Negativity can be contagious, and while it’s okay to have negative emotions or go through phases in which the negative is unavoidable, bathing in negativity does far more harm than good.

Have you ever met someone who, that no matter what was going on in their life, always just seemed to bring you down? For whatever reason, this person just had an impeccable tendency to find the negative in everything- even when times were good. This is toxic negativity.

Toxic negativity is like pessimism on steroids. The more you acknowledge what is bad in your life, the worse there seems to be. It is honestly a self-defeating cycle that will never end until you make it. If you are that toxic person or are noticing more and more negative energy surrounding your life, it’s time to cut back and release the toxic negativity from your life.

Here are 10 ways to get started.

1. Practice gratitude.

You can rewire your mind to be more positive by practicing gratitude. Each day, write down three different things you are grateful for, they can be big or small things. Even (and especially) on bad days, this practice is truly beneficial.

2. Start your day with positive affirmations.

What do you want your day to be like? Write affirmations for your day, such as “Today is going to be a great day. I will overcome all obstacles and end the day on a positive note.” Or you can even start simple, “Today will be a great day.” Repeat multiple times as you get prepared for your day, and watch the magic happen.

3. Cut out toxic people.

Some people will always bring you down, and stomp all over your good day. Try to avoid pessimistic people and toxic people as much as possible. There is an old saying that goes something along the lines of “The people you surround yourself with are what you will become.” And there is much truth to that.

4. Try to see the silver lining.

Bad things happen, and that is inevitable, but your perspective is everything. When a bad situation arises, will you dwell on what has gone wrong, or try to find the bright side? Even a major mistake can help you to learn and move forward to victory.

5. Listen to mood-boosting music.

The music we listen to has a lot to do with our mood. Studies show when you listen to sad music, your mood will be brought down. Try listening to uplifting music for an instant mood boost.

6. Focus on what is, not what if.

It’s easy to get lost in “What if ____ happens?” You could name off the worst-case scenario for every little thing in your life. But what good does that do? Instead, focus on the facts, draw your awareness to the present and act accordingly. Don’t drown yourself in useless negative thoughts.

7. Set realistic goals.

Oftentimes, we set goals that are unreachable and get upset when we can’t achieve them. Instead of making one huge goal, set small goals towards your big goals. As you reach the small ones along the way, you prepare yourself for the big major goal, thus making an unreachable goal, reachable.

8. Workout.

Time and time again, research proves that exercise changes the way you view the world. Not only does it release happy chemicals called endorphins, but exercise also teaches you to be mentally strong. You don’t have to run a 5k marathon to reap the benefits either, a simple 20-30 minute brisk walk a few days a week can be truly beneficial.

9. Practice mindfulness.

Mindfulness is the practice of drawing your awareness to the present moment. Normally, when I catch myself spiraling out into negative oblivion in my mind, it is because I am getting carried away with negative thoughts. In almost all cases, negative thoughts have nothing to do with the present moment. Draw your attention away from your thoughts and to what is in front of you.

10. Change your perspective.

Have you ever noticed when you completely shift your mind to think about the negatives, that everything suddenly feels negative? You may think I am crazy, but the next time your thoughts are all negative, try to find one positive. Think about your accomplishments, or spin what is happening positively. “Our meeting was postponed- but at least that means I have more time to prepare.”

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