How to Mentally Distance Yourself from Negativity

Social distancing, also referred to as physical distancing, has been the most effective practice to reduce the spread of coronavirus. “Stop the spread” has been the catchphrase throughout the contagious pandemic to maintain physical wellness.


If social distancing is an effective strategy to reduce the effects of viruses, what can help you reduce the spread of negativity and critical judgements from others to maintain your mental wellness?


You got it… mental distancing!


Negativity is all around and if you are not on guard, your mind can become polluted with unhealthy mental nonsense.


People who make negative comments about us or to us can leave an indelible blemish in our minds.


For example:


· Coaches who belittle you, “You are lazy in practice. That’s why you make so many mistakes in the game. You will never reach your potential if you keep going this way.”


· Family members comparing you to others, “Why can’t you be more like Johnny? He gets good grades and is captain of the football team. You barely get B’s!”


· Teachers who unknowingly crush your dreams, “Do you really want to be a physicist? You know you will need to go to graduate school and tuition is very expensive. Why don’t you choose a more practical career path?”


· So-called friends who talked smack behind your back, “He’s such a dufus. He thinks he’s a good singer, but he sounds like a seal with laryngitis.”


You don’t need to bathe in the negativity slung your way.


Mental distancing creates a safe space between yourself and other people who spew pessimistic, disapproving, critical, judgmental, and harmful opinions.



On a personal note, one particular toxic instance stands out for me. I was in college when a professor hurled a demeaning insult at me during a statistics class. I asked a question, which the professor must have deemed stupid. The professor said, in front of all my classmates, “Mr. Weber, why don’t you drop out of college and get a job at a convenience store.” That comment was wrong on so many levels and belittling to more than just myself. I was so shocked, humiliated and pissed off! I immediately sprung out of my seat and stormed out of the classroom.


Little did I know, I performed my first act of mental distancing. I refused to accept his negativity and make it my own. I stood tall and distanced myself from his judgmental virus.


You can choose to distance yourself from the negative, judgmental, opinionated, and critical comments from dream-crushers, joy-snatchers, and confidence-wreckers.


You can choose to dress yourself in a proverbial suit of armor to protect your mind, confidence, self-esteem, and mental well-being.


Adopt the “Stop the spread” mantra to prevent harmful mental viruses from entering your head space.


Choose to live healthy in mind, body, and spirit.