How to Survive the ‘Negativity Pandemic’

Photo by Esparta

Lately we have heard so much about the global economic crisis, recessions, job cuts, natural disasters, increasing environmental problems and so on. Continuous talk about these things can easily influence the collective psyche in a negative way.

Even before recent events, we have always been bombarded with news, images and video clips of tragedies, wars,disasters, violence, crime,etc  from a very young age. We are not even consciously aware of the extent to which we are exposed to such negative media. We might think that we have grown ‘immune’ to it or that we have become numb or insensitive to such media.

To a certain extent, this is true but there is a residual effect that acts on our subconscious minds and which can influence us negatively by injecting fear, paranoia, hysteria and anxiety. This has the direct implication of affecting our reasoning and decisions even in everyday life.

More than that it is the ‘collective effect’ which we seem to be more vulnerable to. This means that it is not only our own personal exposure to these stories which affect us most (although they do in certain ways) but it is the way that the general morale of the people around us (even those we do not interact with directly)can leave a sort of after effect on our own mood and attitude.

Since no man is an island, we are all subject to this collective effect. The social environment we live in is a highly connected network of individuals. When a network is highly connected, causes and effects spread out throughout the network very fast and effectively. There is a lot of interdependency.

It should therefore come to no surprise that other people’s moods affect us in many ways. Now although these moods can be both positive and negative, it is the negative thoughts and attitudes that are of a concern. I call it the negativity pandemic.

Get your Vaccine:

As one can have a vaccine administered against seasonal flu, one can also get a shot of ‘vaccination’ against the negativity pandemic. This vaccine is called awareness.

In previous articles I have expressed my belief that awareness is the one most single important thing in self actualization and just about anything related to personal development. It is no exception in this case.

If we are aware of the fact that other people’s attitude on life can leave an effect on us, we can consciously understand the signs when we see them.

By being aware of other people’s negative and limiting beliefs, we can choose to take action before being affected. We can, for example, choose not to be around so-called downbeat people or self-victimizing people who drain a lot of energy and vitality from us.

So, awareness is the first and most important step.

Build up your Defense System:

I am sure that nobody likes to be subject to all sorts of negative vibes knowingly and voluntarily. It is a process which happens on a subconscious level, unknown and undetected to our conscious mind.

By being more aware as suggested in the previous point, we can also be preventive and watch out not to enter into situations or relationships that we know might have a contagiously negative effect on us. For example, a social circle where people tend to always whine and moan about something: be that politics, the degeneration of teenage life, cost of living, the battered economy, etc. Or you might also avoid seeing a particular show or a particular site in which a lot of cynical,negative views on life are expressed.

Turn it Around:

When a conversation or an evening out starts getting downbeat and pessimistic, turn it around by changing the subject of conversation or injecting the positive side of the situation into it. Remember that the other person might not be conscious that the flow is going negative so you have to be in charge of arresting the negative syndrome before it creeps in and bounce it off with a positive twist.

Get your Daily Dose of Positivity:

I know the ‘be positive’ suggestion is a tune which has been overplayed. It’s not the ‘be positive’ factor I would want to talk about here but the ‘be around positive things’. Sometimes we slip into thinking that life just happens as in the thought: “Let’s see what today is gonna bring”.

If it’s a negative day then we stick with it. NO! Nobody is telling you not to eject your seat from that negative train of thought and go surround yourself with things that bring you lots of joy. The shittier the day, the wilder you should go! Go fetch and indulge in your favorite ice-cream, listen and dance to your favorite songs at high volume, freak out for a while with friends or family, watch some hilarious or amazingly inspiring videos on the internet and do and be surrounded by just about anything that’s fun, positive and beautiful. After all, life is beautiful.

Category: AwarenessLife Hacks



  1. I have to say that for the last few of hours i have been hooked by the impressive articles on this site. Keep up the good work.

  2. Hi Evita,

    I am not a fan of vaccines myself! lol 🙂 That makes two of us.

    Yes i totally agree with you. I used to believe that knowledge is the ultimate power. It is very powerful but there is even a more fundamental and powerful thing than knowledge – awareness. As you said if we have nothing else or learn nothing else we can stride forward as long as we have awareness. As my motto goes: “Awareness is key”

  3. Thanks Walter,

    Of course you are right – we can’t always effectively lock out all forms of negativity surrounding us. We are sensitive and highly perceptible creatures after all. But being more conscious certainly helps a great deal in avoiding being washed away.

  4. Hi Gilbert

    Another fantastic article! You are so right on with where things stand in terms of how we see the world and how the world seems to be shown to us today.

    And your solution is fantastic, although I am not a fan of the real vaccines – I LOVED your analogy! Awareness is an amazing thing and I too have come to realize that if we learn nothing else, or having nothing else, as long as we have awareness within, we can overcome, create, be or do great things.
    .-= Evita´s last blog ..On the Pilgrimage of Life: Talking With Bernie Krausse About A Special Journey =-.

  5. Awareness is a powerful vaccine and I have been inoculating myself everyday with this. However, I must admit that there are times when I can’t avoid the negativity surrounding me. But even though, I try my best to catch those negative vibes before it enters my subconscious. Practicing awareness makes it a good defense system. 🙂

  6. Hi Jeanne,

    You are always welcome here. I thank you for always contributing with such flair and enthusiasm. Thanks 🙂

  7. Hi Kaushik,

    Awesome comment as usual. Yes I have also observed that some people tend to overdo trying to be positive so they end up having the opposite effect in the end.

    But that is why awareness is such a healthy thing because it keeps us in perspective and instead of struggling to be positive we just are ourselves. I believe that is how real positivity is reached.

    Thanks again!

  8. Yes, yes, yes!! GREAT post! I’d sure like to see these thoughts on the front page of the newspaper (we still have newspapers, I guess). Thanks for spreading this GOOD WORD, and thanks for having this blog be a positive place to be!
    .-= Jeanne´s last blog ..Two Lives, Unmet =-.

  9. Great post. Yes, there is a great deal of negativity around us, and it will probably get worse. I will always agree with you about Awareness–developing awareness can help us tune into consciousness and be immune to the egoic movements towards negativity and drama.

    There is also another subtle point that with the spiritual movement towards positive thinking and the law of attraction and so on, I’ve seen that some people are actually afraid of sounding too negative. Which just builds it up in them.

    Great article, great insights, thanks!

    .-= Kaushik´s last blog ..How do we know what is good for us? =-.

  10. Hi Dani! Thanks for sharing my post 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Article by: Gilbert Ross