Tips to bring out your inner brightness and positivity
Staying positive can be tough - especially when we think back on the trials and tribulations of the past year or so. We have a choice in our daily routine, whether we direct our focus to positive habits or negative ones. One of the worst things we can do for ourselves is to hinder our own potential through a negative outlook. Evolving and preserving a positive mind set takes a lot more than simply thinking happy thoughts. At its core, it is the confidence that all things will work out in the end.
It might sound obvious but surrounding yourself with positive people is a free life hack, guaranteed to help you instantly feel more positive. Look to the people who are already a positive influence – your mum, your best friends, your partner – and think about what it is in them that you admire. Do they share their happiness? Are they there when times are tough? The more you place these positive people in your surroundings, the more you’ll see the world differently. Start limiting the amount of contact you have with those acquaintances who have a glass half full attitude, trust us you’ll be all the better for it. Sometimes it is impossible to stop or control negative thoughts and pushing these aside can make things worse. It's important to open up your thoughts and not keep them inside. Try and talk to a loved one or write your feelings down, sharing your feelings can help to clear negativity of yourself.
Positive thinking goes hand-in-hand with smart goal setting. When starting your goals planner, it’s important to write down the ideal situation, determine its importance, craft clear-cut goals, a target date to complete this and then take the small steps to achieve them.
- Step 1: dream big and filter with reality. The size of the goal doesn’t matter but the achievability of it does.
- Step 2: think about why you want to achieve your goal, how it will benefit your health or lifestyle, and what you need to do to get there.
- Step 3: break down your goal(s) into smaller steps that are specific, measurable and time-based.
- Step 4: write down your goals and put them where you’ll see them to increase your chances of making this good habit stick.
It may seem obvious but staying active is one of the most important things you can do to feel more energised, motivated and take care of yourself both physically and mentally. It gets the heart rate up, increases oxygen in the blood and releases endorphins, which all help increase energy. Exercise also boosts the production of serotonin, known as the happy hormone. But sometimes the obligation to exercise can be the cause of stress and dread. That’s why it’s so important to find something that you truly enjoy, so that it doesn’t feel like another task you have to do. It doesn’t have to be a HIIT class, there are so many benefits of walking and getting out in the fresh air. If you can’t think of something you like, set yourself a challenge to try something new every week for four weeks. For example, in week one: yoga, week two: tennis, week three: jogging, week four: pilates. You could also implement physical activity through family time at the weekend – maybe head to a park and play some ball games or tag with the kids. The most important thing is to find something you enjoy that isn’t going to overwhelm you but that will help you take care of yourself.
Acts of kindness
Doing good for others makes you feel good and is great for your emotional wellness. It lifts your mood, improves self-esteem and self-worth. It also serves as a small distraction from your current challenges. Finding ways to put a smile on the face of others affects you just as much as it affects them. Through practising positivity, you shift your focus from yourself and your problems and become a positive force in the lives of others.
Live in the moment and have no fear
We often hear people talk about the importance of living in the moment and the various ways it will benefit us. But how exactly can we live in the present, when our minds are so often preoccupied with worries about the past or the future? A fear of failure can be immobilising when it occurs, causing us to do nothing. This self-sabotage can appear in the form of procrastination, perfectionism, reluctance to try new things and low self-esteem or self-confidence. To live in the moment, we must focus on the now. Focus on what we’re doing, slow down and savour the present. You are here, you are alive, and your life has endless possibilities
Be grateful & practice gratitude
One way to focus on everyday positivity is to create a gratitude journal; writing is a great way to look back on all the things we are grateful for. In keeping a gratitude journal, you position yourself each day to have a brighter mindset, thus influencing our thought patterns. Thought pattern doesn't mean you have the same thoughts each day, but rather that you think with the same outlook and your thoughts carry the same quality as your mindset. The quality of your thinking pattern is responsible for the quality of all your individual, thoughts.
Writing a daily journal couldn’t be simpler. Every night, jot down a few bullet points under the following headlines.
- Things to be grateful for today – Look at the events of the day and list out all the things you can be grateful for.
- Things to be thankful for – Long term things in life that you can say ‘I am thankful for’.
Good sleep habits
All too often when we settle down for the evening, we struggle to switch off our thoughts from the day, constantly going over things that didn’t get done, and making mental notes of what needs to be achieved tomorrow. We all know what it is like to have a bad night’s sleep, our mind just doesn’t function as normal. To ensure a mind capable of retaining a positive mindset, good sleeping habits are essential:
- Shut down electronics an hour before bed
- Practice meditation
- Stay hydrated
- Create a relaxing bedroom environment
- Read a book
- Do your skincare routine
- Listen to calming music
The most important thing you can do to have the energy to take care of others is to make sure you are taking care of yourself. If you are feeling burnt out, it will be all the more difficult to retain a bright and positive mindset. Though work or life stress means we often feel the need to work late or have a hard time switching off in the evening, overworking ourselves isn’t helpful and is ultimately unproductive. It’s more important than ever to make sure you take time to rest, take a break, or take a day off here and there. Selfcare is a word that has a different meaning to everyone, maybe it’s a spa like pamper, maybe it’s getting through a box set, or maybe it’s simply getting away from the house for an hour or so. Whatever it is, make time for you.
Be kind to yourself & smile more
When you’re equipped with the skills you need to understand and manage your emotions, it’s easier to build stronger connections with others, showing more empathy and compassion. You’re also in a better position to be able to express your feelings in a productive way and create healthier relationship boundaries, whether that’s with a partner or family member, friends or even colleagues. It may seem obvious, but me time is a pivotal way to support positive thinking. We are often our own worst critic, however we must learn to be kinder to ourselves. Treat yourself as you yourself would wish to be treated by others.