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Science Says 3 Mental Health Strategies Will Reduce

Negativity, Anxiety, and Make You Happier. Science-backed solutions for thriving in a fast-changing world.

By Inc.Arabia Staff
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These days, change is constant and individuals often find it challenging to keep up. On top of that, negativity and division have become pervasive among people, extending their influence on colleagues at work, friends, and even family members.

Additionally, stress and anxiety levels have gone up significantly over the past four years.

In his latest book, The Negativity Fast: Proven Techniques to Increase Positivity, Reduce Fear, and Boost Success, Anthony Iannarino addresses the need for individuals to implement three science-backed strategies aimed at reducing negativity, anxiety, and, for some, depression.

Putting an End to Complaints

Iannarino suggests that individuals who engage in constant complaining may benefit from finding alternative ways to vent their frustrations. He emphasizes that habitual complaining not only reinforces negative thought patterns but also damages relationships, both in professional and personal spheres. Research conducted by Stanford University revealed that persistent complaining can have adverse effects on the hippocampus, a brain region responsible for problem-solving and intelligent thinking.

Iannarino advises that the most effective course of action is to discontinue complaining and instead focus on resolving the root causes of it. By addressing these issues, individuals can move forward without any harm to their brains.

Embracing a Gratitude Practice

Iannarino acknowledges the multitude of claims regarding the benefits of gratitude, which encompass stress and anxiety reduction, lower blood pressure, mitigation of heart issues, reduced inflammation, enhanced immune system function, and improved cognitive functioning.

He highlights the work of Martin Seligman, widely recognized as the father of positive psychology, who redirected the field toward optimism, happiness, and flourishing. Seligman's "three blessings" exercise entails daily reflection on three positive events and the reasons behind them. Iannarino mentions Seligman's autobiography, The Hope Circuit: A Psychologist's Journey From Helplessness to Optimism, which documents that after two weeks of practicing this exercise, individuals reported reduced stress and anxiety and a significant reduction in depression symptoms.

To encourage a more positive outlook, Iannarino suggests keeping a journal to document daily positive experiences, which can gradually reduce negativity.

Mastering the Art of Self-Regulation

Iannarino confronts the common belief that external factors trigger negative emotions. Instead, he argues that individuals have the power to trigger themselves. He introduces Albert Ellis's cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a set of strategies designed to regain control over emotional states. Ellis dedicated a significant amount of time to understanding anger and self-triggering, as evident in his book How to Stubbornly Refuse to Make Yourself Miserable About Anything.

According to Ellis, self-triggering consists of three stages: the activating event, one's belief about the event, and the consequences following the emotional reaction. For instance, if another driver cuts you off in traffic, your initial belief that the driver was disrespectful might trigger anger. However, by reconsidering this belief and considering alternative explanations, you can avoid falling into negativity. Iannarino emphasizes that this shift not only benefits mental health but also contributes positively to physical well-being.

In a world characterized by constant change, negativity and stress have become widespread issues. By diligently implementing the three strategies--discontinuing complaints, practicing gratitude, and mastering the art of self-regulation--individuals can embark on a transformative journey toward reducing anxiety, alleviating symptoms of depression, nurturing a more positive life, and ultimately leading a happier, more fulfilling life.

Photo Credit: Getty Images.

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