August 22, 2021

Lauren Galli

Galli Gripes: Hop Off the Negativity Train


With everything that has been going on the past year and a half, it has been far too easy to fall deep into a very dark emotional place. Depression has been at an all-time high, along with substance abuse, drug overdoses, and domestic violence. We are not exactly living in the most cheerful of times.

Now, as the Delta variant of COVID-19 has reared its ugly head and talks of mask mandates are ramping up again, people have started to slide back into a pandemic way of thinking. They have hopped aboard something I call “the negativity train.” I use the train reference because a lot of trains start off slowly. Then, before you know it, they are speeding down the track, with the potential to destroy anything that gets in their way.

Negative thinking is no different. Every person has negative thoughts now and again. It’s human nature. However, there are many people who allow even tiny niggling moments to gain steam, build momentum, and become speeding monsters that decimate anything in their path.

Getting Real About Negativity

Confession: I tend to become negative sometimes. Hello, I have a column called “Galli Gripes!” However, I have worked very hard, despite my back issues and anxiety, to rewire my brain to work differently during the pandemic. I do not want to be one of those people who poisons a room just by walking into it.

It’s important to accept that stuff happens. For example, Monday morning, I walked out my front door with the dog and got stung by a wasp TWICE in my forehead. I was also suffering from a rather painful medical condition at the time. I admit I was out in the yard walking my little brown dog, tears streaming down my face, asking her to hurry up and go potty because “mommy” was in pain.

I could have let that situation ruin my entire day. Instead, I grabbed my keys and headed to work. Later that day, I had to have a surgical procedure (one akin to torture), but I powered through and did what I had to do to get through the rest of the day. It was challenging. But how would being a negative Nancy and ruining the day for everyone around me have helped in any way?

Get Over It and Get Past It

I encounter people every day who create a fog of tension and negativity the permeates the space around them. I can almost sense their arrival and begin to brace for the worst. They complain, they talk behind people’s backs, they rally the people around them and in turn, bring them down, too. They are toxic—and truthfully, I am over them.

Know that I’m not Sally Sunshine. I do not jump out of bed every morning, sing a jaunty tune, and let cartoon birdies help me get dressed. However, I do my best to keep the most positive mindset possible. If I didn’t, I would be curled up under my desk by ten o’clock in the morning with anesthesiologists beating down my door about the operating room schedule.

I know remaining positive is not an easy thing to do, especially during these uncertain times. I have the utmost empathy for everything EVERYONE is dealing with in the face of the pandemic and life in general. I realize that everyone is fighting their own battles. Bringing a black cloud with me to my interactions won’t serve anyone.

EVERYONE IS GOING THROUGH SOMETHING. To all of you who dwell on your troubles and darken doorsteps with your storm of negativity, “Cease and desist!” Stop bringing everyone around you down because the elastic gave out in your underwear, your dog threw up in your shoes, or your spouse’s snoring kept you awake half the night. Instead, think about one good thing that is happening in your life and focus on that.

You woke up this morning. That means you have a purpose. There is your reason to think positively.

In the privacy of your own home, do your thing. Beat the life out of a punching bag, mow the lawn to the most violent and angry music you own, take a long drive, sing your heart out, or cry in the bathtub with some candles lit. Whatever you must do to get off the negativity train, do it. Stop leaving a path of destruction by plowing through everyone you encounter.

How do you handle bad moods and prevent negative thoughts from damaging the people around you? Leave a comment and share your tips!

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