The clocks have recently gone back and the days are getting increasingly short and gloomy. It’s not to say we won’t see the sun again for months, but it can often feel like this at this time of year!
This is possibly going to be one of the most challenging winters we’ve faced (collectively) in our lifetimes, with coronavirus still rampaging through our communities and bleak economic forecasts reported in the media. Normally, many of us would turn to friends and families for support at times like these, but even this is difficult at best, nigh impossible for many.
So now, more than ever, it’s important to be positive.
Why is it important to be positive?
Positivity is important for our mental health and for our physical strength and immunity. It can also help us to live longer and lead more satisfying lives. Positivity can also keep us on the straight and narrow, when things get really tough (as sometimes they do). It’s important for us personally, as well as having a positive ripple effect for others around us.
Now, I pride myself on being a pretty positive person. But, similar to fitness, this doesn’t just happen by accident or magic. It can take some planning and practice, as well as some positive habits to keep the momentum going. But I can tell you, it is 110% worth it!
3 simple ways to build (& sustain) a positive mindset
I’m going to share three simple ways that I use to build and sustain a positive mindset. I’m pretty positive that these could benefit you too.
This is a simple daily practice and considers the very recent past. At the end of each day, note down 3 things you feel grateful for. It can help you to focus on positive things.
How to make this easy:
- Get a diary or a notebook you love (and a pen you love too, if that helps)
- At the end of each day think of 3 things that you are grateful for that day
- Don’t judge or criticise yourself. Simple note down what comes to mind.
- The things can be anything that you find positive – they can be big / small / the same things repeated periodically / each day.
- Keep doing it consciously until it builds into a delicious habit that you love to do
The difference with this one is that it’s future focused.
I have a notebook where I write down a list of positive statements about what I want – my intentions, goals, aspirations etc. These are written in the present tense, even though they are future focused, essentially showing how I have already achieved them.
I write the same list of intentions time after time. They act as a positive reminder and help me to focus on where my attention should be. I guess it’s a kind of law of attraction thing. My positive intentions have evolved slightly over time and I occasionally reword them or add a new one, but they’ve been pretty consistent for a while now.
I find this process very energising and inspiring.
I used to do this at the start of each day, but then things got in the way, making it tricky and I periodically stopped doing it. I now do it in the evening, immediately after I write in my gratitude diary, which helps to maintain the habit.
I’ll be sharing some of these in my upcoming Age Life Balance social media, so keep a look out for them.
Spending time on things I enjoy
If the 2 suggestions above have felt like a bit of a stretch, then by all means start with this third one. This is all about knowing what makes you feel good and carving out a little bit of time to engage in them. It’s very much about being in the present.
These things are often these are simple and shouldn’t require much investment in time or money to achieve them. If they do, then it’s maybe worth having a rethink!
These are my personal favourites:
- Walking outside – preferably in nature – on my own or with loved ones
- Listening to audiobooks – for learning or escapism
- Cooking tasty wholesome food for my family (and friends when I get the chance)
- Listening to music I love (and sometimes singing along)
- Sitting down with a cup of tea and a book
It’s really important to build and sustain a positive mindset, for all manner of reasons. And now probably more than ever before.
I’ve shared three of the things I do, that help me to be positive and that cover the past, present and future.
I hope that you’ll give them a go to help you to build and sustain your own positive mindset. I’d love to hear how you get on.
Thank you for reading! For more on Age Life Balance, browse the blog at www.agelifebalance.com to find out more.