Did you even think it was possible to become addicted to negativity?
I mean, it sounds utterly bonkers, doesn’t it?
When we think of addictions, we often just think about the ones related to drugs or alcohol, perhaps even to gambling. But to negativity?
So, how does it work?
Basically, negative emotions can give the body a rush of the stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline, which can become addictive, especially when regularly activated.
We read a lot about becoming addicted to dopamine, the pleasure hormone, yet we don’t see much about addictions to the stress hormones. But they are probably more common, especially amongst Sensitive people.
I have written in-depth about negativity addictions and the negativity bias in my book: Become a Super-Empowered Empath, but, over the years I have only covered it in a couple of posts.
Part of my book discusses how an Empath can have a negativity addiction without knowing, and how it impacts their life. I also give ways to overcome it.
The reason I wanted to discuss it here is because the world is in such a state of emotional despair.
Emotions are being purposely ignited to keep people in fear or anger, and this can be what leads to a negativity addiction.
Having an addiction to negativity causes so many problems within the body and mind, and will most certainly end up causing emotional toxicity.
As Empaths, we all know what it feels like to spend time around anyone who has emotional toxicity. Not good.
So, the last thing we would want is to experience it ourselves.
The thing is, once you have a negativity addiction, your brain works in sneaky ways to activate your body into releasing stress hormones, by drawing your attention to anything that it knows will make you react.
This reaction is often unique to you.
After giving up many addictive things, I know exactly how tricky addictions are, especially within the brain.
It is not until we give something up for a period of time that we see just how our choices and thoughts were governed by an addiction.
Now, I’m sure you’ll be keen to find out what the signs are of a negativity addiction.
So, without further ado, let’s look.
6 SIGNS OF NEGATIVITY ADDICTION
1. You are drawn to media sites that stir up anger or adrenaline rushes
You find yourself returning to media or news sites that wind you up or fill you with anger.
2. You constantly find fault in others
Finding fault in others is something we all do from time to time. It’s part of human nature. But when it is a constant reaction, there’s a problem within. For example: you could find yourself reacting to strangers when you go to the supermarkets or places of interest, you may find yourself seeing shortcomings in everyone who crosses your path.
3. Your thoughts rapidly ignite anger
You might get infuriated by someone who has a different opinion than yours, or you could find yourself becoming enraged by politicians whose agendas you do not agree with. If you get riled at the slightest things and find your thoughts naturally venturing over to the dark side, without you always knowing how they got there, this could be a sign of negativity addiction.
4. You always bring the conversation back to negative issues
When in conversations with others, you often find your discussions come back to reasons to be annoyed. Normally an Empath would move conversations away from difficult subjects, but when suffering a negativity addiction, they will be the one who keeps the awkward conversations going.
5. You seem to thrive when ranting and raving about any injustice that you see in the world
You get high when talking all things negative. Which as you might expect, is not a normal Empath trait. You may feel energised and purposeful when raging about things that make you angry, and your natural empathic switch, that would keep you from engaging in such conversations, seems to be switched off.
6. You secretly enjoy being around people with whom you can get into dark discussions
Normally, Empaths like to avoid overly negative people, for the reason that it stirs up uncomfortable emotions within. But when suffering with a negativity addiction, you might actually find yourself enjoying conversations with those who might put others down or find fault in the world.
Just because you might identify with any of the above traits does not make you a bad person. Your body could be tricking you into getting a hit of the stress hormones.
All our big media sites know just how addictive our stress hormones are, as well as our negativity bias, and for this reason they put stories out that focus on all things negative, thus keeping us coming back for more.
I often write about the importance of Empaths avoiding media outlets because it creates negative emotions.
WHY DO WE BECOME ADDICTED TO NEGATIVITY?
The reason you may not consciously be aware that you are addicted to stress hormones is because they are activated without you necessarily taking part.
Which makes sense when you think about it, because when an Empath picks up and feels other people’s emotions and stresses, their own stress hormones can get activated.
This can happen without you having any particular big stresses in your own life.
So, yes, Empaths are prone to having negativity addictions and this is because they feel everything so powerfully.
Yet there is always light at the end of the tunnel. As with any addiction, we have to see it for ourselves and understand how the brain is tricking our mind into focusing on negative issues, which will trigger the stress hormones.
Often, when we become aware of a problem within, it is half way to overcoming it.
WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT
If you suspect you have an addiction to negativity, and are therefore drawing more negativity into your life (like attracts like), you have to stay vigilant of knowing when your hormones are being spiked.
You normally recognise a hormone spike by the discomfort around the gut or chest area. It may feel like a burning sensation or a sense of dread, or your heart might be pounding. It could also trigger anxiety or panic attacks.
As soon as you feel this discomfort, act immediately with some type of distraction, so that your thoughts don’t get involved.
Thoughts feed emotions. Emotions feed thoughts. Emotions are fuel for your stress hormones.
You only have a seventeen second window before a negative thought takes your mind over to the ‘dark side’. You then become hostage within your own head. Yes, only seventeen seconds. This post may help with distraction.
The simplest way to heal a negativity addiction is to remove anything from your life that creates an emotional reaction.
Avoid people or places that put you in a low mood or activate dark thoughts.
If you want to learn more about how negativity addictions impact your Empath life, and ways to overcome them, then my book goes into much greater detail.
It may seem that I write a lot about the negative aspects of being an Empath, but as I know how many problems Sensitive people can experience, just by experiencing too many stress hormones, I find it such important work.
This blog is about empowering the Empaths of the world and helping them understand why they react and feel the things they do, and ultimately help them to find balance in life.
If I can help just one fellow Empath out of their suffering, it is worth the time I spend on these posts.