5 Steps to Living More Positively
Do you have a case of glass-half-empty syndrome? Don’t feel bad if you do, because you are certainly not alone. Many people struggle to maintain a positive outlook, especially when facing difficulties and uncertainties. But no matter what circumstances life throws at you, you can train yourself to be more resilient and to foster a more positive mindset. Read on for a few ideas on how to live each day more positively.
Affirmations are a powerful tool to help shape your behaviour and challenge negative beliefs, and there is even neuroscientific research to back it up. Affirmations are statements that you repeat to yourself to impact your subconscious and conscious mind into achieving a specific behaviour or mindset. To find your own affirmation, think about your personal goals and translate them into a short, meaningful, and powerful sentence. For example, an affirmation to induce positivity may be something like, “I am filled with happy thoughts that create a happy life.” Although they may sound basic, repeating them over and over again can trick your mind into believing they are true. Other than repeating them to yourself frequently, you can write down your favourite affirmations somewhere where you will frequently see them, like your bathroom mirror, or use them during a guided meditation practice.
Meditation has long been touted as a way to achieve inner peace, but did you know it might also help you achieve a positive outlook? According to the Mayo Clinic, meditation can help reduce stress while increasing self-awareness and creativity. Sometimes starting a meditation practice can seem overwhelming, but the truth is there is not just one right way to meditate. You can start small by sitting still for five minutes and gradually working your way up. If you don’t know where to start, there are several mobile apps that walk you through various guided meditations. Remember those affirmations we talked about earlier? You can calmly repeat them to yourself, over and over again, throughout the duration of your meditation to keep your mind from wandering. Incorporating any type of meditative practice into your daily routine can help to slow down negative thinking patterns and help you live more positively.
Being thankful is an excellent way to focus on the good in your life, and psychological research has shown that gratitude is linked to increased levels of happiness. Channel your inner gratitude with gratitude journaling, the practice of writing down what you are grateful for every day. Yes, it’s as simple as that! There is no wrong way to gratitude journal: You can simply bullet point a list of various things or perhaps go into detail about a specific moment the day before that gave you the warm and fuzzies. The results of this practice can blow you away. Not only can this help you feel more positive, but looking back at past journal entries can give you clarity into what matters the most to you. No matter how down you may feel, there is usually always something you can find to be grateful for.
Can good posture lead to a better attitude? Studies indicate that good posture can help induce empowering thoughts and confidence, and confidence is a cornerstone of a happy and positive mindset. To achieve positive body language, find ways to make yourself smile and laugh every day. This might mean forcing yourself to chuckle and smile more often than usual (even if the jokes aren’t that funny) because it essentially tricks your brain into believing you are happier than you are. It’s the old “fake it until you make it” trick. Also, ditch the slumping and challenge yourself to consistently sit upright and take frequent breaks to stretch and open up your body with various “happy poses,” like holding your hands above your head and looking upwards.
Performing an act of kindness not only makes the recipient feel good, but it makes you feel even better. Challenge yourself to accomplish one act of kindness every day, like offering assistance, lending a friend a listening ear, sending a thoughtful text, or picking up any litter you come across. You can even turn this into a fun game to see how many different acts of kindness you can come up with. These small moments and connections in your life can add up to create undeniable positive momentum.
At first it might not be easy or feel natural, but pursuing a life filled with more positivity is a worthwhile endeavour. Start incorporating some of these happy hacks into your daily life and watch with amazement as your glass starts to look half full, and then might even start to overflow.