Skyla Teel Picture_4,5_30935


I love hearing from you guys after you’ve read one of my columns and can’t thank you enough for the kindness you’ve shown. I’m always willing to hear suggestions for column topics and this month’s topic is from a suggestion that I happen to love. “Write about dealing with negativity” is what a friendly voice cheered out as I was leaving my office one day. A+ on this suggestion.

My immediate thought was a big, obvious “yes,” but then I realized I could write a whole book about this topic, so fitting into this format will be challenging. With that in mind, I’m going to keep this brief, but hopefully powerful and useable and all of you should know, I have a lot more to say about this.

The first thing we need to realize is that negativity can come into our life from anywhere and can attach itself to us. Most people think it’s just from someone who isn’t nice and causes drama, someone who constantly whines about everything and brings you down, or bad things that seem to keep reoccurring around you, but negativity is actually much bigger and sneakier than that. It can come from the things we watch, listen to or read. It can come from the self-negative self-talk we don’t even realize we’re doing. It can come from people with dark and unkind energy whom we’re around (whether we want to be or not). Be open and honest with yourself when you’re trying to pinpoint causes of negativity and take responsibility for your part of it.

The energy around, and in, all of us fascinates me, so being aware of energy — positive, negative or neutral — is pretty natural for me. Don’t worry, you don’t need to become a hippie or gypsy to do this unless you want to — in which case, I have a lot of suggestions but we will need a strand of virgin hair and a full moon. Yes, I’m kidding. I just needed to make sure you’re still paying attention.

Since I like to focus on the positive whenever possible, here are some things you should do to ward off negativity and increase positivity, in no particular order:

  • Pray and/or meditate daily.
  • Get off of social media. Try removing the apps from your phone for a week and you’ll see how addicted you really are.
  • Stop watching dramatic reality shows that glorify nonsense and dysfunction.
  • Only speak positively. Start saying what you DO want instead of what you DON’T want.
  • Get enough rest to maintain your happiness. Shoot for seven to eight hours.
  • Exercise a minimum of 30 minutes each day. This doesn’t need to be crazy, a nice walk will work.
  • Be kind to yourself and to others.
  • Set healthy boundaries. Not everyone needs access to you.
  • Spend time with people who make you feel happy.
  • Clean and organize your home, car and workspace. Disorganization and clutter create unnecessary chaos that will create stress and breed more negativity.
  • Get fresh air daily and open your windows as much as our crazy weather will allow.
  • Give thanks daily. A gratitude journal will help you focus on the good, which will attract more good into your life.

Like I said, I could write a book about this, but I hope this is enough to make you think and take some action in your life. At the end of the day, being surrounded by more positivity will help you to love your life.


Contributing writer Skyla Teel is a wife, mom, professor, rodeo coach and life coach. She can be reached at