Negativity is contagious, here’s how to stop it

I once saw an interview of Richard Rohr, an inspiring author and Franciscan friar, where he shared one of the most profound statements I have heard:

“If you do not transform your suffering, you will transmit it.”

How true is that?  There are so many times we have come across someone who is transmitting their suffering outwards.  This is not only sad to experience but also dangerous, since there are different ways people transmit their suffering, the result of which can be quite destructive.    

People can transmit their suffering energetically, where you feel their anguish through their negative comments and depressive outlook on life. I have certainly experienced someone transmitting their insecurities by the energy they give their words, comments, and even actions.  In unloading their suffering through their energy, they may wish for those around them to also feel insecure. The phrase “misery loves company” partially arising from such behavior. 

Fiorella teaching us all about peruvian cuisine

Fiorella teaching us all about peruvian cuisine

People can also transmit their suffering through aggressive actions, attacking through words, comments, and statements.  Some people are so consumed with their suffering that they turn these aggressive actions into abuse, desperately trying to get the suffering that is consuming them out of their mind, body, and spirit. 

I once took a wonderful Peruvian cooking class that further underscored Rohr’s statement.  As our instructor was teaching us how to make a delicious Peruvian dish, she reminded us of how everything is connected in cooking.  How our state of being impacts our cooking, and how we transmit our feelings into our food as we cook. 

I'm cutting up my ceviche

I'm cutting up my ceviche

I’ve always been a big believer that how we eat is how we live.  When we are stressed out, we eat in a stressed out way, such as fast food standing gup.  When we are depressed, we eat sad, tasteless food.  My Peruvian instructor reminded me to take responsibility of my life, my energy, and my actions, even when that action is something as routine as cooking (I say routine because you know how much I cook).  I know my food tastes better when I am in a positive, grateful mood while I cook it in my kitchen.  I am now more confident that it tastes better because I am not transmitting any negative emotions onto it.  

So we transmit our emotions.  As you know, my perspective is to always start with ourselves.  It would be so easy right now to start making a list of the people who we believe are transmitting their suffering,  and daydream of how they should change.  Yet remember, when we change, everything around us changes.  So let’s start with us and how we need to change in order to not transmit suffering. 

Remember (and share on Facebook):

What can YOU do TODAY:

  1. Identify where in your life you may be suffering.  If we are honest, we all have something we are struggling with.  It doesn’t have to be as intense as “suffering” but it could be a “dissatisfaction”
  2. Recognize what you are doing with that energy.  Are you transmitting it outside of yourself and to others?  Do you take your bad day at work and take it out on your family (and your dog) when you get home?  What do you do with this suffering, dissatisfaction, or frustration that may exist in your life?
  3. Choose to transform this negative energy before you transmit it to others.  How can you do this? Here are my two favorite ways:

a. Inquire: What is your negativity here to teach you?  If you are having a hard time answering that question, answer this one: For your current situation to be less painful, who would you need to be? More patient? More considerate? More creative? Bingo. There’s your lesson. 

b. Meditate: The research is out there on the benefits of meditation.  It transforms your mind, your emotional state, and ultimately, your life.  Here are two guided meditations that will help you become the person you truly want to be:

Here’s a small clip of the Richard Rohr interview

After you have completed your guided meditations, sit quietly for a while.  Visualize yourself behaving in the exact way you know is best for your life.  Visualize yourself as fully competent in any new skills and lessons your inquiries may have revealed.  When we consistently visualize, we begin to feel the life we want.  When we begin to feel the life we want, we begin to believe we are worthy of it.  When we believe it, we will transform the old and create the new.  

I hope this article is of service to you. 

Do you know someone who would benefit understanding negativity is contagious and how to stop it?  Share this article with them, or share it with your friends and family so they can also start creating the life they want to live.  If you have a comment or question, please leave it below.  I will get back to you with a response!