Next Tuesday, 13th September, is Positive Thinking Day. I’ll be on holiday in France practicing my awful French.
When I was six I attended, for a few months, a French school where only French was spoken so so I really should be better than I am. But then I went to school in America and learning French when you’re six doesn’t seem so important.
But to return to positive thinking.
When I’m on holiday it’s very easy to be positive. How can it not be? I’m benefitting from sleeping in, tucking into pain au chocolat for breakfast (conveniently forgetting I eat a gluten-free diet as a rule), having walks on the beach and spending quality time with my partner and my family. What’s not to be positive about?
But always thinking positively is much harder. I’m a naturally positive person but even for me the real world can present a positivity challenge at times. And that’s one thing I’m positive about!
It doesn’t always take much to destroy a day where you started out in a positive frame of mind. It only needs a cancelled train or a train so full that you have to stand for the entire journey. And pay for the privilege.
Or perhaps you didn’t get the promotion you hoped for or the offer on your dream house was rejected.
I do truly believe in the saying that everything happens for a reason -but at the time it’s sometimes hard to see why.
So how can you bring more positivity into your life? The tips that follow are a great place to start:
1. Achievements list
Every Friday afternoon get into the habit of taking five minutes to write down all of your achievements – both at work and in your personal life.
Maybe you delivered a great presentation at work or implemented a new system? Put it on the list. It could be that you tried a new bar with friends and managed to get to the gym twice in a week.? Put that on the list too.
Write down at least 10 things but aim for 20. I tackle the task by going through my diary to see what meetings I’ve had and what I got from them.
With your achievements list done spend another two minutes writing at least 20 things in your life to be grateful for.
It could be something as seemingly insignificant as a sunny day, lunch with colleagues or a painting done by your kids.
If you initially struggle try thinking of things you would miss if they weren’t in your life.
I have started to have a positive affirmation go off as a silent alarm on my phone three times a day so I am constantly reminded of what I am achieving and what I am working towards.
You may want to try this and you could use what follows below but choose what resonates for you.
I am grateful for this day
I love and enjoy what I do
I am healthy and happy
I am proud of my achievements
4. Surround yourself with positive people
Try, if you can, to spend more time with positive people and those who have a similar upbeat frame of mind.
Is your best friend the most positive person you know? If so then send her a message and see if she wants to do spontaneous drinks tonight or go to a comedy show.
Buy a new book on amazon that is uplifting.
Try a new gym class or watch Great British Bake Off and be inspired to take a cake into work for everyone to enjoy.
5. Negative drainers
Do you have people in your life that suck the energy out of you even on your most positive day?
We all probably have someone that we can think of. A colleague perhaps, a friend or someone on a Facebook group you belong to that always sees the worst.
If it’s a colleague then this can be trickier to avoid. But can you work from home one day a week so that you don’t have to interact with them quite so much?
If it’s a friend – well – if you consistently come away from time with them feeling dragged down you might want to question the friendship. Should you feel you do still want the person in your life then look for ways to manage that so you’re not spending excessive amounts of time with them. So if dinner is on the menu – agree but leave at 9pm. An early morning meeting the next day is a useful ‘get out of jail free’ card.
If you have anyone on your social media that’s regularly negative then consider if you can stop following them or remove yourself from that group. Then find a group that’s more positive and supportive of you.
I recently did a massive clean up on the Facebook groups that I belong to and now commit to commenting and supporting on 4 Facebook groups as the others weren’t right for my anymore.
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