Monday, April 2, 2012

Feeling positive

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about The Tipping Point - that in order to change your life towards a more positive outcome, you need to feel positive only 51% of the time.

Here are a few tips on how to stay positive. These are all things I've tried, so I know they work.

  • Every morning when you wake up, don't just jump out of bed and start the day. Spend a minute or two just being present in the moment. Appreciate the sunuggly warmth of your duvet. Appreciate the weather outside. Listen to the bird song. Then get up and start your day in a positive frame of mind.
  • If you have a lengthy commute, rather than stressing about how slow the traffic is moving, fill the time with  something you enjoy. Great music. An audio book. Or if you're a writer, spend the time getting to know your characters. Chat to them. Though you might want to do this quietly in your head so the commuters around you don't get spooked. Alternately, if you're having a conversation with an imaginary person, your fellow commuters might leave a nice lot of space around you.
  • Avoid bad news. I stopped reading newspapers and watching TV news a long time ago. But I still listened to radio news on the way to work, just to keep in touch with what's going on. Bad move. The job of journalists is to spread sensationalist bad news. It's not a great start to the working day to arrive at the office with your head full of the latest political corruption scandal or genocide in a distant country. If something happens that really rocks the world, it'll still reach you. Just keep an eye on what's trending on Twitter, and you probably won't miss out too much. Guaranteed you'll be happier if you're not listening to bad news.
  • Surround yourself with positive people. If you find yourself in a conversation with someone who's bringing you down, shift the conversation by introducing something positive. If that doesn't work, make a quick get away. Getting sucked into a discussion about the woes of the workplace, the unfairness of the bosses, the recessive ecomony, is just the fastest way to stop feeling positive.
  • Create a pinboard somewhere you can see it every day. Fill it with pictures of things that make you happy. Places you'd love to visit, your favourite foods, beautiful sunsets or landscapes, inspirational quotes or success stories.
  • Celebrate other people's achievements. I've started keeping a list of new sales to my dream publisher. Because every time I look at this list, I'm reminded that my dream is possible, because others have already achieved it.
  • Celebrate your accomplishments. In The Secret Rhonda Byrne suggests keeping a gratiutude journal. I do something a little different. In my journal I record everything I achieved that day. It can be as small as sending a thank you note to someone, writing a blog post, or reading a book. These are all worth celebrating, and looking back over a list of all the things you've accomplished rather than a never-ending To Do list is a sure-fire way of boosting positivity.
  • Finally, as you lie in bed at night preparing to sleep, and the day's events are churning through you mind, spend a minute or two thinking about all the things you love and feeling grateful for them. By being grateful for your kids' smiles, for the help you received during the day, for the tasty dinner, for the chance to watch a favourite TV show, for a new order from a customer, you'll go to sleep happier and guaranteed you'll wake up happier the next day.
Does anyone have any more tips to share on how to stay positive? I'm always open to new ideas.


  1. There are some really great tips here, Romy. Like you I stopped watching the news and reading newspapers regularly too. I really hated all the constant depressing news.

    I certainly think people need to focus more on keeping positive. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Kiru.