Thinking positively can attract many wonderful things into your life and can make any daunting task slightly easier to deal with. So why is it so difficult to do? Here are 7 things that you can do to stay positive.
1. Keep track of things you’re grateful for
Scientifically speaking, the negative events of your life are far more likely than positive ones to stick with you, and play a prominent role in shaping your character.
That’s where a gratitude journal comes in.
Keep a notepad beside your bed, and each day, write down things that you’re grateful for. Research has shown that this will not only boost your happiness but your productivity as well. Stanford University even offers a high-demand class on gratitude journalling that saw students’ stress levels decrease by 27%.
2. Get active
I mean both physically and mentally.
The old saying goes that “an idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” Keeping your mind busy and focussed on things other than the negativity in your life is crucial to boosting positivity.
Find a hobby. Read a book about a topic that you know will leave you with a lot to think about.
And, of course, don’t forget to exercise – this will increase your brain’s dopamine level.
3. Pay attention to what you put into your body
Researchers are constantly discovering just how closely linked our mental and physical health is.
Foods containing artificial sweeteners, hydrogenated oils and high sodium levels are known to have an impact on mental wellbeing.
You also need to pay attention to what you’re not putting in your body – even vitamin and nutritional deficiencies can cause depression and an overwhelming fog of negativity.
Practice eating well every single day, and you might be surprised by how drastically your outlook changes for the better.
4. Perform acts of kindness
A study conducted by Dr. Suzanne Richards from the University of Exeter Medical School concluded that volunteering one’s time is associated with many positive things, two of which are lower rates of depression and increased well-being.
There’s a good chance that every single day, we come across people who could use a hand. Often, these are people who couldn’t possibly ever return the favor – if only for the reason that we’d likely never see them again.
Homeless people on the street. A stranger on the bus searching frantically for their lost token. A police officer sitting in a restaurant that you can tell has been having a rough day.
Helping such people will help you and your mental health.
5. Follow your passion
Often, we lose sight of the fact that following our passions is something we can do on a daily basis. It’s not something to put off for retirement or until you have ‘X’ amount of money in the bank.
Every single day, we’re faced with decisions that will either help us follow our passions or make it difficult to do so.
Making sure you fall into the first category is crucial to maintaining mental health.
Work on re-training your subconscious.
When negativity seeps into your life, it tends to hover there through cognitive patterns that flare up automatically.
This can be solved by employing the practices of cognitive behavioral therapy. Keeping a thought record is one thing that I’ve found particularly helpful in getting my brain to stop falling into traps like all-or-nothing thinking or black and white reasoning.
7. Stay centered
There are many ways to accomplish this – yoga is one of them, as are walking in nature and deep breathing.
Check out this handy video from Gillian B to learn about an ancient breathing technique you can employ anywhere when you’re feeling stressed, anxious or negative.