Do you struggle with staying positive? Do you find negativity an unwelcome companion? Do you want to be more positive but don’t know where to start?
Great news! You can kick negativity to the curb and welcome in optimism with these 3 simple exercises.
First, it’s important to know that a positive attitude can be cultivated with a few effective practices. You’re not doomed to be a negative Nelly your whole life. And, like any new skill, the more consistently you practice, the more natural it all becomes. In fact, studies show these three exercises increase people’s happiness levels, even when performed for just one week.
You can do this!
And guess what, positivity has a direct impact on your health and wellness. Happy people are far more likely to engage in healthy habits and seek out supportive relationships.
Positive thinking also has a direct impact on your ability to cope with stress and it enhances immune function. Optimistic people have a reduced risk of death from cardiovascular problems, less depression, and an increased lifespan.
Incorporating healthy habits, such as practices that boost positivity, have a direct impact on how good you look, feel and show up each day.
Try all three exercises and notice how your actions effect your thinking. Keep a journal and reflect daily on how these practices move you away from negative thought patterns and towards positive ones.
The intent is to cultivate awareness around which practice you connect with the most because that will be the one you stick with the longest – ideally a lifetime.
Now, drum roll….let’s get to the 3 simple exercises to boost your positivity.
3 simple exercises to boost positivity.
1. Three Blessings
Before going to bed, write down three good things that happened during the day.
Then write down why each of them happened and how they made you feel.
This is exercise is important because it connects you to the good in your life which often gets overshadowed by the bad on a given day. You’re essentially training your brain to prioritize the good moments over the bad which is what optimists do daily.
2. Gratitude Visit
Think of someone who has done something important for you whom you have never properly thanked. And, this person could be YOU!
In a letter, write down exactly what they did for you and the specific positive changes that occurred in your life because of their actions. Take care to write specific details.
Write and rewrite it multiple times. Polish the letter and make it shine!
Concentrate on presentation. Handwrite it or use calligraphy. Use your own creativity.
You may then choose to meet with the person face-to-face and read the gratitude letter to them. Or, you can mail it to them. Do what feels best for you.
The key to this practice is to allow yourself to feel the emotions that come up. Notice where you feel them in your body – your head, throat, chest, belly, back etc. Our bodies hold onto emotions and allowing ourselves to let emotion flow through our bodies ensures it doesn’t get stuck and stagnant. This is true for positive or negative emotions.
3. Signature Strengths
Write out what you believe are your 24 signature strengths – what you’re really good at.
Think of ways that you already use these strengths in your life.
Write down additional ways you can use them – be specific.
Commit to using your strengths in new ways this week.
Often, we focus on what we’re not good at when it’s far more helpful (and positive!) to focus on what we ARE good at. Once we really dial into our core strengths, we can move through the day with confidence in our ability to handle whatever comes our way. This boosts positivity.
As you consider these 3 practices to boost positivity, you can start with one and try it for a week. See how you feel?
Or, you can practice one in the morning, reviewing your signature strengths and applying 1-3 that day, and then one in the evening (three blessings). And there is the option to try all three on Day 1.
Choose a path that suits your schedule and natural inclinations because consistently practicing one exercise is far more impactful than inconsistently practicing all three. Consistency is what drives results and boosts positivity. You deserve it!