Welcome to the No Negativity Zone – Happier Marriages and Stronger Intuitions Grow Here

I am writing about negativity today because I was inspired by my dear friend Suyin Nichols’ concept of a “Negativity Fast.”  You can read that brilliant post here.

In this post she wrote about going on a fast from negative TV, news, and people. Then she explains the clarity she felt and how much stronger her intuition got just from eliminating all this extra “noise.”

I read it, liked it, thought about the shows I watch on TV, decided I like my drama on TV and not in my life, so I would keep what I watch but notice what I say and what I choose to listen to.

As I was pondering this, I happened upon an old article (from waaaay back in 2012!) by the brilliant Harville Hendricks, one of the great marriage mentors of our time.

He wrote an article for the Huffington Post suggesting that relationships should be a “Zero Negativity Zone.”

Mr. Hendrix, whom we shall lovingly call, Harville, basically says that any act of criticism is an act of violence.

While Suyin’s post inspired me, Harville’s post shook me.

They both agree – negativity is bad for us, bad for marriages, bad for business and just plain old bad all around. Stocks prices go down when investors fear just about anything. (As a kid watching the news I wondered who the investors were. As an adult with a 401k I figured out “they” are actually “us.”)

Yet we are constantly bombarded with bad news, negative media <the Un-Real Housewives of any city go here>, and limiting thoughts and beliefs we carry over into our heads from the people around us, at work, at the gym, or on TV.

As a Life Coach (and a person filled with enthusiasm for life and love) I believe we have power over our surroundings and we can DECIDE just how much of anything, including negativity we are going to let into our lives and minds.

 

Which brings me back to Harville.

He says that words that criticize cause anxiety and that this same anxiety makes our bodies go into an automatic reaction whenever perceived danger is present: “fight or flight.”

His theory (which we could test a thousand times and I bet we would make it a scientific fact) is that couples who want a healthy, happy relationship should commit to absolutely NO negative talk of any kind. Absolutamente nada negativo. Nunca <-aka Never.

That doesn’t mean we don’t bring up situations that need to be addressed, it just means we take an approach of making requests and not complaints and with the mindset of being gentle and loving and kind throughout the whole process.

I thought a lot about what Harville said and realized that The Hubs and I have done so much inner work that we do this naturally most of the time. I had no idea however, how valuable and important this approach is and how critical it is to long term marriage success. Success meaning not just being married but being happily so.

What Suyin challenged me to do in her post was to look at all the channels of information feeding into the river of my mind and determine – are they inspiring and empowering or are they fueling negativity, self doubt and criticism.

She also reminded me that when I get quiet and listen more deeply to my own voice instead of everyone else’s I can hear my intuition more loudly and clearly than ever before.

My invitation this week is to take a look at what messages are coming in and what messages you are sending out – and eliminate negativity wherever possible.

As always, I recommend starting small – remove one talk show from your DVR list, or watch the news one less night per week. When you are talking with friends and the conversation goes in a direction that isn’t constructive, gently change the topic or take that moment to go get a glass of tea.

Have you noticed the effects of removing negativity from your life? Is there something you want to remove but aren’t sure how to? Can you make the same request from your spouse in a different way this week?  Please share in the comments.

 

Comments

  1. says

    This is a fantastic mindfulness creator and the longer one can sustain such mindfulness the better. It could even become a habit – a very good habit. Thank you for such a thought-provoking post!

    Does Hubs plan on publishing here again or has he already begun his own blog? Have a FUN Thursday!!!

    • Maggie Reyes says

      CJ Renzi! (I just love your name, it’s sounds like a pirate! A modern-day one of course. The noble digital kind.) I have exlusive publishing rights to all The Hub’s literary creations ;-). I made a great deal that involves kisses, hugs and chocolate as royalty payments. He will be back!

      • says

        This is rare indeed to find pirate and noble in such close proximity. Secondly, although your posts are unparalleled in their magical properties and influence over our cafe conversations, I am relieved to learn the Hubs will make a return. And lastly, I think I am going to cry in public now because a dream of mine has come true right before my very eyes. I always wanted to be a pirate, Maggie. And now I am a noble and modern one at that. Thank you!

  2. says

    Maggie, this post is so right in line with what we believe. It has been an active process and not always easy, but CJ and I sought to eliminate all negativity. I, being of the anxious variety, have to monitor my own thoughts and speech carefully. I have had to “rewrite” my words many times in my head before speaking them. By choice, we spend almost all day every day together, so our opportunities for negative AND positive interactions are increased.

    We are snuffing out the negative with a ruthless determination! This means we have had to let go of people in our lives which was very difficult but necessary. We only get to live one life that I know of, so….I choose No Negativity!

    Thank you for putting out such important messages and content. I love reading your posts!

    • Maggie Reyes says

      Tammy,
      I love how you “rewrite” your words before speaking them – so completely brilliant. I wish I knew how to do that when I was younger. So glad I know now!

      I really appreciate your comment that my articles include important messages. Every week I try to add value to this world (or my little corner of it) and it’s so rewarding to think my efforts are useful. Thank you for mentioning that!

  3. says

    This is brilliant as always Maggie! I don’t watch the news precisely for this reason. My mom on the other hand…who has a lot to learn from this post…not only watches the news several times per day but has the radio on all day with the news on. Many times she calls me , nog to say hi, but to warn me about the huge accident that I may find on the road on the way to pick up my kids. Or to tell me about the new and improved “super-bug” that will kill 1/2 the population. Sometimes it makes me laugh…but most times it adds a sense of anxiety that carries over to other things Im dealing with. So just a few days ago I kindly asked her to STOP. Not that she will but I will be choosing NOT to listen…so eventually she will (I hope).

    • Maggie Reyes says

      Hi Mary,

      You bring up such a great point with the news. I stopped watching it on a regular basis years ago (former news junkie) and you know what – if something is really important, I always find out about it and if I want more depth on a topic I will read an indepth article about it or sometimes a whole book on something that really interests me.

      Going on a “news fast” for just a day if you have never been on one can be super powerful.

      Also – when your mind is no longer filled with all this negative information, it has space to fill up with creativity, positive expectation and plans. So the news (or any negative information such as gossip) is taking up valuable real estate that could be used for something productive.

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