People often ask me if I am positive and in a good mood 24x7. After an unintentional outburst of laughter or spitting out my drink, I compose myself and tell them that’s not the case.
It’s not normal to be happy all of the time.
There are times when I quarantine myself, eat sugary foods and binge Netflix so I don’t have to feel anything. But ultimately when the negative feelings hit, I find comfort in knowing they won’t last forever. Here are some tips for feeling positive more often and not getting stuck when you find yourself in the negative.
When I get hit with some major blues (usually as a result of neglecting this area), this is the first thing I adjust. For my self-care routine, I make sure I am meditating daily, working out, journaling, connecting with close friends and getting outside. I don’t reintroduce them all at once because that would be overwhelming. Instead, I start slow, adding one back at a time. What makes you feel good and fills your soul? Everyone is different so find out what works best for you and make it a non-negotiable part of your daily routine. I find that if I schedule mine first thing in the morning, there is less chance of it getting bumped off the list. You are your number one resource so taking care of you needs to be a priority!
- Environment Matters
What and who you surround yourself is a huge part of your own mental well-being. If you are surrounded by negative people, it’s going to drag you down. That includes real live people as well as your social media feed, the music you listen to and the television programs you watch. Be selective about what you allow into your space, physically, mentally, and emotionally.
You may have heard of keeping a gratitude journal, but what is that really all about and what’s the point? Shawn Achor, Harvard happiness researcher, states that regardless of whether you are a natural optimist or pessimist, you can train your brain to be positive. How? At the beginning of the day, write down three things you are grateful for. And at the end of the day (or better yet, at the dinner table with your family) talk or write about your three favorite things of the day. This is training your brain to scan for the positive and once you do it enough, your brain automatically looks for the good in everything!
- Exercise Empathy
If you find that people you don’t even know annoy you, you most likely are making everything about you. You might think that they are there to inconvenience you or make you feel worse about yourself, but the truth is, it has nothing to do with you. We never know what someone else is going through. When these feelings come up, try to put yourself in their shoes and what they might be going through. Maybe they are having the worst day ever because they lost their job or had a death in the family or ended a relationship. Imagine how you would feel if you were in their shoes and offer a little grace.
- Stay Connected
Connection is one of the most important needs that we have as people. How good does it feel when you talk to a close friend and you feel like they just get you? You feel understood, heard and like you belong. Life gets busy but it’s important to make time for the people that matter most to you. It will definitely help keep BOTH of your spirits up!
If you feel like you haven’t found your tribe yet and want to connect to like-minded people who will definitely have your back, check out the BackGetters private Facebook group here.