The Toxic Ecology Of Negativity

Brain Connecting

How much time do you want to spend with negative feelings?

How Much? Really, HOW MUCH?

How much time do you want to spend telling yourself that your negative feelings are ok? How much time do you want negative feelings soothed?

How long do you want to park in negative feelings?

Negative feelings are a warning system. Some negative feelings are learned habits; we’ve spent a lot of time practicing them. When we don’t pay attention to them, they add up and get our attention in one way or another.Brain Habits

Either way, an important question is how important are they to you? How much time do you want to feel negatively when you think it’s justified for you to do so?

Negativity comes at a significant cost. It raises your cortisol level, which in turn arouses your sympathetic nervous system, which in turn arouses a whole host of hormones that create stress that affects everything, including about your health and the clarity of your perception, not to mention the length of your life.

We know negativity can be a warning, but how much alarm do you want?

I want only as much negativity to give me a cue to check out it’s accuracy: is something really negative?

I want as little negative arousal as possible. I want to use as little output of energy on feeling or thinking negatively as possible. I want as little reaction as possible for the sake of my health and my clarity of perception.

I just don’t want to waste any more time there than is absolutely necessary.

Why? Because this is what I know.

Positivity MagnifiedMy energy is always better spent when my perception of things is on the positive, solution side of things and when I am using my strengths (what is best about me) to solve any issue.

I want to waste as little of my own gas as possible. I don’t want to waste my gas on driving myself in ways that are unproductive. I want to get as much mileage out of my personal gas as possible.

I want to love and create as much as possible. I hate waste. I believe that the best ecology of the planet begins with my own attitude toward my own energy and taking good ecological care of myself and my output of effort.

I want it to count and matter because my life is a gift.

If I believe my life is a gift, I am much more likely to believe that the planet is a gift.Life Gift

There are those who believe that negativity, like anger, springs us into action. It does, that’s true, but the cost is great, much greater than when we take action based on a positive use of our strengths. There isn’t a problem to be solved that isn’t done better from kindness and love than from anger or frustration.

Negativity, while normal and natural, has a far greater cost to us personally than positive energy. Negativity is like driving the most gas-guzzling car you can find, the most polluting, and paying the highest price possible for gas. It’s just a waste and it harms the environment.

Do you think that your negativity doesn’t harm the planet? People who throw trash out their car windows from the fast food joint they poisoned themselves with are exercising a lot of negativity.

I actually believe that when I send love to someone in my thoughts and feelings that it travels in some way. I believe that my emotions and thoughts are a kind of energy that travels, but we simply don’t know how to measure it yet. Even though we know that when meditators go to a city and meditate for weekend that the crime rate goes down.

Negative-To-PositiveThis is a basic decision we have to make.

How negative do we want to be?

How much time do we want to give negative feelings?

In an age of ecology, let us be concerned about the largest waste of all – human energy wasted on unnecessary and unfruitful negativity.

People will tell you that feelings don’t have a morality. They are wrong. Your negative feelings used carelessly and capriciously hurt you and they hurt the environment, and they certainly affect those who love you.

Learn how to grow positive emotion like a muscle and learn how to make it a reflex to life’s greatest challenges.


About the author

Dr. William K. Larkin
  • I so appreciate this article! I do believe that “negativity comes at a significant cost to me” physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Additionally, I assert that “I want as little negativity arousal as possible.” There came a turning point for me (earlier this year) when my entire body/mind/spirit integrated in such a way as to own the former statement – “I want as little negativity arousal as possible.” At that moment, things started changing at a deeper internal level for me. I no longer was willing to waste valuable time or energy on negative people, places, or situation. My inner emotional guidance system became “tuned into” negativity in such a way that I chose to seek out new situations of greater harmony, peace, joy, and unity.

  • “Negativity comes at a significant cost.” Such a weighty statement. Let’s all wake up to this!
    Your work has me see the distinctions of the “how” and “now” of feelings and the power of choice. Consciousness around the simple use of UpSpiral and DownSpiral distinctions create a shift in me the moment I chose it – it being the UpSpiral.
    Without this consciousness, I am a target for any trigger.

  • To believe that our negative emotions have no impact on the world and yet believe that we are all one is a contradiction of life itself. Each emotion carries its own frequency and vibration. Negativity carries a lower vibration. Positive emotion carries a higher vibration. Since it is the nature to lean towards the negative 9 times more than the positive, it is fair to say that the collective mind carries that lower vibration. But physics tells us that energy will rise to meet a higher vibration. So we can absolutely change our environment within and outside of ourselves, by raising our Vibecore. In that our vibration and frequency will/can change those that our vibrating at a lower frequency.

  • Joanne E Harrington

    I join Mary in expressing my appreciation for this article. Particularly I enjoyed the metaphor of negativity being unecologicial and akin to revving one’s car and wasting alot of gas in the process. Our bodies suffer from negativity. Revving our negativity engines is akin to doing wheelies, and making all sorts of noise that brings unwelcome attention. Yet that isn’t really the most productive use of our vehicle ie. our body and brain. So as a lover of Star Trek, allow me another metaphor. Positivity unlike negativity is like rocket fuel. The power of it takes us to new life experiences and new views of the World that are full of possibility and creativity. When we starve negative thinking habits and nurture and grow positive thinking habits, we stimulate the opening of neural receptors that welcome the increasing “fuel” of dopamine and estrogen. These are the brain chemicals that are the best fuel for bringing about well-being and happiness right down to the cellular level.

  • MissTowner

    I wan and this gift of life of mine to be used as a blessing to others and beyond. When I allow my unfavorable circumstances to bring me down vs using my strengths, I feel like I am unworthy and useless. I want to spend as least amount of time as possible feeling negative, because if I don’t feel happy and loved, I have nothing to give anyone because I’m so caught up in poverty thinking. I only want love, peace, hope, joy and gratitude 🙂

  • Yogess1111

    It is easy to fall into negativity and it can be a nasty habit. Unfortunately when you live in negativity it begins to draw more of the same and suddenly you are on the down-spiral if you don’t intervene. For me, it has to start with that awareness and catching myself as soon as possible when I am negative. Even saying out loud “I am being negative” helps me shift. Sometimes even saying (or yelling) “STOP” in my head …sometimes several times until I can interrupt the negative tirade. As I have practiced more awareness I do believe that the frequency of negativity has decreased some but certainly the time that I spend in that space has greatly decreased. I am looking forward to growing these positive muscles and spending even less time in the negative!

  • Is there exact information on how many thoughts do we have a day? I have read many differents opinions and they come from 18.000 to 60.000 (others say with sence of humour men 45.000 and women 145.000 !!), anyhow, I always make this question: how many of these thoughts are negatives or positives ? could you give a %?

Copyright © 2015 The Applied Neuroscience Institute