Be awesome – top 5 tips for being positive
Have you noticed that when you’re not feeling positive, you stop noticing? Most likely not.
I remember coming out of a phase of depression some years ago and being surprised at hearing birds flying overhead in Leeds city centre. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d heard them, and it’s because I’d stopped noticing. I’d started to delete elements of my surroundings and developed tunnel vision.
When I heard those birds, I knew I was waking up again and it was time to notice things, REALLY notice them.
So since it’s Mental Health Awareness Week, here are my top 5 tips for positivity and what they can do for us. They’re listed in no particular order, so you can prioritise for yourself.
1. Be kind
Kind people tend to be happier people. They find joy in lots of things, can be happy in the knowledge that they’ve helped someone and be fairly sure that they can also call in favours when necessary. It’s ok to be kind without pure altruism; this is hard to achieve anyway. Do you buy that great present just so your other half is happy, or is it partly so you can see their reactions and get a warm glow? If it’s the latter, that’s fine. It’s positive. Kindness is easier than conflict.
Kindness attracts kindness. Have you ever smiled at a stranger in the street and had them smile back at you? You may register a look of surprise first, simply because acknowledgement doesn’t happen that often. Smiley people feel positive and it creates a chain reaction.
Here’s the science; if you need to test the positivity of the smile, write “smile” on your hand, and when you look at it, the corners of your mouth will pull upwards, despite yourself. This will get the endorphins rushing in.
Happy+Smiling*positivity=good for your health.
How might you feel if you up the kindness quotient in your life? Can you be kind without expecting anything in return? If it isn’t reciprocated, what will that feel like? Will it matter?
2. Notice all the things
I mentioned noticing things in the introduction. We stop noticing things when we’re unhappy, or stressed, or overtired.
It’s a shame, because there’s a lot going on around us. As Ferris Bueller said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Good point, well made. We delete things from our minds, lives, imagination over time. It’s a pity, there’s a lot to see.
Find yourself a nice coffee shop, get a window seat and do some people watching. When you’ve had enough of that, check out other surroundings. If you’re creative, this can awaken new channels for your imagination.
How does it feel to be on a higher state of alert? What opportunities might you spot?
3. Know your purpose – or not.
One of the things about getting older is that we may start to wonder what the point of it all is. It’s a tough one and I haven’t come up with a satisfactory answer. I do know, however, that helping people to live their best lives by getting them clear and confident is my purpose, and it helps so much in remaining positive. The more meaning you feel in life, the nicer your life becomes. It doesn’t necessarily equate to a spiritual purpose, but if you’re having a crisis in that area, look at what matters to you and find a way to get it.
Worried that you don’t know what it’s all about? Try being mindful of today; be present and live today with just one eye on the future. Being purposeful isn’t always about having that big, grand plan though. It can be about taking today and enjoying it, whatever that happens to be. We can get bogged down in knowing our purpose, understanding the point. Let some things just happen and enjoy them for what they are.
4. Know that things change
Thank fuck. If right now isn’t the most positive phase of your life, know this one thing. Things do change. They do get better. Sometimes it requires effort on our part but when we have this thought, it’s a good sign. It means we’re ready to make that effort.But it’s all temporary. Nothing stays the same. Take comfort in that, and know that when you’re ready, you’ll make your own changes. If you can, focus on something or someone outside yourself that you could help; if you’re not up for that yet, then look for some help for you. Mind is a great place to start.
5. Be resourceful and optimistic
Having skills at your disposal and the outlook to make them work for you is key when it comes to positivity. Whatever your skills happen to be, make the most of them, accept compliments when someone tells you how great you are, and stay open to the opportunities they may bring you.
Being resourceful and optimistic means that you will recognise when you are in the wrong job and what you can do to change it. If your relationship isn’t right, these qualities will let you see this and take action to fix it (or whatever you choose to do about it).
Positivity feels better than negativity; that’s a no-brainer. If you believe in karma, or you reap what you sow, then it’s a wise state to be in. Even if you don’t, you’ll be a happier person in spite of it all. Start out with kindness and see where the rest leads you.
If you need help with any of this, then talk to me. Grab a free consultation with me and then let’s see what we can do to change your outlook on life and strengthen your mental reserves.