Updated: Mar 30
These are my personal thoughts on some ways to bring more positivity into daily life. I myself, am definitely not perfect! I'm continually working on bringing in new ways of thinking, and new tools, to enhance my life when I go off track and become unbalanced. We all fall off the bandwagon every now and then, feel down & negative about things, and need to reconnect with the power of positivity again. One, or a few of these, may just help you to get going and bring some positivity back in!
1. Do something spontaneous! Recently my partner and I decided to have a bongo drum lesson in the park! It was so uplifting and energising to do something spontaneous, out of the ordinary and to step out of our comfort zone. We only had the one lesson, but I can still connect with the wonderful energy of that experience and that whole day. Choose something that interests you; maybe something you've always wanted to try, or something to challenge yourself. It will most definitely make you feel like you've come alive!
2. Put your problems aside for a little while...
"Enjoy your problems, they won't last forever." Remember that most of our problems are temporary. The majority of our problems have a solution and don’t last forever. Constant focus on our problems isn’t helpful – it simply uses up all of our emotional and mental energy. We’re spent. We have nothing left. We need to be able to shelve our problems, put them aside, so we can give ourselves a break and get some clarity and balance back. Try to keep a little spark of happiness alive even while you do have some problems - take small walks in nature, listen to music you love, make some art, have coffee with a friend without talking about your problems. One effective method is to set aside time each day for problem solving – you don’t think about your problems until you’re sitting down, with pen and paper, in your problem solving time. Another method I use is visualising putting my problem into a box and closing the lid. It stays closed until I'm ready to open it again.
"Misery is easy, happiness you gotta work at"
3. Take more control of your thoughts
"Don't believe everything you think." Much of our suffering stems from our untamed mind so taking more control of our thoughts is empowering. Instead of letting your mind run wild, in any direction it chooses - direct it. Start calling the shots and tell it what you want it to think and get involved in. Our thoughts are powerful things - little bundles of energy that can trigger negative emotions and the stress response in the body. We can spend endless time thinking about imaginary negative events, things that we fear but won’t ever happen, old conversations and scenarios that we keep re-running in our mind. It DOES require effort to change habitual thinking patterns, however, constant negative thinking is so much more exhausting (on every level) than positive thinking. The next point may be helpful...
4. Use affirmations - they're actually great
The more we tell ourselves something the more we believe it, yes? Use affirmations to flick the switch from a negative mind to a positive mind. Affirmations really are helpful and can be very powerful. Use words and language that resonates with you and invokes a positive feeling. It's got to be believable for YOU. Use affirmations wisely though – they shouldn’t be so outrageous that your mind starts to rebel. So if it means taking baby steps with affirmations, then take baby steps. They are a great tool to take more control of our thoughts. Would you rather feed your mind and affirm "I'm lonely and have no one" or "I'm happy being by myself because I can really focus on ME". What energy do you want to bring in? Your body reacts to what you think about.
5. Quit the re-runs
Don't re-run your daily dramas. The day is over - what happened, happened. And there are lots of circumstances that we cannot change or control. Re-running conversations and scenarios (thinking about what we should have said, should have done, could have done) can just drive us crazy. It takes away any chance for peace and happiness in this moment, right now. I remember a time years ago when I had some singing lessons and committed to doing a solo performance - omg! I was terrible! The worst. It was one of the most embarrassing moments of my life and I kept rerunning it in my mind for about a month (or more) afterwards - this re-running in my mind caused me to continue to FEEL that embarrassment and cringeworthy experience over and over. Remember number 3 - take more control of your thoughts!
"Your worst humiliation is only someone else's momentary entertainment."
6. Hold gratitude in your heart
'You can't have everything. Where would you put it?" I love this quote. Being grateful for what we DO have helps us to move our mind away from 'lack' and towards 'have' and happiness. To touch a moment where we desire nothing, and feel completely content with what we have and where we are, is life changing. Once we touch that space we realise contentment truly comes from within our own mind. We can always sit in that space of gratitude and contentment whenever we choose. Start a gratitude journal and fall asleep feeling grateful for what you have. You'll sleep better and wake up happier.
7. Hang out with positive people
Well, try to. We are always going to come in contact with some negative attitudes but, when you have the choice, spend time with people who are inspiring, light hearted and have a positive spin on life. Drama is not what you need - a light-hearted and positive view on life IS.
8. Look up!
Go outside and look at the stars! Lie on a picnic rug under a tree and watch the clouds shift, move and form into unicorns! You’ll feel bigger than your problems and touch the magic and mystery of this thing called life…
9. Spend some time alone
Make alone time a necessity. It is only then that we can truly connect with our own heart, our creativity, our hopes and dreams… During alone time, inspiration can come and intuition flows. Solutions to our problems can come to us and decisions become clearer as we connect within. Meditation and mindfulness is also possible through activities where we are completely absorbed in the moment and what we are doing - this happens for me when I'm in creative flow doing art. It becomes a type of meditation where you let go of stress and tension and connect with your inner wisdom. What things do you completely get absorbed in? Or what things can you do with more mindfulness? Walking on the beach by yourself where you focus on the feeling of the sand underneath your feet... the warmth of the sun... the wind on your face... and the smell of the salty air is a very different experience to walking with a friend and talking continuously. The first one draws us inwards, the second, outwards.
"What a lovely surprise to finally discover how unlonely being alone can be."
10. Do something for someone else
Being there for others is actually one of the quickest ways to happiness! Stepping outside of our own lives and drama for a while is freeing and liberating. Helping to decrease the burden and suffering of someone else, without expecting anything in return, actually takes away our own troubles for a while. Giving to others triggers a pure joy and happiness within our hearts that instantly lightens the load of life. Even if all we have to give is our time and a shoulder to lean on...
11. Keep things in perspective & look for new ones
Keeping things in perspective helps us to stay positive. I try to remember that if we have somewhere to live, food to eat, water to drink and clothes on our back we are luckier than millions of others in the world. One year of living in Africa and seeing poverty first hand literally changed my life and perspective forever, and I draw upon this when I find myself focusing too much on what I don't have (we all fall into that trap). Having a bad day (and we all have them) also doesn't mean we have an entirely bad life. We quite easily become consumed with our own world, but keeping a bigger picture in mind can help us see our problems from a higher perspective. Watch some Youtube videos, or TED talks, by amazing people who have overcome some of the most difficult life circumstances, will most certainly help to shift your perspective on your own life. Look for new, inspirational ways of viewing life and your world.
There's one more... MAKE ART!
Expressing through art is one of the powerful ways I reconnect with positive feelings and a positive mindset. It's one of my happy places! I can release difficult feelings, transform them and get a new perspective on things. I feel less stressed and lighter inside.
When we make art, we disengage from the chaotic, thinking mind and give ourselves some mental space. We reconnect with positive states of mind, our inner wisdom and clarity.
Soul Art Journal ebook
Art for self-discovery and spiritual practice. Soul Art Journal is a series of 20 Soul Art prompts designed to bring you closer to your soul path and support you on your journey of becoming.
Embark on a sacred journey inwards and channel your inner guide.