My name is Dr. Tammy Post, and I’m a negative-aholic! Sounds strange, right?
But the words you speak are very powerful. And this year, I noticed that I was only thinking negative thoughts, but also speaking them aloud.
I would often binge on negativity and focus on pessimistic thoughts, just like an alcoholic would with alcohol. Unsurprisingly, it took an unhealthy effect on my wellbeing.
So I embarked on a life-changing journey to give up negativity—a negative fast, if you will. And it wasn’t easy; I worked very hard to clear out the negative from my life.
My personal challenge to you is to detox your body of toxic thoughts and negative messages that surround you for the next 30 days. You too can make the same positive life transition I did by following these four steps.
How To Rid Yourself Of Negativity For Good
1. Get rid of enablers
I told a friend about my self-discovery, and she laughed. “I’ve never known you to be negative at all,” she said.
I realized she had this perspective because I hadn’t been negative around her. Just like alcoholics have drinking buddies, I had “negativity buddies.” These are people who feed on drama and misery, and they live to hear about yours so they can commiserate about their own lives.
I took inventory of those who were feeding my addiction. There were more than I cared to count. Some triggered me instantly, and I found myself completely inebriated in their presence with negative thoughts and obsessions. Some sucked me in so quickly that I didn’t even notice until I walked away, completely drenched in damaging feelings.
Replace these people in your life with positive and supportive friends, co-workers, and family members, or work on getting rid of your negative habits together.
2. Find your “sober” non-negative buddies
I am energized and strong when I am with my sober, positive friends. These people are those who love me unconditionally and who don’t depend on me for anything. They are friends and family members who embrace who I am without judgment. They just love me.
Most of my “negative-buddies” were people who had come to be dependent on me in one way or another. We had developed a codependency that needed to be severed until we both could become more positive.
I learned to look at my life like I do with my functional medicine practice. I always start my patients with a detox before they start their wellness journey, and so I decided to do the same by beginning with an emotional detox.
It may sound silly, but whenever you want to say something negative, put your hand over your mouth and strive for sobriety. Do not speak of the fear or bleakness of what seems to be; rather, stay silent and think of the positive aspects. If there are none, how can you make it more positive?
4. Maintenance and reframing
The end of your 30 days will consist of “reframing”: the art of turning a negative thought into a positive one.
For example, recently, I was eating a taco salad from a trendy little restaurant near my home. It was a $12 salad, and I was a little perturbed that it was so costly even though I had enjoyed it many times before.
On this occasion, it was take out. When I got home, I opened the toppings (strategically set up in different containers to preserve the freshness) to put them on my salad. One was cup of tortilla chips, and they were all crumbled up.
For a moment, I was annoyed and exclaimed out loud, “Darn it, my chips are all crumbled up in the $12 salad. Couldn’t they do better than that? What were they thinking?”
I reframed my thoughts as I was sprinkling the tortilla chips on my salad, realizing “Oh, how nice; they crumbled them up for me!” You can make the choice to reframe negative feelings in any given moment.
There are people who are “glass half empty” and people who are “glass half full.” I choose to be a glass-half-full eternal optimist. I choose love more than fear. And I choose to abandon my negative thoughts for positive. As you take this journey, invite those out of your life who threaten your positive sobriety, love those who can help you to reframe, and embrace and surround yourself with those unconditional lovers, who always have their rose-colored glasses on!
To find out how positive (or negative) your thoughts really are, take our short quiz.
Weight loss, hormone expert and spokesperson Dr. Tammy Post is a doctor of osteopathic medicine (D.O.), a board certified family physician, and founder of Project Fabulous, a women’s health center. She is a sought-after expert on hormone balancing, preventive care, and wellness. In her more than 10 years as a practicing physician, Dr. Tammy has helped thousands of people to optimize their health. She is also an author, spokesperson for Oxytocin Factor, bioidentical hormone therapy expert, and seasoned show host. Photo by Di’s Eyes