Do you ever wish the world was a little more like sunshine and unicorns, full of positive emotions? You turn on the news and darkness hits you. You check out social media—it’s an onslaught of negativity. Then, you walk outside, and it’s, well, rather people-ly.
Put simply, the world is not a very positive place these days. It’s easy to catch the contagiousness of it all and become equally as negative inside.
That’s why harnessing the power of positive emotions and using them to change your mindset towards the sunshine and unicorns side of the scale is a must do!
Do you really want to catch the negative ‘flu’?
Of course not!
[Read: These powerful rules will lead you to a positive and happy life]
The power of positive emotions
Being positive holds great benefit for your health and mental well-being. Positivity seriously helps you in the battle against poor mental health. The problem is, when you’re surrounded by negativity every single day, it’s hard to maintain that bright outlook.
The good news? I’ve identified a few ways you can do that, without catching the negative disease that’s doing the rounds.
How to increase positive emotions
If you want to become a more positive person, you simply need to change your mindset.
[Read: How to welcome positive energy and vibes into your life]
I say ‘simply’ like it’s easy, but it’s actually not that easy in practice. What you need is perseverance and the ability to work through issues as they arise with a point of view that is more sunshine than rain.
Here are a few ways you can do just that.
#1 Have a positive affirmation to start the day. If you’ve never used a positive affirmation before, you’re seriously missing out. This is a statement of intent, something you repeat over and over again until you believe it to be true. Then, whenever your positivity is starting to dwindle, you repeat it a few times more and remind yourself that being smiley is far more worthwhile than frowning.
You can choose your own positive affirmation or you can search for one online. Something like “I choose to be happy;” “I am a positive, happy person;” “Today I will smile for all to see;” etc. It can be whatever you want it to be, but it should resonate with you and you should believe it.
Write it down and look at it regularly. You might like to stick it onto your bathroom mirror or your computer monitor too. Repeat it three times when you wake up, three times at lunch, and three times before bed. If you’re having a shaky moment, repeat it once more. Eventually, you’ll believe it to be true. [Read: 13 happy things that can make you really happy in life]
#2 Reframe your negative thoughts. We all have negative thoughts, and that’s mainly because the human brain is hardwired to be negative before it is positive. We’re not really given the best start in life when it comes to positivity! However, there is a way to overcome negative thoughts, through a process called reframing.
Reframing requires you to be mindful of any negative thought you have, so it can feel quite exhausting at first. Once you notice a negative thought entering your mind, stop for a second and acknowledge it. Then, turn it on its head and replace it with something positive.
For instance, turn “I hate the rain,” into “I love the smell of rain.” You would then repeat it over and over, just like a positive affirmation, until you believe the positive thought to be true. You should also add in a little visualization, to give your reframed thought a bit more power. [Read: These 14 easy mantras will help you transform your life]
#3 Write down five things you’re grateful for every morning. When you wake up in the morning, while eating your breakfast, sit and write down five things you’re grateful for. It could be your health, your family, the fact that your favorite TV show is on that evening. Whatever you’re grateful for that day, write it down.
The act of showing gratitude in this way helps breed positive emotions, and you feel more upbeat and happy as a result. [Read: 12 happy hacks to find happiness instantly]
#4 Get your body moving! Did you know that exercising can give you a huge dose of positive emotions over negative ones? It’s true! You don’t have to join the gym and slog it out on the treadmill to get the beneficial effects. Simply move your body a little more.
How about a Zumba class with friends? Dancing away in your living room to your favorite tunes? Or you could swim, join a sports team, anything you like!
When you exercise, your brain releases feel-good endorphins which help you to feel more upbeat and happy. Exercise has been shown to increase positivity, so you can expect to feel a lot more positive emotions when exercise is a regular part of your life.
#5 Look for the positive in everything. There is a positive in everything if you look hard enough. It might be a very small positive and might not be that evident at the time, but when you look back in hindsight, you’ll notice something. A good way to cultivate more positive emotions is to look for the positive point in everything that you come into contact with in life.
For example, you go for a job interview and you don’t get it. It sucks, that’s true; perhaps, that’s because there’s a better job coming your way. Perhaps that job simply wasn’t for you, and you’ve managed to dodge a bullet. If you look hard enough, you can overcome negative emotions, fleeting or long-lasting, by seeking out the positive instead. [Read: 22 more life rules that’ll guarantee you’ll never be unhappy again]
You can’t be positive all the time
Okay, I admit it. It’s not possible to be super-positive all the time. If you were, you’d be a very annoying person.
You know those types of people who wake up and jump out of bed, all happiness and cupcakes, jumping around like they’ve just fallen out of a live action remake of Mary Poppins? Yeah, I’m not one of those people either. However, just because you’re not brimming with positivity 100% of the time doesn’t mean you have a problem. [Read: 15 things everyone should know about the secret to a happy life]
Negativity is there to warn us of problems. It dates back to the days of the cave people, who tried to survive all manner of terrifying predators on a daily basis. Negativity was a hunch, an inner voice that helped them run from danger. These days we call that our ‘fight or flight’ reaction.
The problem is, your brain is always looking for danger, even when there is none. As a result, you might find yourself locked in a cycle of negativity.
By using the steps above, you can change that default setting. Don’t expect to be all happiness and sunlight 100% of the time. It’s normal to have down days, provided you don’t allow them to become down weeks or months. Simply pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and jump back on the positivity train. [Read: 16 things you need to give up if you’re seeking true happiness]
If you find it hard, and if negativity is dragging you down, reach out a hand for help. It’s not a failing, it’s a huge strength. Depression is not something you should try and live with in this day and age; there is plenty of help out there.
For most people, the odd day of being a little negative is to be expected and is totally fine. Just be sure to cultivate more positive emotions after your slight mood-related hiccup.
[Read: 15 little changes to be someone who always says, I love my life!]
While positive emotions might not be your human default setting, you can increase their frequency by making an effort to look towards the brighter side of life.
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