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There will be times in our lives when we don’t feel good about some part of our life! As the old song used to say, ‘Some days are diamonds, some days are stone.’ What can we do on our ‘stone’ days to feel more positive?
1. Practise Gratitude
Research continues to demonstrate that we can actually improve our mood by focusing on expressing gratitude. It’s about finding the good in all sorts of every-day life events. Noticing and appreciating the positives in our lives can make a real difference to the way we see the day!
Try these few simple but practical ways to increase your gratefulness:
- Write a gratitude letter -- Martin Seligman, former president of the American Psychological Association, asked subjects to write a letter thanking someone who had been particularly kind to them and then deliver it in person. Those who did so found they were still feeling more positive one month later.
- Keep a gratitude journal -- Write down anything that makes you smile, including your achievements whether small or large, touching moments and fun relationships.
- Enjoy the good – Stop every now and then and feel the fresh-cut lawn under your feet, the smell of hot-bread fresh from the bakery, and the sound of people laughing.
- Share your good news – Research suggests that people who share their happy moments with others seem to enjoy the moment more than those who don’t share, so go ahead and “phone a friend!”
2. Switch over to positive thinking
Sometimes trying to think about positive things when all we seem to be doing is mulling over negative thoughts can seem challenging. But we need to make the effort, and it can make a difference! Trying to be optimistic doesn’t mean we just pretend the bad things don’t exist! They do – but we don’t have to dwell on them to the place where we feel overwhelmed and stuck!
- Write a letter describing where you would love to go for a holiday. Think about all the great things you could do and see. Writing helps us develop our ideas better than just thinking about them
- Tell a friend about how you have discovered some new idea, or tried some new recipe, new way to travel to work, or found a new shop for quality clothing.
- Write a description of you have grown in confidence at work, or at the gym, or in your relationships. Think about how your relationships have grown in strength over the last 12 months.
- Regularly remind yourself to avoid the times when you might tend to ‘catastrophize’ – you see the worst in any situation and start to ‘live’ there! Avoid concentrating on the bad side of the situation and find that ‘silver lining’ that will be there waiting for you!