Think about what you do have, not what you don’t have. It’s such an easy thing to say but how do we do it?
As living breathing human beings we need to survive and we are designed to react to the negative things that happen around us so that we live to see another day. But our society is no longer somewhere where we must listen for the rustle in the bushes or worry about where our next meal is coming from – at least mostly, luckily for us.
Thinking about all the things you do have, imagining the things you want, focusing on the positives rather than the negatives is something we all recognise to be beneficial. Latest neuroscience backs this up – positivity encourages blood flow to the brain improving oxygen levels and your ability to think and function. Lots of sports coaching involves visualisation of the performance you want. Thinking this way helps your mind and body to achieve it.
1. Realise you create your emotions – get conscious and choose happy. Become aware of your thinking – we so rarely do this and its actually quite simple. Ask yourself, what am I assuming that makes me feel sad / discontent / angry / *insert your unwanted emotion here. Are those assumptions true? They most likely are not. Think about all the good things you have instead. Doing this first thing will set you up for the day!
2. Line up the good things. If you have an appraisal and your manager gives you 10 great things you’ve done and one ‘area for improvement’ – don’t go home and sulk about the bad thing. That’s your primitive self focusing on the negative. Decide what to do about your area for improvement and then wallow in all the good stuff they said. Also, at the end of the day, don’t focus on what you didn’t do that’s still sitting on your to-do list from the morning. Write a ‘done’ list and look at how long it is!
3. Appreciate others, stand up straight and smile. OK so this one is cheating a bit as its really two things but they are good ones. We get a buzz from telling others that we think they’ve done a good job or are great at something. And they get a buzz too, its a virtous circle. Try it. And standing up straight and smiling makes your body think you are happy so why not give that a go.
Have a happy day!