Negativity, is the attitude that the world is a horrible place — but this attitude makes big assumptions based on little data.
Some examples of negativity:
“Uh oh, who’s calling me, what went wrong now?!”
“I don’t want to fly, the plane might crash!”
“Do you know how many car accidents happen everyday?! I’m not driving there!”
“Hmm, did you see how he didn’t even look at me, he must hate me!”
“Ugh, my hair looks horrible, people are going to look at me funny.”
“Uh oh, I said something stupid! Oh great, now I’m forever the idiot!”
“Ah, I bet this cut is going to get infected.”
“Hmm, this doesn’t feel like a common cold, I might have something worse.”
“Ugh, do you know how many germs are on that door handle. Welcome to Sickville.”
How could focusing on the worst of life lead to happiness? Obviously, it leads to the opposite: thoughts of the worst kind, lead to moods of the worst kind.
And keep in mind, there is no self-preservation at work here, negativity does not serve as a form of protection. Life is beyond our control, we could die or be humiliated in any number of ways, there is no point in worrying about potentialities.
But what about mitigating risk, even a little bit? Again, life is beyond our control, avoiding something in an attempt to protect ourselves may put us in even more peril. For example, what if we avoid a car trip only to have our house incinerated by a gas explosion. It is illogical to assume that we can control life or lessen our risk by maintaining a negative attitude.
But what we can control, once we’re aware of it, is our attitude — we can free ourselves of negativity.