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Do you start each day with enthusiasm and excitement or dread and disappointment?
If you find yourself caught up in an endless loop of doomsday thinking, brace yourself. It’s time to start anew with three simple practices to boost positivity.
Studies show that the mind ruminates more on the negative than it focuses on the positive. Think of it as the default programming of our brain. The good news is we can reprogram it with consistent, small daily practices. It is possible to create an internal environment where optimism flourishes.
As you learn these new practices, it is important to be patient with yourself. Just like with any new habit, creating new thought patterns takes time and persistence. And it’s worth it! The benefits are far greater than you might initially expect.
Positivity has a direct impact on your overall health and well-being. Optimistic people are far more likely to engage in healthy habits and seek out supportive relationships. They also tend to handle stressful situations with more ease and are overall better problem solvers. Happy people have a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, less depression, and an increased lifespan. Mindset is critical to living a happy, healthy life!
As you learn and practice these three exercises, consider which one you connect with the most because that will be the one you stick with the longest—ideally a lifetime.
Let’s get to it!
Three simple exercises to boost positivity:
1. Three Blessings
Before going to bed, write down three good things that happened during the day. Examples include the first sip of your morning coffee, connecting with a close friend, seeing a cute puppy, or receiving positive feedback on a work project. The positive experiences can be a small moment or a big event. It’s up to you!
Then write down why each of them happened and how they made you feel.
This 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.
Allow yourself to feel the positive sensations. Notice where you feel them in your body—your head, throat, chest, belly, back, and so on. 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.
Write and rewrite your letter multiple times. Concentrate on presentation. Make it shine!
You may then choose to hand deliver the letter or mail it to them. Do what feels best for you.
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 knowing we can handle whatever comes our way. This boosts positivity, confidence, and self-trust.
Start with one of these practices and try it for a week. 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.
Observe how you feel. Notice how your actions affect your thinking.
Keep a journal and reflect daily on how these practices move you away from negative thought patterns and toward positive ones.
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.
Cheers to starting each day with enthusiasm and excitement.
You deserve it!