WHY IS BEING POSITIVE SUCH A BIG DEAL?
Does comparing yourself to ‘happy positive people’ leave you grimacing, feeling frustrated, inept, or even slightly irritated? You might want to reconsider your response!
And have you ever noticed that it’s not always the most qualified or productive people who get the promotion, invited to the party or the coveted role on the committee, it’s often the ‘positive, optimistic, (annoyingly ‘happy people’) who gets the job? Why?
Because they are the people that (most) people like being around!
Why? Because being happy and positive can have an obvious and measurable physical effect on us; by assisting in releasing ‘happy Hormones’ such as endorphins, dopamine and serotonin into our bodies, it helps us to feel relaxed and open to even more relaxation and positivity… i.e., you can spread it!
Okay, so it might not be as easy as putting a Post It note on the fridge door saying “Smile” …but it’s not far off!
Research supports the impact of a simple smile on our sense of happiness and positivity: According to Dr Diana Samuel of Columbia University Medical centre, “Smiling can trick your brain by elevating your mood, lowering your heart rate, and reducing your stress. The smile doesn’t have to be based on real emotion because faking it works as well.”
However, when the content of hundreds of books and tens of thousands of Google searches every day are focused on how to be “happy”, and when the consensus there seems to be almost as simple as having a positive mindset, where do we start?
And more importantly, why should we strive to be more positive?
It’s no surprise really but besides being what appears to be the main ingredient for the holy grail of success in life i.e., ‘happiness’, there’s also a swathe of evidence that practicing positive thinking is in fact good for our health!
According to The Mayo Clinic: - Positive Thinking can: -
• reduces stress,
• reduce our propensity for depression and anxiety,
• it can result in better psychological and physical wellbeing,
• improve our coping skills during hardship and times of stress,
• and allegedly, it can even provide greater resistance to the common cold!
• And… it might even make us more popular…
So, can I ask… How many times in the last week or so have you regretted the not so positive example you have shown towards colleagues or loved ones?
Why am I asking?
Because I’ve been there! With a long corporate career, 2 businesses, 2 marriages, (& 2 divorces) 3 children, 2 grandchildren and 6 stepchildren and a HUGE extended family under my belt … trust me I have been there and was remarkably familiar with ‘not positive’ days!
Some days it’s hard to keep your hair on, let alone stay positive!
Meraki Mindset is ALL about being positive, so I thought I’d share some of the action steps included in all our programs, so that you can start practicing more positive habits today!
The 5 powerful positive habits you can start practicing today:
1. Decide you are going to be more positive!
Cut out all other options: - The source word cis and its variants cid and -cide come from a Latin root which means 'cut' or 'kill. ' A de-cision, therefore, is a 'cutting off' of all possibilities except for one; if you are decisive you have 'killed' all other options.
Yes - So just make the decision - be positive and kill off any alternatives!
2. Check your self-talk:
You never speak to anyone more than you speak to yourself in your own head, so be kind to yourself. You can also be encouraging, be grateful, be forgiving, be caring, be optimistic, be thoughtful, be productive and always be positive. If you’re not into meditation, try consciously or mindfully taking time during the day to talk- positively -to yourself.
Putting positive thinking into practice…
3. Count to 3, or 2 if you are pushed for time! Then Respond don’t React.
Give yourself at least 1 second to reconsider how you allocate your energy … Responding is a calculated, thoughtful and positive process, whereas Reacting is often just an emotionally charged retort (you might often regret!)
4. Practice smiling … it’s an instant mood boost, it activates neurons in your brain, helps your body release all the good stuff, like cortisol and endorphins, adding to the health benefits of being positive! Plus, you will notice they are very contagious!
Did you know that children smile an average of 400 times a day and the average happy adult smiles 40-50 times a day? It’s also claimed that people who smile appear more likeable, courteous, and competent; tend to be more productive at work and make more money! (and maybe get the promotions!) I also read that smiling uses less muscles, so you don’t develop wrinkles as easily, but I can’t find the reference for that one😉
5. Put a Post It Note on the fridge door (or anywhere your eyes go throughout the day) and write “I am a positive person” 😊
It sounds corny, but until you hone those positive habits and rewire your brain, having positive affirmations dotted in prominent places is proven to “help make lasting and long-term changes to the way you think and feel!” You can read more about the empirical studies based on ‘self-affirmation theory’ here!
Want to be happier in life? Get more done and feel more fulfilled? Learn more about Meraki Mindset - just click here
Meraki: (n) the soul, creativity or love put into something; the essence of yourself that is put into
whatever you do.
Mindset: (n) outlook towards life, a person’s way of thinking and their opinions, a mental attitude.