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 Art of Soulful Living pillars. 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, but if we can learn to bend the way we see things, we can take that pumpkin and make a delicious 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.
TODAY’S HAPPINESS TASK
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. Today, if something negative happens, try to work through it in your mind and think about what positives can come out of it.
Click here for Day 12 of the Happiness Challenge.