If you happen to follow me on Instagram, you might have some inkling as to where I have been these past few months. Between my mom breaking her hip while ice skating during her holiday trip here and the loss of our very social schnauzer, Harley, January and February were basically a wash. These altering events coupled with the negativity in our country lately had me feeling quite down and depressed.
No matter what side you are on politically, these past few months have been hard to stomach. I am deeply saddened by the number of relationships that have been affected due to political differences. An often quoted Buddha once said, “The mind is everything. What you think you become.” I know that personally I strive to live a positive life. Here are a few tips I have used to try to maintain positivity through it all.
DO SOMETHING NICE
Are you familiar with #RAOK? Random Acts of Kindness has turned into a movement that believes in spreading kindness everywhere. “We believe in the power of kindness to change the way people see and experience the world,” from the nonprofit foundation website found HERE. But you don’t need an organization to tell you how to practice this. You can do it by showing compassion and gratitude to others every day. Smile at the strangers you pass on the street. Stop and think before passing judgement on someone. Just take the time to listen to what someone is saying without thinking of your response. If you need more ideas on how to practice this, read more HERE. If everyone tried this, the world would be a better place.
WORK TOWARD CHANGE
The Red Boot Coalition which I mentioned in the article HERE is a great way to make a change on a personal level. Learning to listen and communicate properly is something we could all use to improve our lives. The Coalition groups offer a safe environment to engage in honest sharing and compassionate listening for not only political issues, but any issues that affect us as human beings. Learn more about The Red Boot Coalition HERE.
Some people strive to make change other ways such as peacefully protesting, writing letters or calling their legislators, signing petitions, volunteering, or donating money. Whatever cause it might be that you truly believe in, there is a way to help. Change.org is a personal favorite of mine where I have signed a few petitions for causes I believe in.
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVITY
Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself and your wellbeing is to avoid the negativity. Personally, I have defriended or blocked friends on Facebook who constantly post things that upset me. I have known others who have completely shut down social media during difficult times. Surrounding yourself with supportive, happy people helps you to maintain a positive attitude.
I have made self care an important part of my daily routine and you should too. Self care is defined as the cultivation of one’s self focusing in particular, on the soul and self knowledge. This is a topic I plan on getting into much further on my blog but for now I will just share a few ideas. Exercise and reading are two of my favorite ways to take care of myself. Daily exercise is not only great for your body but is also a known stress reliever. The brain releases endorphins when you exercise that trigger a positive feeling. Read more about it HERE.
I enjoy reading a good book before I head to bed at night. Research suggests what we know to be true, that reading can bring happiness and enhance your life. A book can cause you to think in a different way and change your life. Self-improvement books are a favorite of mine but I also enjoy a good novel from time to time. A few of my favorite authors are Gretchen Rubin, Ruth Soukup, Jen Sincero, and Liane Moriarty.
Some other ways to care for yourself is by taking self improvement classes, listening to music, eating healthy, or taking yoga classes. Anything that is good for the mind is good for the soul.
PRACTICE POSITIVE SELF TALK
Developing a habit of positive self talk helps to increase your confidence, uplift you, reduce stress, among other benefits. Some people find it helpful to post a positive message where they can see it daily like on the bathroom mirror, computer screen or cell phone. I, like many of us developed a habit of negative self talk that started in childhood. But it is never too late to change that. It is important to shift your focus to what you do want instead of what you don’t want. Constant reminders and practice can make positive self talk a habit.
Whatever route you choose toward positivity will not only greatly benefit yourself but also those around you. Positive people are happy people. In the words of inspirational author, Shannon L. Alder, “When you are joyful, when you say yes to life and have fun and project positivity all around you, you become a sun in the center of every constellation, and people want to be near you.” Positivity can be life changing as life is all about perspective.
What do you think about my ideas for maintaining positivity? Do you have any to add?
Until next time,