Following my recent Balance for Better article for International Women’s Day, I’ve been inspired to focus on positivity this week.
Our busy modern lives are full of millions of different stimuli – I won’t bamboozle you with the detail, but it is mindboggling. Despite immense processing power our brains are not sophisticated enough to distinguish between positive and negative, so can benefit from a helping hand.
There are numerous benefits that positivity can have on our lives, today and tomorrow. I’ll briefly cover this, before highlighting some simple and practical ways of bringing more positivity into our lives. This includes morning affirmations, daily gratitude and turning up the positivity volume during the day.
Benefits of being positive
I feel like I may be preaching to the converted a little here.
Firstly, there are numerous health benefits of positive thinking, including:
- Increased life span
- Lower rates of depression
- Lower levels of distress
- Greater resistance to the common cold, and other immune diseases
- Better psychological and physical well-being
- Better cardiovascular health and reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
- Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress
In addition, positive thinking gives a ‘can do attitude’ enabling you to achieve more –“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.” Henry Ford.
And finally, positive people are more pleasant to be around! You may even attract your own ‘followers’ as people are drawn to you and the way you make them feel 😉
Start the day with positive intentions
Many people use positive affirmations. Simply put, affirmations are positive statements that you say to yourself or write down in the morning to help you to feel motivated and reshape your limiting beliefs.
The first thing I do when I wake is to list out my affirmations. These are a combination of my objectives, my dreams and my aspirations. I have a dedicated notebook for this and I fill a page with these each day. The whole exercise takes approx. 10 mins and nicely sets me up for the day. I’ve been doing this most days since the beginning of the year. It makes me feel positive as well ensuring that I’m consistently focused on the things that are important to me. Day by day these may vary slightly – this is not simply a list I copy out – but they are pretty consistent. They simply come from within.
I learned this particular flavour of affirmations from Benjamin P Hardy, but I’m sure there are many others that do this as well as different variations of affirmations.
If you need more insight, check out these 50 morning affirmations.
Daily gratitude diary
At the end of each day I list 3 things that I am grateful for that day. I try to be as specific as I can to really understand what it is. I’m able to come up with at least 3 things most days, sometimes I have to pick the best. It may be the lovely weather, time with friends, positive feedback, or an accomplishment.
I’ve been doing this since the start of 2017. This simple exercise gives me an immense sense of gratitude and wellbeing, encouraging me to be attuned to and grateful for positive things, no matter how big or small.
Over time, I’ve added additional categories to my journaling while I’m at it:
E = empowerment – something that’s empowered me
C = confidence – something I’ve felt confident doing
Here are some other tips for gratitude journal writing in case you need further assistance.
Turning up the positivity volume
So far, we’ve taken care of the beginning and the end of our day, which is great. These can certainly have a positive influence on the rest of the day too, but what else could we do?
Positive quotes and pictures
Many people use these to enhance their positivity, and, quite frankly, they crop up everywhere these days, even on the ski slopes! Quotes become known and ultimately renowned because people relate to them, and personally I rarely tire of a good one. Quite the opposite in fact, they boost my positive energy.
There are some great sites which specialise in these, but you don’t have to look too hard as they are literally peppered all over social media.
Surround yourself with positive people
You’ve probably heard this quote before “You’re the average of the five people spend the most time with,” most often attributed to motivational speaker Jim Rohn.
Ideally, you’ll have some positive people amongst your friends, family and colleagues. If not, seek out some positive role models to spend at least some of your time with. You know who these are, they’re people who energise and inspire you. They may even help you to feel good about yourself!
And the less positive people in your lives? This can be tricky, but
- Try to limit the time you spend with them, and minimise the chance of them being negative
- Try to get less bogged down by them
- Maybe even try and have a positive influence on them!
Things that make you happy
Hopefully you already know what kind of things make you happy. These could be wide ranging and a bit random, but whatever flicks your switch.
I love walking in nature. I love cooking with my kids. I love eating together as a family. I love reading a book in the bath. I love doing things to keep me fit and healthy. I love skiing!!!!
Schedule some time in to ensure these happen, if not regularly, at least periodically. Having something to look forwardto can also help support your positivity e.g. a holiday or a weekend event.
If you don’t know what makes you happy, find out! Take some well-deserved time out to discover what this might be. This is not indulgent, it’s important to care for your own well-being.
Being positive is important for our health and well-being, and can ultimately impact how we age.
I’ve shared some simple and practical ways of bringing more positivity into our lives, via morning affirmations, daily gratitude and turning up the positive volume during the day. These are habits, like many others and need regular practice to help them to become second nature and to reap the most benefits over time.
What will you do today to boost your positivity?
Thank you for reading! For more on Age Life Balance, browse the blog at www.agelifebalance.com to find out more.