It can be a challenge to overcome negativity, especially when your world is particularly chaotic. Perhaps your supervisor at work gave you a particularly bad review for a recent project or maybe your family is undergoing some financial issues causing tension in the household. Whatever the stimulus that’s negatively affecting you, it’s important to realize that you do have a choice. You can choose to be positive or choose to be the opposite.
For overall wellness reasons, it’s always better to choose the former. Certainly, it can take practice to look on the sunny side of life. However, if you do, you’ll reap the mental and physical health benefits including lowered stress levels, less risk of cardiovascular disease, stronger coping mechanisms and much more. Below are eight small ways to make each day a bit brighter:
#1: Tell Yourself It’s Okay to Be Happy
Many people have a sinking sensation in their souls that they simply don’t deserve to feel amazing. For some, it comes from growing up in a family where negativity was a constant factor. For others, it’s just a way to cope that they developed over time. If you feel like you shouldn’t have a good day, your “prophecy” will no doubt come true. Instead, wake up and remind yourself that it’s okay to laugh, smile and enjoy another 24 hours on earth.
#2: Help Someone Else
Making another human being feel a little better can be a great way to boost your own positivity. When we reach out and connect with individuals, we go outside of our own minds. Focus on someone else’s needs and you’ll be less likely to wallow in self-pity throughout the day. Even sending an unexpected, uplifting email, postcard or note card to a friend can make all the difference.
#3: Start Distancing Yourself From Toxic People
Emotional “vampires” who suck the happiness out of people are everywhere and you probably have a few in your family, in your circle of friends or at your office. While you can’t avoid being around all of them, you can start to put up an emotional “buffer zone” that will enable you to distance yourself from their reactions and statements that might bring you down.
Word of caution: these people are experts at pulling you in with the latest gossip and idle chitchat. Resist the temptation to become as “down” as they are.
#4: Work on Changing for the Positive
The little things really do build up. Every day, make it your mission to change something in your life for the positive. Even if it’s just finally cleaning out the pantry so it’s more efficient, it’s something! Every tiny positive step is a step in the right direction.
#5: Banish Negative Self-Talk
You know the “tape recorder” in your head that tells you terrible things about yourself? Stop playing those recordings that aren’t uplifting! If this is particularly difficult for you, it may be necessary to connect with a therapist or other mental health professional to assist you. Often, we are our own biggest critics. In other words, we sabotage our positivity!
#6: Monitor Your Social Media Usage
Social media can be uplifting, but it can also be a drag. Not only will it use up copious amounts of time if you allow it, but it can also increase your overall life drama in a very unpleasant way. If you find that your moods change radically based on how many “likes” a picture gets or something someone posts on Facebook, it may be time to slash your connection with the social media world. This doesn’t mean you have to delete your account, but it does mean you should take a step back. Remind yourself that it isn’t the real world; it’s merely a conduit to staying in touch.
#7: Take Responsibility for Your Actions
Have you ever felt as if your life were out of your control? This can lead to feelings of intense victimization, which will only serve to foster negativity. Tell yourself that you’re responsible for your actions and stay accountable. It will actually make you feel as if you’re the captain of your destiny, which is a very strong position to be in!
Even science knows that laughter is truly the best medicine. Take time to laugh whenever possible, even if you have to jump onto YouTube to watch your favorite comedy routine to do so.
Like anything else worth embracing, positivity is a choice. Choose to make today amazing, and reap the rewards!
About the Author
Kayla Matthews is a lifehacking and productivity blogger with a passion for positive thinking. Read Kayla’s latest articles by following her on Google+ and Twitter, or by visiting her blog, ProductivityTheory.com.