We all face challenging times and it’s perfectly normal to experience negative thoughts or feelings. But sometimes those dark seasons tend to stick around longer than we’d like and it’s easy to get stuck. If you need to kick the blues and find some positivity in your life, it might be time for a negativity detox. Follow these steps to get rid of negative influences and begin focusing on the good.

Social Media

negative thoughts social media detoxThe more we use social media, the less happy we seem to be. One study found that Facebook use was linked to both less moment-to-moment happiness and less life satisfaction. The more people used Facebook in a day, the more these two variables dropped off,Alice G. Walton, contributor at Forbes.com (see her article for more studies showing the negative effects of social media.)

It’s time for a social media reality check. Don’t worry; no one is advocating that you delete all your accounts. Social Media can be a positive, enjoyable thing. But it can also be a source of negativity and frustration. The next time you’re scrolling through your feed, take note of how each post makes you feel. Do certain people or pages you follow tend to illicit negative thoughts and emotions?

Remember that you don’t have to follow them. It’s YOUR social media account and you’re in control here. Be ruthless. Unfollow, unfollow, unfollow! Come across someone you don’t want to “unfriend” but honestly don’t want to see their posts anymore? Just select “unfollow” instead of “unfriend”. They’ll never know and now you won’t have to see any of their posts. Take back your social media and allow it to be a source of happiness in your life.

Negative Friends

negative thoughts friends gossipThese negative people are markedly pessimistic and will exhaust anyone. Destructive energy and drama follow them everywhere. If you’re not careful, they can pull you into their chaos — disrupting your focus and sidelining your goals,” Jacqueline Whitmore, contributor at Entreprenuer.com

Let’s be real; we all know people like this. They might even be in our closest circle of friends or family. Dealing with them can be incredibly difficult and their influence can make a profound difference in our lives, and not in a good way. They can get under your skin and ruin a perfectly happy day. It might not be as easy as just cutting them out of your life. So how do you deal with them in a healthy and positive way?

First, don’t take it personally. That’s easier said than done but understand that most negative people have deeper issues. Second, try to create boundaries with them. Don’t allow them to control or dictate your time and energy. And lastly, have an honest conversation with them. Confrontation is not the most enjoyable thing, but it’s necessary if you’re trying to cultivate a healthy relationship.

Toxic Work Environments

Often times in a toxic workplace there is an abundance of tearing others down, passive aggressive leadership, destructive gossip, conniving politics, and abundant negativity.  When you are surrounded by this daily it can really start to affect your own self-worth,” Amy Rees Anderson, Contributor at Forbes

negative thoughts woman working stressed outDoes any of that sound familiar? For those of us in the workforce, we spend the majority of our time at the office. That’s a huge portion of our waking hours interacting with co-workers, bosses, and customers. If the work environment is negative, it can seem almost impossible to stay positive. But when quitting your job isn’t an option, you have to figure out how to navigate the toxic space to maintain your sanity.

Amy Anderson goes on to suggest trying these strategies for creating a more positive work environment: “Placing positive and uplifting quotes on the wall of your office or cubicle that will help keep your spirits lifted can be very helpful in these circumstances.  Also, taking time out each workday to take a short walk by yourself is a great way to detach and allow for positive self-talk to remind yourself of the qualities you possess that make you amazing.

As you begin to evaluate these areas of your life, it might be helpful to journal your thoughts. Write down all the things and people you identify in your life as sources of negativity. Then jot down some ideas of ways to turn it into a positive or at least mitigate the negative influence. Taking the time to do this can help give you a clear perspective and begin to turn things in a more positive direction.

Remember, at the end of the day, that your happiness and well-being is important and that you deserve to be happy. Hang in there and do what you can to stay focused on the positive.

Feature photo: Roberto Nickson/ Unsplash


  1. Thank you for the encouraging ideas. I appreciate that you say to take back your social media accounts. That is a great way to look at it! It is our personal account and we should be filtering the things that we don’t want to see. It is difficult when it’s a friend or family member that you need to “unfriend”. I like the unfollow idea much better. Thank you! Have a great New Year!

  2. @Jennifer – so glad you found it helpful! I definitely like the unfollow option. It’s a subtle way of setting boundaries for yourself and not having to make it a personal issue with them. 🙂

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