Positive thinking is powerful. It’s why sportspeople visualise themselves scoring a goal, beating their personal best, or getting that gold medal. And science proves that a positive mindset is linked directly to achievement. One study of 240 children aged seven to 10 found that being positive improved their ability to solve math problems. At Rituals, positivity is so important that it is one of the 13 pillars the brand lives by. In the video below with happiness ambassador and author of Solve For Happy, Rituals creative director Dagmar Brusse explains that we live in the real world and life is not always a fairytale. That pumpkin is not going to turn into a Porsche overnight, but if we can learn to bend the way we see things, we can take that pumpkin and make a delicious pumpkin soup instead. Making the best of every day is about finding the positives where we can.
We talked about our brain’s negativity bias in this article here, and how we are programmed to think negatively as a survival mechanism. Looking for the negatives allows us to be aware of the potential dangers around us. Evolutionarily-speaking that’s a good thing, when you are out hunting dangerous animals, that is. But in the modern world, there are far fewer life-threatening predators and yet we still have a tendency to think negatively. If you find it hard to see the positives in life, then it will be hard to find and sustain happiness.
Below are 4 easy ways to cultivate a positive mindset and welcome the good vibes in! And, be sure to hit the link to our Happiness Challenge below if you want to bring the life-changing power of happiness into your life.
Start Your Day on a Positive Note
In our video introducing Mo Gawdat and his quest to spread happiness to one billion people around the world, Mo said that one of the most important things he does is to start his day off on the right note. He loves coffee and so he has made that a morning ceremony where he specifically chooses the coffee he wants to drink that day, takes the time to make it and then drink it. He isn’t starting the day with something he thinks he should do because other people say it’s the right thing to do, he has chosen something he loves and does it for himself. So, your morning moment might be reading a chapter of a book, body brushing before jumping into the shower, a yoga class, making an omelette, or something else entirely. By starting the day with one thing you love, you’ll be setting the tone and intention for the rest of your day.
Celebrate the Small Things
As Dagmar said, life isn’t always a fairytale but that doesn’t mean we can’t rejoice in the small wins and beautiful moments. If you find yourself thinking negatively about a situation, think of what the positive could be. Okay, it’s raining but think how good that rain will be for your garden. Yes, you have to work late but be thankful you have a job that pays the bills and puts a roof over your head. You dropped your dinner on the floor and then the dog ate it, but at least he is well fed and you likely have more food in the house (that last one is a stretch, but you get the idea). It can be all too easy to wear blinkers and only see the negatives and worse still catastrophise about all the bad things that could occur. This week, if something negative happens, try to work through it in your mind and think about what positives can come out of it.
Pay Attention to Your Thoughts
While we have the power to think differently about external goings-on, we also have the power to change how our brain thinks. You’d be surprised how many negative things our brain says to us on any given day. In this article, we talk about why our mind’s negativity bias and how to fight it. One of the most effective ways to be more positive every day is to have a dialogue with your inner critic. If it gives you a negative thought, force yourself to counter it with two positive ones. Over time, you’ll start to override that negative voice in your mind, it just takes practice!
Surround Yourself with Positive People
If you tend to be a glass half empty person, surround yourself with those who always see the glass as half full. We all have friends that bring good vibes to any occasion. Surround yourself with those people and even better, ask them how and why they are so positive? Understanding what makes positive people see the good in life will help you to see it too.
Want to feel more positive every day? Mo Gawdat, former Chief Business Officer at Google [X] and author of Solve for Happy, and Rituals are on a mutual mission to make #1MillionHappy. Join us on a 14-day interactive journey that will transform your life and help you find true, long-lasting happiness. Sign up for the Happiness Challenge here.
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