We tried this positive living routine for a week. Could it change your life?

5 Rituals employees followed 5 rules for a week. Let’s see if they’ve boosted their positivity for good.  


We’ve all got that friend that manages to see the upside of everything, don’t we? Have you ever wondered if this kind of positivity is a born character trait or quite possibly … might be something you could learn? We wanted to find out. That’s why we enlisted five Rituals employees to follow a positive living routine for a week, to see if it could have a ‘positive’ impact on their mindsets. Each participant rated their mood from 1/10 at the beginning and end of the week – let’s see if it improved. 


The 5 rules of positivity 


These are the five rules we asked them to follow each day. 


1. Practice daily mediation moments 

Start each morning with a meditation moment, whether it’s 1-minute or 20, practice a short moment of meditation at the start of each day. 


2. Silence your inner critic,  

Think more positively and believe it. For every negative thought you have, give yourself two positives. This takes practice, but try to be truly mindful of how you speak to yourself this week. 


3. Avoid processed foods and make each meal mindful 

The food we eat influences us both physically and mentally, from the inside out. Swerve processed foods that can make us feel sluggish this week and opt for nutritious and vitamin-packed ingredients and food that excite you (and your tastebuds). Set yourself up for success by planning what you will eat for the week and shopping locally for fresh foods. Perhaps try a new recipe or two. 


4. Move every day 

Whether it’s walking 10,000 steps, heading for a swim or trying one of our online workouts, move every day. 


5. Cultivate gratitude to welcome positivity 

Finish each day by writing down 3 things (big or small) that you are grateful for. 


Jake Kavanagh 

Area Manager (UK South) 


Mood at the start of the week: 7/10 


Jakes’s diary recap: 


This test comes at the perfect time for me. There has been a lot of change in my life over the last 6 months or so which has disrupted my normal routines, and I have really struggled to rebuild good habits (despite having the desire to do so). I am good at positively reframing situations (externally), but I have always struggled with self-doubt, self-criticism, self-worth, anxiety and depression. Over the years I have experienced varying degrees, including very positive periods but recent months have been quite hard. On day one, I had no negative thoughts until I played football and didn’t take a winning shot. I went home berating myself. About 10 years ago someone broke my leg by sliding through me as I took a shot in a very similar situation. I think, without realising it, I had made the choice to prioritise my own safety over the game. It is, after all, just a game, and I have a family to support at home. This made me feel a lot more positive about the situation and led to the three things I am grateful for: My family. My health. My weekly football companions. On day 4, I was walking and it started to rain. The first thought that came into my head was ‘that feels refreshing’, which made me feel as though the conscious positive thinking, was now changing my subconscious thinking. I could easily have reacted with negative thoughts around getting wet, and still had a long way to walk in the rain. 


Recently I have found myself starting the day with boxed breakfast cereals, that offer very little nutrition, and often a lot of refined sugar. I have an auto-immune disease that was getting progressively worse during my twenties. I was being prescribed more and more medication to combat it, with no real effect. I decided to explore other routes myself, and began my nutritional journey that was able to reduce my symptoms and no longer take any medication at all. The last 5 or 6 years, I have been in the best shape of my life but over the last 6 months, I have fallen into poor eating habits: my bodyweight has increased by 10% over recent months (and it isn’t muscle). This week I have been having overnight oats for breakfast, drinking more water and eating more fruit, veg, nuts, seeds, beans. By day 6, I realised instead of the usual lull after lunch I was feeling energised. I am now back on track with my exercise routine too and will be continuing to exercise 5 times a week. 


I have tried multiple times to incorporate meditation into my life. I have yet to find a way to maintain it. This week I listened to mindfulness podcasts on my commute and tried to do a meditation with my kids. We sat on the floor together, held hands and attempted to stay quiet for as long as possible. My 3-year-old was the first to break (no surprise). My 5-year-old was quite on board with it. I will keep trying and see how it goes. 


Mood at the end of the week: 8/10 


Lessons learnt:  


  • It was nice to see that as the week went on, the things I was grateful for became more specific. I am interested to see where it goes. Although I think I will only target myself at one thing per day. As I feel this will both make it more authentic and allow me time to spend time with that thought. 
  • I will continue eating healthily, although, I will allow myself treats. I found it very difficult to be so strict and don’t think that would be sustainable for me. Better to make smaller realistic changes for the long term, than drastic changes for the short term. 
  • I became aware that I think ‘I could have done better’ a lot. The more I thought about it, the more I realised how negative this behaviour is. This felt like a real turning point. Thinking more positively has been very beneficial, and I will continue to follow any negative thoughts with positive ones. 


Penny Grivea  

Managing Director UK & Ireland 


Mood at the start of the week: 7/10 with swings. 


Penny’s diary recap:  


I started my week waking up at 5:30am every morning to do workouts on my FIIT app. After my exercises, I completed a wellness journal for the week which helped me with my daily intentions, helped ensure I ate healthily, monitored my sleeping patterns and, most importantly, where I wrote down my thoughts and feelings (which is something rare for me!). This helped me pause, reflect and find solutions to challenges I faced, but also helped me recognise things that needed to be celebrated. As humans, we usually tend to focus on the things that we don’t do well or can do better but we also need to celebrate the things we do well, so let’s remind ourselves and each other of this regularly. 


I finished the journal by writing things that I am grateful for. I feel this was the most powerful part of the day as it grounded me, and reminded me of what I have and how lucky I am. It also helped put things into perspective and reminded me not to stress over the little things. During the week I created a list of positive affirmations to help silence my inner critic. My God, that wasn’t easy for me and I realised I am my worst critic! I did repeat the list of words every morning which I taped on my bathroom mirror. Some days, I had my kids confirm the statements which made it easier for me. 


Mood at the end of the week: 9/10 


Lessons learnt:  


  • Longer hugs with my kids increased my serotonin levels. 
  • Being disciplined and sticking to a routine is crucial to make this work. 
  • Being vulnerable with your team is key to your own wellbeing. They can lift you up! 
  • Daily exercise set me up for the day, giving me energy and helping me feel happy. 
  • Learning something every day is important for my own mind and soul – give yourself 20 minutes a day for this. 
  • Gratitude sweetens even the smallest moments. 


India Sposato 

Social Media & Influencer Coordinator 


Mood at the start of the week 5-7/10 


India’s diary recap: 


The timing of the positivity challenge couldn't have been more perfect for me. As someone who usually maintains a positive and happy outlook, I had been feeling a bit down lately. The stress from work and overwhelming life admin tasks had taken a toll on me physically and mentally. That's when the challenge appeared serendipitously, and although I wasn’t sure if I wanted to commit, it felt like it was put in front of me when I needed it. 


To kickstart my mornings on a positive note, I combined my gratitude moment with a gratitude meditation. It was like a power-packed dose of positivity that set the tone for the rest of the day. I have always felt anxious before meditating because my mind races and creates endless to-do-lists, but focusing on it this week made me realise that it provided a much-needed pause in my day and allowed me to cultivate a sense of calm and clarity. The further I got into the challenge the more I started to appreciate this space for introspection and self-reflection.  


Getting my endorphins up through physicality was also nice because the weather was gorgeous. It gave me the perfect opportunity to soak up the outdoors. I had nice walks in my neighbourhood and even decided to challenge myself with an 8K in October.  


During the positivity challenge, of course, I still was busy and could be tired. It didn’t bring the sun to me, but it allowed me to look past the clouds and enjoy the days for what they would be. It's all about finding a balance and being kind to myself along the way.  


Mood at the end of the week 8/10 


Lessons learnt:  


  • There were many aspects to this test that would be hard to maintain every day in my life, but it was worth every effort.  
  • After the challenge, I still get that feeling of nervousness before a meditation and I don’t do it every day, but it is something I am glad to keep incorporating into my life.  


Johanna Maes 

Customer Relations & Sales Ambassador 


Mood at the start of the week: 5/10 


Johanna's diary recap:  


Lately, I have been feeling like a 5 in my life. I hope that creating positive habits will clear my mind of negative self-talk and help me see my daily life through a new lens. I was excited to start this project, convinced it would softly challenge me and might create meaningful changes in my life. On the first day of the challenge, I had to focus on finding room to implement these five steps. I wrote them all near my bedside table to give a better structure to my week. I was confident I would smash it, but I did not start on Monday, as I went into auto-pilot mode right in the morning, skipping the meditation. On Wednesday, I was feeling overwhelmed by my long to-do list of chores and deadlines. Rather than letting myself be drawn by the negativity it gave me, I prioritised instead, to lift a weight off my shoulders.  


By Thursday I was feeling lighter and happier, new recipe ideas were popping into my mind with the will to bake and cook myself fresh and healthy meals. On Friday evening, I tried the meditation I consciously left behind for the first three days. I was scared to waste my time and that it would not work for me. Instead of letting my unconscious bias speak, I decided not to overthink and picked a random one. I ended up feeling so connected to myself that I repeated the experience the day after. On Sunday instead of cycling with earplugs in, I decide to pay attention to the sounds of nature. On my way to different places, I would look at people rather than ignoring them. I engaged with a neighbour in the elevator and we both left with a big smile on our faces. These small things are the one that matters at the end of the day. 


Mood at the end of the week: 8/10 


Lessons learnt:  


  • When you do good around you, it is returned to you and sometimes multiplied tenfold. 
  • Trying to keep to a checklist can feel like a burden on busy days. 
  • It is rewarding to choose yourself first. 
  • Adding achievable challenges to your day can give you a boost of energy and confidence when you complete them.  
  • Meditation can have the same mental effect as Pilates. 


Sathurja Rathakrishnan  

Store assistant 


Mood at the start of the week: 7.5/10 


Sathurja’s diary recap: 

I tried to meditate before work on Monday morning and this was already difficult as I had to fight with punctuality. Sometimes I have these moments in my life where I just want to be alone. I often have negative thoughts and couldn’t concentrate on work but the positive thought processes helped me. I kept telling myself that I can do it, I love myself and that everything is fine. This helped me to stay calm. On Tuesday I got up a little earlier and still found I couldn’t meditate as I constantly had thoughts in my head and couldn’t concentrate. I decided to talk to myself instead and after, I felt free. I received a lot of compliments from work colleagues and strangers and I think it was because I felt more relaxed. On Wednesday I had so much energy, I realised I had avoided sweets the last few days which was hard for me before and I was feeling grateful to myself that I’m evolving and making my life more positive. I tried to meditate again but I couldn’t, I don’t know what I’m doing wrong but I prayed instead. On Friday I had no negative thoughts and had fun at the gym, feeling more fit. I’ve been eating cleaner the whole week, sticking to the rules and I feel lighter and happier doing this test. On the weekend I got even more positive feedback at work - I think you radiate the energy you feel. 


Mood at the end of the week: 8.5/10 


Lessons learnt: 


  • I found it hard to meditate and instead tried praying more often in the morning, which I usually only ever do in the evening. This felt good, like a relief and I will definitely pray more regularly.
  • I have reduced my coffee consumption and drink more water and that is a positive development for me. 
  • I changed some of my habits and tried my best to stick to the rules and, I have to admit, that it has changed my way of thinking. I noticed that I see my problems relaxed during the test week. 


Want to radiate more positivity in your own life? Try our Joy to the World Masterclass 


Want to work at Rituals? We are continuously on the lookout for unique talents - authentic, driven, and dynamic personalities, who are passionate about everything Rituals stands for. In return, we offer a dynamic, supportive and forward-thinking environment. A place where you can take your career to the next level and where ambition and happiness go hand in hand. For all our current vacancies, head to our careers page. 

Jessy Deans

Jessy Deans

Jessy Deans is a copywriter with a strong appetite for thought-provoking stories, travel and anything covered in white chocolate. With a background working in the fast-paced television industry, she has learnt the importance of self-care and downtime and believes there’s no such thing as too many candles. She is passionate and committed to her lifelong search for the perfect meal and subscribes to the doctrine that ‘if you can’t love yourself, how are you going to love somebody else’ (Ru Paul).