At some point, we have all received well meaning advice to “stay positive”. To view the glass as “half full” sometimes can feel like wishful thinking or “Pollyannaish”. And it can be difficult to find the motivation to stay positive when life becomes challenging.
Ultimately, the real obstacle to positivity is the fact that our brains are hard-wired to watch for and focus on threats. It has become a survival mechanism that has served mankind well to allow us to arrive at this point in civilization. Today, this survival wiring can lead the mind to wander until it finds a threat. This can create deep-seated tension and anxiety in our minds and body.
Maintaining positivity is a daily challenge that requires focus and intention. With daily practice and living intentionally, we can shift the baseline mechanism of searching for threats and learn to live with a deeper optimism and positivity. This is a good time to start a practice of positivity. Here are a few ways that you can begin today…
Start your day in a positive way
Before leaving the comfort of your bed each morning, be intentional with starting your day with thoughts of gratitude. Stretch your warm body, take a few deep breaths, and set a positive intention for your day.
A morning meditation practice is a powerful way to begin each day on a positive trajectory.
This could be a formal sitting meditation practice, or it could be as simple as being mindful of the ordinary moments of your morning and throughout your day
Cultivate A Positive Environment
Be deliberate with your choices of media that you consume. Social media, the daily news, television, movie, and music choices all have an impact on our thoughts and how we feel. Stay alert to how these various inputs make you feel each day. This also applies to the people who surround you. Choose to spend more time with those individuals that fill you up rather than deplete your energy. Positive people rub off on others, so choose your people well!
Add Positivity To Someone Else’s Day
As we mentioned above, spreading joy and positivity rubs off on others and at the same time leaves a residue of lightness within yourself. We can spread positivity by helping out, smiling throughout the day, sharing laughter, listening to others, or speaking words of encouragement. Small positive moments change the course of a day.
Exercise, Sleep, and Eat Well
When we are feeling healthy we exude positive energy. Daily exercise, eating well, and getting plenty of sleep are the three pillars of wellness. It is so much easier to remain positive when we are feeling healthy and rested!
As stress and tension build, so does negativity. Slowing down the body and mind is an antidote to stress. Practice slower eating, walking or talking. When you are able to slow down in a moment, you can be more constructive and thoughtful with your words, decisions, and actions.
As we learn to slow down and recognize negative thoughts or feelings, we are then in a position to intentionally refocus and shift our attention in a more positive direction. Next time negative thoughts arise, notice them as such. Then practice refocusing your attention towards witnessing the positive and optimistic moments that are arising all around you.
Every day has something positive in it. Some days you just have to look a little bit harder. Stay well, everyone. Be happy, feel the happiness, and share your happiness.