The Onion of Negativity

How many of y’all have cried while cutting an onion? If you are a girl, obviously you did, and if you are a boy who didn’t cut an onion ever then go to the kitchen and help your mother  in cutting the veggies! Everybody wants to get rid of tears while dealing with an onion. Everybody also wants to get rid of negativity—the bog in which most of the people are falling these days. You will discover many people already fallen in this bog yet unaware of it which leads to ruining of their lives and everybody else’s. Below is my concept of ‘The Onion of Negativity’ to help you get out of this bog.

Let’s start with a simple question. What is Negativity? Here is the definition of Negativity.

Negativity is a tendency to be downbeat, disagreeable, and sceptical. It’s a pessimistic
attitude that always expects the worst in every situation. In simple words I would say
Negativity is the characteristic of being pessimistic.

It may sound simple but is the worst enemy you would ever face in your life.

Negativity is like an onion. There are multiple layers in an onion. The deeper you go, the intensity increases and you are more likely to cry louder. Same goes with Negativity. What if I say you can deal with an onion without crying? How?

You can, by dealing with the onion layer by layer. Do not cut it directly. Take a bowl of cold water and keep the onion in it before peeling. Now, remove the first layer, cut it, and again put the onion in the cold water. Repeat the same procedure till you come across the last layer of the onion. There you are with a chopped onion and no tears! Same way you have to deal with Negativity, layer by layer—step by step.

Let’s say the first layer of the Onion of Negativity is Pessimistic thinking. Negative people tend to see the worst side of the things; they tend to bring negative out of any situation. It starts with simple things and you never know when it will intensify. People with negative thinking rarely envisage a happy outcome or positive result. They always imagine that everything will go wrong. They fall in love with the word ‘But’. They finish their positive remarks with a ‘but’ word, turning the sentence into negative. You get remarks like “This is a great competition but I cannot win.” Amigo, if a ‘but’ word can change positive to negative then it can also change negative to positive: “This competition is not easy but at least I can try.” The solution to this layer is putting the Onion of Negativity in the water of optimism. Practice optimism every day; look at the better side of the things. Optimistic thinking is an art that you have to choose and learn. It seems intricate but it is very easy to learn and adapt. You tend to reflect what you absorb. Absorb love, absorb amnesty, absorb happiness, absorb optimism, and you will be able to see the beautiful world out there. When I was explaining the same things to my friend, he seemed really enlivened and he said, “I am living a beautiful life and I won’t be facing any problem here after.” Hearing that, all I could say is, SHUT UP! Optimism doesn’t mean engaging in wishful or fantastic thinking. Optimism is the way of looking the better side of the world while living in the present. Realism is also as important as optimism. Realism is conceiving that problems are inevitable and you can’t stop them coming, whereas optimism is believing that problems are temporary and you will come out of the problem with a better version of yourself.

The second layer of the Onion of Negativity is Self-doubt. Negative people think that they are underachievers and what so ever they do will go wrong. They always keep scrupling their activities in the fear of failure. They lack the most important factor: confidence. They feel they are not worthy enough or good enough hence underestimating their own conscience. They have a habit of comparing themselves to other, seeking the goods in others and wrongs in themselves, eventually creating an enigma for themselves. The solution to this layer is self- esteem. You have to believe you can execute better to actually execute better. You have to believe you are doing the right thing to shun uncertainty. You have to believe in yourself and love yourself. Some people may counter: comparing yourself to others is a good practice
because that helps you become better. Here comes the concept of healthy and unhealthy comparison. Comparing yourself to others while embracing others and criticising yourself is unhealthy comparison; on the other hand, comparing yourself to others to find ways to improve yourself is healthy comparison. And obviously do not fear failure because:

If you live in the fear of death, you will never live!

Now, the third layer is Criticism. Those who are negative tend to whine a lot; they feel like the whole world is against them. They have a very thin skin and complain about petty things even when something good happens to them: “This is one of the best restaurants in the city but you should have booked a table near window.” The spell to this layer is Acceptance. True acceptance is not just saying, “I accept” to the world when there’s emotional disappointment within you. True acceptance means to be emotionally satisfied and embrace the reality with zero resistance within; it is not about accepting the fact outside you but about the feeling how the fact makes you feel. True acceptance brings serenity. It transforms dissatisfaction to fulfilment, and grief to ease. It helps you to see the world beyond judgement and this is what you need. True acceptance is the key to happiness. Happiness is a perception and acceptance helps you to build that perception. There will always be one thing or other to pull you back but the difference lies in the way you look at it. Think different to feel different!

Let’s talk about the fourth layer, the core of the Onion of Negativity: Anxiety—the major obstacle. Anxiety is a general, unpleasant human experience that you all have faced. Potential discomfort, physical or emotional, causes anxiety. The negative thoughts hovering over your mind causes anxiety affecting your physical and mental health. Common symptoms of anxiety include: excessive worrying, feeling annoyed, restlessness, irrational fears, and panic attacks like palpitations, sweating, trembling of hands and legs, breathlessness, stomach upset, nausea and chest pain. But what you need to understand is the difference between normal anxiety and anxiety disorder. Normal anxiety is caused due to various incidents like: going for an exam, asking someone for date, fighting with someone, watching a horror movie, going for an interview, doing something for the first time, etc. Anxiety can be problem and turn to anxiety disorder if it intensifies massively, occurs regularly and ruins your physical health and mental health completely. The continuous and irrational thought process makes you anxious about everything and you keep falling deeper and deeper in this
bog. How are you supposed to get out this bog?

The solution to this core is simple but requires continuous efforts. You know, when you resolve the above mentioned layers, you are ultimately solving for the core— Anxiety. And you are almost out of the Onion of Negativity. But the core demands a little more: the spell of tranquillity. Tranquillity is the state of being emotionally and mentally at peace, without disturbing thoughts, and with a stable mindset. Tranquillity eliminates anxieties, fears, worries and discomfort. Tranquillity delivers bliss, faith, amenity and solace. You can attain tranquillity by meditating and performing yoga or exercising. Meditation annihilates the chaotic thoughts from your mind and replaces them with calmness and optimistic thoughts. Meditation acts an antidepressant helping you to relieve anxiety. According to a research, starting your day by meditating for thirty minutes and performing yoga (or exercising) is the
best practice. Furthermore, I would also suggest you to practice deep breathing to reduce anxiety. Finally, you are out of the Onion of Negativity with a better version of yourself, cheers!

Lastly, if you are still not able to come of the Onion of Negativity due to excessive anxiety which can be caused due to certain psychological condition, then I would suggest you to talk to a counsellor about your concerns.

Thank you for reading!

-Chirag Jagad