As a child, do you remember that each day when you woke up, your were excited about the possibilities of the day? Each day was filled with the opportunity for fun and adventure.
Each day, something great always happened.
When did we outgrow this zest for life?
When did start looking at what could go wrong instead of focussing on what we can make right?
Even though we have gotten older, we can chose to look for the positive in life and to stop being nervous about the future. And you know what? It made a huge difference in my life.
We can start focusing and cultivating the positive.
Our brains are wired for caution as a way of protecting ourselves from anything that might trigger our fight-or-flight response. Back in primitive times, this was essential for survival, but now, we can usually go for a walk without being attacked by a saber-toothed tiger. We don’t need this part of our brains to be so dominant.
But how do we change it?
We start focusing and cultivating the positive.
Remember, the pathways we use most are the pathways which are strongest in our brains. By consciously choosing positive thoughts, we are forging a new pathway which will soon become the default.
Build positive emotions and flourish.
While negative thoughts shut down our mind, positivity opens it up. Our brain tries to protect us.
Did you know that positive thinking raises energy levels, creativity and productivity by as much as 30%?
These positive emotions make us feel satisfied and happy. We build more meaningful and relationships. We are physically and emotionally more resilient. We thrive in social settings. We have a stronger feeling of wellbeing which leads to improved health outcomes. Research shows that the difference between people who are flourishing and those who aren’t lying in their ability to find joy in each day’s activities.
You get what you focus on, so let’s make it positive…
It’s the small things which make the most difference. You don’t have to win Lotto or get a promotion. The real source of joy is in small things like a tangy gelato, the touch of your partner or the feeling of wind in your hair. These are the things which matter but they are also the things we overlook or take for granted.
It’s time to make a change.
As the saying goes, you get what you focus on, so let’s make it positive.
3 ways you can building positive emotions.
- At least once each day, take time to stop and think about 5 wonderful things that happened to you or that you observed that day. Keeping a positivity journal is a fabulous way to record them. Every time you pick up the journal, you’ll feel a sense of happiness coming from it.
- Practice mindfulness. As kids, we savoured information from all of our senses but as adults, we rush from experience to experience under the pressure of time. Stop. Stay in the moment. If you’re eating, pay attention to the taste and to the feeling you have when you eat it. If you’re talking with your family, put away the phone and really listen. Look at them. Look at the faces you love and remember what you love so much about them. Just be present. Be childlike and suck up all those wonderful sensations and enjoy everyone.
- Make a Joy Jar. This is such a simple but effective technique, and anyone can do it. Find a jar – make it a big one! Each day take a scrap of paper and write down something that made you laugh that day – something you enjoyed or a memory you want to keep forever. Just a tiny little note. It won’t take long. There is joy in watching the jar being filled and at the end of the year, December 31st, open the jar and read each note. What a lovely way to relive the moments you’ve treasured.
I’d love to see you focus on the positive because I know how important it is in life. Please take the time to apply each of these tips and then come back and tell me how much difference they make for you. I’d love to celebrate here with you.