Positivity is an attitude that can be learned. So if you want to stop seeing the glass as half-empty here are 7 habits that you can adopt.
1 – Start your day positively
How you start your day has a major impact on how you feel. So why not give yourself the best chance of having some positivity in your day by starting it with that in mind. Either clear your head using “Morning Pages” or take time and plan what you want to achieve.
2 – Realise what you can control
Realise how much of what influences your mood you can control. If you know people are a drain on your energy or darken your mood then stop associating with them. If circumstances mean that isn’t possible then realise how much of your reaction you can control. Remember that we don’t respond to situations, we respond to our thoughts about situations. So, see if your thoughts about the situation actually hold water.
3 – Remember that you can choose how you react.
Remember that even if circumstances are bad, and your thoughts are justified, you can still choose how you feel. As Viktor Frankl wrote about his time in the concentration camps “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
4 – Be grateful
Remind yourself of things that you have to be grateful for. This isn’t about “counting your blessings”, but about practicing genuine gratitude. That could be for anything from a friendship to an act of kindness. The more you practice gratitude the easier it becomes, and the more your positivity will grow. You can make this even quicker by keeping a gratitude list on your phone that you keep adding to, or teaming up with someone else to swap your gratitude notes with.
5 – Be kind to others
If you find it difficult to be positive with yourself then you may find it easier to start with other people. Call a friend that you know needs some attention, help a colleague at work, pay someone you know a compliment. Their reaction will kindle the flames of your positivity.
6 – Live in the present
One of the most straightforward ways to drop the negativity is to learn to live in the present. Dwelling on the past, worrying about the future, or hankering after “what might have been” are all guaranteed to reduce your positivity. As a very gifted counsellor I knew used to say “If you’ve got on foot in the past, and one foot in the future, then there’s something you’ll be doing all over the present”.
7 – Smile!
Smiling isn’t a one-way street. Not only does being happy make us smile, but smiling can make us feel happy. A really simple way to improve your mood is to smile – try it now, and notice how you start to feel. How we conduct ourselves physically has a huge influence on our mood – that’s why the “Superman Stance” works so well.
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