A positive mindset makes it easier to learn, be creative, problem solve and connect socially. In the long run it effects our productivity, relationships, physical health and longevity (Ciarrochi, & Kashdan, 2013). Here are some ways to develop a positive mindset and emotions.
12 ways to build positivity
- Good memories – Think of a good memory and sustain that thought for 20 seconds. Then share this good memory with someone. This will release positive brain chemistry (neurotransmitters).
- Counting Kindness – Keep a diary of kind acts and goodness that you experience at the end of each day. Overtime your brain will be attuned to noticing more and more good things that happens each day
- Mental Subtraction – Imagine that the good thing that happened that day, did not happen. This will make you more appreciative of it.
- Three funny things – Write down or create a meme of those experiences that made you laugh.
- Self-Compassion – Be your best friend and write a caring letter to yourself and save it for a rainy day. Take it out and read it aloud when you are feeling down.
- Reframe situations – If you feel negatively about a certain situation, e.g you find your job boring, rather than change your job make a cognitive change. Change the perception of the situation. Think of how your job is contributing to society even-though it seems insignificant. Or think of the benefits that you may have overlooked in your current position.
- Positive reversal – If you are feeling negative about something or someone, reverse your position and find a defense for that person and argue on their behalf.
- Visualization – Visualize the feeling of love, appreciation, and affection for the people that you care about. Go beyond thinking and visualize the warmth of the affection that you feel for this person. This will release oxytocins, the ‘cuddle hormone’ that will give you that warm fuzzy feeling of love.
- Social Connections – Find ways to connect with people who are supportive and can help you be more positive.
- Exercise – Set aside 3 days per week to do some physical exercise. Take a brisk walk home from work/school or tune in to some exercise videos for a short workout before bath. Exercising releases endorphins, a hormone in the brain that can help to reduce discomfort and give you the feelings of euphoria and well-being.
- Volunteer your time to help someone. You don’t have to make a heavy commitment if you have a time crunch, just think of one or two people that could do with some encouragement and send them a text to check in on them.
- Find your signature strengths and use these in every aspect of your life.
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