We hear a lot about the power of positivity and it certainly features heavily in my new book ‘Make it Magnificent’ which is available from Amazon or from our websitewww.attunededucation.com
Being positive certainly won’t mean that we no longer experience difficulties or challenges but it can certainly change the way we view those challenges and this in turn can change the way we react to and frame those experiences.
But how can we do that in practice – especially when we don’t feel like or maybe we even feel that life is throwing all manner of horrors at us? In essence what we have to do at such times is ‘fake it’. We don’t feel like being positive, but we do it anyway. The reason why we do it is quite simply because it is good for us. There is evidence to suggest that people who are positive suffer less from stress and experience better physical and mental health (www.verywellmind.com/what-is-positive-thinking)
Specifically the Mayo clinic (www.mayoclinic.org) suggest that people who are positive can expect
- Longer life span
- Less stress
- Lower rates of depression
- Increased resistance to the common cold
- Better stress management and coping skills
- Lower risk of cardiovascular disease-related death
- Increased physical well-being
- Better psychological health
The argument about ‘why’ we should try to develop a more positive attitude is simple really – it’s because it is good for us. So just like making a decision to eat vegetables and fruit, or make sure we exercise each week we should make a conscious decision to be positive because it is good for us.
The ‘how’ might take a bit more work so here are a few tips you can try to get each and every day off to appositive start however you feel.
Start the night before
Let us take a bit of a reality check. We all know it is harder to be positive if we are ill, cold hungry or tired. So making sure that every day, or as many as we can manage we devote time to looking after ourselves in terms of our diet and exercise and making sure that our basic needs are well met. A good night’s sleep means it is much more likely that we will wake up feeling more positive and if we then make sure we have a healthy breakfast that will help too. It is an inescapable fact that our physical and mental health are intertwined. If we look after our bodies we are more likely to feel more positive. Specifically exercising, even when we don’t feel like it, causes some of the feel good hormones to be released in the brain.
Make sure that when you wake you have something positive to think about. A calendar with positive quotes for example or buy yourself a set of our uplifting quote postcards and pin one on your mirror or fridge to give you that happy thought (www.attunededucation.com/shop).
Another great idea is to make sure that passwords which we all have to use are a source of inspiration. I often uses positive phrases like
- Today is Awesome
- I can do this
- It’s great to be alive
- I am in control of my own destiny
Or any one of hundreds of uplifting sentences or affirmations, you can add numbers or capitals to make sure they stick to password rules but simply having a positive phrase as you log in to a computer or device can help.
You can also look out for inspiration and often when you do that you will find it all around. Last week, I visited a school for some work I’m doing and they told me of a pupil who showed promise in rugby. Sadly, he broke his neck when diving into the sea on holiday, at 17 years old I think, and was paralysed from the neck down. How easy to be negative in that situation but actually he became a mouth artist and motivational speaker. WOW! Inspiration is everywhere if we look for it. His name is Henry Fraser – do check out his website and make a decision to be positive, it is sure to pay dividends for your health and well-being.
Identify what is negative
We all have different things that can drag us down, the news can tend to have a bit of a negative impact on some people but remember we can choose what we watch and listen to so if you find it drags you down then maybe listen to some music in the morning instead. It may still drag you down at other times of the day but it might not have such an impact on your positivity as you start out on the new day. Sometimes people can be negative too and it is their prerogative to be the way they want but it is also our prerogative to choose how much time we spend with them. If they are closely family members maybe they (and we) would benefit from being challenged to be more positive themselves.
Decide to be grateful
I’ve mentioned this before on numerous occasions but it remains true that when we shift our focus from what is wrong to what is right, from what we want to what we have our whole outlook can change. If it doesn’t come naturally then make a point of starting each day but thinking of three things you are grateful for – give it a try just for week and see if it helps.
You can also join our newly formed facebook group www.facebook.com/groups/makeitmagnificentfor a daily dose of positivity.