I beat the drum of positivity a lot, I know. But it’s for a good reason. Studies have shown that positive people are naturally more successful because they’re able to shake off the small stuff and overcome routine setbacks.
If you think you’re not a positive person and you were just born that way, then you’re wrong! Positivity is a choice! It is 100% up to you. I’ve got four ways to help you get there.
We’ve talked about how to bounce back by approaching tough situations like they’re Business As Usual. We’ve put things into context using the Catastrophe Scale. We’ve even talked about how to evaluate whether you’re really having a bad day or just One Bad Minute. But if you find yourself wallowing in a “poor me” mentality most days, here are a few more easy steps you can take to realign yourself with a more positive state of mind.
1. Maintain a Gratitude Journal
In my experience, it’s hard to be both sad and grateful at the same time. I suggest taking a few minutes at the end of every day to write down two or three things you’re thankful for.
You might feel like there’s not much in your life to be grateful for. Maybe you’re always on the road for work and it’s wearing you down. Instead of lamenting your travel schedule, think about how many people don’t even have the means to visit other parts of the country. When you’re eating your eighteenth airport meal of the month, consider how many people don’t know where their next meal will come from.
Whenever you feel you don’t have a lot to be grateful for, look for small blessings. You have a job. You have the money to buy your next meal. You can travel across the country.
Even when life feels heavy, we have a tremendous amount to be grateful for. I encourage you to think of gratitude as a verb, not an adjective; it’s not something you are, but rather something you actively show.
2. Have Fun!
Part of the reason why the concept of the “mid-life crisis” exists is that as adults, we’ve lost our hobbies. Either we adopt our kids’ hobbies, or work has become our hobby. I have news for you: Becoming an adult doesn’t mean you have to stop having fun!
Taking time for your hobbies isn’t selfish. There are so many demands on our time these days, and juggling everything can feel suffocating, but we all need to take time for ourselves. Take a minute to get outside and breathe some fresh air and do some fun activities.
James Clear, who writes one of my favorite blogs, says, “Seek joy, play often, and pursue adventures. Your brain will do the rest.” I love this. We fail to remember it pretty often, but we are created to have fun. We put so much pressure on ourselves that we forget to let ourselves play.
3. Break Bread
The act of having a meal together is so important. The benefits of breaking bread with one another can’t be overstated. When you share a meal with someone, you’re less likely to overeat, you get to participate in a good conversation, and being with other people naturally puts you in a better mood.
Eating with people is a great opportunity to deepen relationships, learn something new, and have quality one-on-one time with other people. Make it a priority to have lunch with someone else at least one day a week.
Get out of your office. Get away from your desk. It will do so much for your state of mind.
I’ve said it before, and I’m going to keep saying it: There are so many positive things that come from meditation. It reduces stress, increases focus, and—even though it still seems hokey to so many—regular meditation can have a massive impact on your patience, stress level, and mood.
Make a commitment to spend some quiet time with yourself daily. When you take that time—whether you spend it in quiet reflection, meditation, or focus—you give it the transformative power to change who you are as a person.
Remember that your approach to life is entirely up to you. You can choose to be passive and let the world act upon you, or you can be the actor. Only you can take control of your life and choose to live in positivity and abundance.
Until next time—go sell some stuff!