Finally, our third national lockdown (and hopefully last) is easing!
I know many of us are grateful for any sort of social interaction after four months of confinement. Personally, I was happy to finally visit my Grandma, who I haven’t had the chance to see for a while. My Grandma is probably my favourite person in the world because of how positive she is. In any conversation, no matter the situation, she will always see the good side of things. Her positivity is so contagious that it has motivated me to be more positive in my day-to-day life, and I’m hoping to encourage you to join me in my journey.
But before I go into how you can become more positive; I want to go over why positivity is so beneficial. By definition, positivity is the practice of being or tendency to be positive or optimistic in attitude. Dr Sanjay Prem, one of India’s leading motivational speakers, explains that by adopting a positive attitude, you will be able to:
• Expect success and not failure
• Feel more inspired
• Have the strength to not give up no matter what obstacle you encounter on your way.
• Recognise failure and problems as blessings in disguise.
• Believe in yourself and in your abilities.
• Show self-esteem and confidence.
• Look for solutions instead of dwelling on problems.
• See and go after opportunities
The first and most crucial step towards embracing a more positive mindset, is understanding how you currently think and respond to situations. A simple way to do this is through journaling. Most people tend to think that journaling involves buying a diary and systematically recording every part of your day and while this might be the case for some people, it doesn’t work for everyone. Some people choose to blurt out all their feelings rather than explain their day. Others may not want to commit to a journal, which is completely fine – the notes app on your phone is an easy place to go for a quick brain dump. If you want more of a structure, try journaling using the rule of five. This tip was recommended to me at a positivity webinar by Chessie and Brontë King. They suggested writing down five of anything on a piece of paper, for example, five gratitudes, five daily goals or five people you want to speak to that day.
Maybe journaling isn’t for you. After talking to some of my friends, I found that many people do not feel comfortable writing about their feelings. Instead, they would rather talk to a friend, family member or seek professional advice, all of which are completely valid – there is no right way!
After understanding yourself better, you will find that it is easier to catch negative thought patterns and, consequently, prevent them. Alternatively, you could try to convert them into something more positive. There are hundreds of ways to do this, but here are a few simple ideas:
• Smile – many studies show that you can trick your mind into being more positive through smiling (and for a bonus, it also helps cheer up others around you)
• Breathe and refocus – when you catch yourself feeling anxious and stressed about a situation, simply close your eyes and take a deep breath. This helps to approach an obstacle more calmly, therefore making it easier to overcome.
• An act of kindness - Stepping outside of your daily routine to help someone else can provide an amazing outlook and fill you with positivity. Some examples include calling a friend or family member, complimenting a stranger or even buying someone a cup of coffee.
• Practice gratitude – shift your focus away from negativity and reflect on the things you were grateful for during your day or your life in general.
• Exercise - all forms of physical activity help to fight feelings of anxiety and negativity by releasing endorphins, improving both your physical and mental health.
As with any new habit, practice makes perfect. At first, it may seem hard to maintain your new positive and mindful practices. I have experienced this many times myself (at this point, journaling and I have a strong on and off relationship). But just remember that it’s alright; try not to be disheartened and experiment in other ways until you find what works for you. It is also important to note that positivity isn’t about being in a constant state of happiness and bliss but is instead a mindset determining how you choose to deal with a given situation.
Remember achieving a positive mindset is a lifelong journey!
Below I’ve linked the article written by Dr Sanjay Prem, if you want to learn a little bit more about the topic.
We would love to hear about all of your positivity journeys!
Dr Sanjay Prem’s full article on “A Positive Attitude Leads to Success and Happiness”: