While I’m not someone who believes in pushing a positivity agenda that feels inauthentic, or worse yet forced, I do like the idea of starting my day with a positive mindset. Life has been throwing us a lot of curveballs, and if you feel like you’re swimming against the current and finding it hard to see the sun between the clouds, there are some simple, attainable routines we can incorporate into our everyday that will ground us in positivity.
Here’s what I do, and I hope some of these suggestions also work to help you smile!
Have a routine
This sounds basic, I realize, but it’s surprisingly effective. Variety is great, and the spice of life, but there are some things you can commit to daily that give you a sense of purpose and can also work to set your intention for your day. I like to take a few minutes in the morning to carve out some time to stretch and exercise – for those feel-good endorphins! – and I also like to set specific times in my day to block off a walk outside, take a break to have a cup of tea, or simply take a minute off my screens to decompress. Setting these mini-routines not only give me something to look forward to in a busy day, but they also function as a form of self-care, and we need that more now than ever.
Celebrate small victories
Manage to cross out a couple of things on your to-do list? Did you make a great meal for your family? Finish a book? Get 30 minutes of exercise? Every day is an opportunity to accomplish something, and nothing is too small. Acknowledging the good things you do in a day is the gateway to feeling positive, and it’s a wonderful way to allow ourselves to be proud of what we do.
Hang out with positive people
Surround yourself by people who exhibit the same enthusiasm for life that you have, and those that seek to boost you up instead of push you down. It’s natural that all of us will have our ups and downs, but no one enjoys hanging out with someone who focuses too much on those negative aspects. Laughing is truly life blood, so find those friends who make you giggle. It’s an instant energy boost!
Be generous with others
Positivity doesn’t just start with us, it’s also about spreading it to other people. Helping other people, whether it’s volunteering at a local charity or simply helping someone carry their groceries to their car, is incredibly rewarding. It feels so good to help others and make their lives feel a little easier. Paying it forward could also inspire a chain reaction of good deeds that spread throughout your community and beyond.
Healthy food helps us feel happy. It has long been understood that fruits, veggies, whole grains and lean unprocessed proteins are the best foods for our daily diet, but research and studies have also begun to show that eating healthy not only impacts our physical health but our mental health as well. And an unhealthy diet, one full of trans fats, sugars and processed foods, increases risk for depression, among other health-related issues. So, what should we eat? A Mediterranean-style diet made up of fruits, vegetables, extra-virgin olive oil, cheese, nuts, whole grains, seafood and lean red meat. Eliminate the fried and processed foods. This diet provides optimal nutrition our brain needs to support so many functions.