Thoughts and emotions have powerful effects on our bodies. Negative thoughts contribute to negative emotions which can start a cascade of unwanted physiological reactions in the body. On the other hand, having a positive attitude about ourselves and life can make the difference between failure and success, health or illness.
Here are some things you can do to have a positive attitude in your everyday life:
Turn Negative Self Talk into Positive Self Talk
No more, “I can’t do this,” or “It’s too hard.” Instead try, “It might be uncomfortable or difficult, but I can do it. I will do it.” Rather than looking at something new with fear or as a burden, try thinking of it as an opportunity to learn something new or grow as a person. Looking back on difficult situations in life in which you succeeded will also show you that you can do anything. Overcoming challenges is empowering!
Meditate Every Day
Studies have shown that daily meditation may ease anxiety and depression as well as reducing blood pressure and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. In order to meditate, you need to find an area free of distractions, a comfortable posture (lying, sitting, or walking), something to focus on (mantra or breath), and the ability to let thoughts that enter your mind come and go without judging them. Set a timer for 5 minutes to start and increase the time as you feel comfortable until you reach 20 minutes or more.
Have Some Fun
While most of us have to work for a living and many of us have families, we need some time for fun. Some people have fun getting outside and hiking in the woods, playing with their children or grandchildren, playing cards with friends, or gardening. The important thing is to get outside or with friends and family to do something that makes you feel like a kid again.
Write About It
Journaling is a great way to process things that are troubling us. Unfortunately, sometimes the only time we journal is when something is troubling us. I suggest getting a journal only used to write about the good things in life. Journal when things are going well and write about your successes in life. Writing a gratitude list is also a great way to look at the positive side of life. Even better than a gratitude list, write about specific events during a day that made you feel happy, calm and connected with others. When you write descriptively about the specific events including how they made you feel, rereading it on hard days can actually evoke those positive emotions again. This helped me immensely when I was a single mom.
Talk About It
Sharing your problems is a great way to help process and get feedback on your thoughts. However, many times we get too bogged down in the negative side of life. Try sharing at least one positive thing with a friend or family member every day. Celebrate the small victories or just relate something that made you smile to someone in your life. We do this around the dinner table or before bed each night. It brings us closer as a family as well.
Get Out of Yourself
Helping others is a great way to show that you are pursuing the positive path in life. Volunteering, saying something nice to someone, holding a door, or even smiling at someone in a store can brighten their day and yours.
Focusing on the positive can not only change your perspective, but it can change your life and other lives as well. Positive thoughts and intentions can get us through challenging situations with grace and help us to be healthier, happier people. Your body and mind will thank you.