else’s inability to allow some light into their life to snuff out the light within mine.