I've been thrown some curve balls in my life that I am proud to say I have handled well. In order to stay positive throughout all the negativity, I have journaled, created vision boards, and I even listened to countless hours of positivity focused audiobooks. There's no secret recipe to happiness because everyone gauges happiness in different ways. To me, happiness is security with the ones I love. Pretty simple, huh?
OK, so you don't need to do what I did, and I wouldn't recommend the hours of book reading or listening. If you're working on being a more positive person, or even if it was your new year resolution, here is a guideline to follow.
- Take gratitude walks. It is hard to carve out time to walk around, but I encourage you to take 10 minutes at first and work up to 30 minutes a week. I suggest taking a walk anywhere, even around your house, with your significant other and mention all the things you are grateful for. You can do it alone, like I do around my office building, by talking to yourself in your mind going through a list of things you're grateful for.
- Journal three things you are grateful for every morning. I use The Five-Minute Journal iPad app (under $6) and I record three things I am grateful for every day, three things that would make today great, and my daily affirmation. In the evening, I write three things that went well today. It is an exercise in just jotting it down so you can remember the important things. The app also allows for photos.
- Create a vision page. I find a vision board tedious and more than I can handle. In one hour, I covered a simple sheet of white paper with images and words of things I want in my life. I keep it on the side of my fridge so I am sure to see it daily. It keeps me hopeful.
- Avoid news. This is actually the base of my experiment. News is rarely good, and you typically have to hear/see all the bad news before you see the good. This goes for local, national, and international news. Before this, I was a news junkie watching CNN, MSNBC, and HLN daily. Since I stopped watching and reading news, I feel happier inside. Of course, all the pertinent news still gets to me, mainly through my husband and Twitter (I follow AP and WSJ).
- Eliminate negative friends. This was a hard one because I had to eliminate two people who I thought were my closest friends. Over time, I realized the things they said and the way they said them were self-centered and meant to hurt me. Not good friends at all. You may want to have a serious discussion about your feelings first before you stop returning calls and emails. Still, I replace negative people with positive people. Remember, you can always reach out to me!
Let me know how your journey to a more positive you goes!