People often ask me “how do you remain so positive?”
I would like to reply with lots of optimism, faith, compassion and empathy, but the truth is I’m not always positive!?
I have my off days like everyone else, but I have adopted some practices that definitely helped me become a lot less reactive and, more proactive and responsive.
I must admit it certainly makes my life a lot easier and the lives of those around me…lol!
Here are 6 practices that work for me and can help you too:
This is definitely top of my list. As a child, I was taught the importance of saying “please” and “thank you”, and the consequences of not saying it.? So it’s no surprise that I’ve carried this trait into adulthood.
I practise gratitude everyday and remind myself how blessed I am. I make an effort to say “thank you” as often as possible, to the point where sometimes I feel guilty when I don’t.
I’ve learnt that when I show gratitude, even for the small things, it comes back to me multiplied in ways I never expected.
Keeping a gratitude journal is a great way to keep a record and remind ourselves of all the things we have to be grateful for.
The benefits of expressing gratitude include: lower stress levels, becoming more self-aware and focusing on what really matters.
Like many of us, I sometimes feel like I have 101 things going on at once, and this can be very overwhelming, especially when I’m working on a big project.
Rather than stick my head in the sand, fret and do nothing like I have done in the past, I found that practising mindfulness everyday helps clear my mind…literally.
Whether I’m meditating or going for a walk, practising mindfulness allows my mind to calm down and allows the rest of my body to catch up. It gives me the time and space I need to realise that I can only do what I can do, and it’s okay.
I try to practise mindfulness everyday anywhere from 3 to 60 minutes a day.
Here is a great 4-minute meditation: The Path to Happiness.
The benefits of practising mindfulness include: lower stress levels (research shows a decreased levels of the stress hormone cortisol), lower anxiety levels, lower heart rates, feeling calmer and being less reactive.
I believe as people we are all entitled to believe what we choose as long as we don’t undermine or disrespect one another. I am a Christian by faith.
Whatever your faith is, even if you don’t have one, being spiritual has made me realise that as a human being I am one of many.
While we are each one-of-a-kind and unique, there is nothing that makes any of us more special than the next person.
Knowing this allows us to connect to one another sharing our similarities first, and being able to learn from our differences whether it be our culture, background or opinions.
Positive Support Systems
There is nothing like a great support system. I haven’t always had the best relationships with my loved ones, but since I started making a concerted effort to strengthened the relationships I have chosen to have in my life, I’ve reaped the benefits. There is nothing like the people I love and care about the most supporting me to grow and be my best.
Those in my support systems may not always tell me what I want to hear, but it’s often what I need to hear. And even if it isn’t, I know it’s coming from an honest and loving place, and is expressed with my best interest in mind.
My positive support systems include my family, friends, mentors and coaches.
The benefits of positive support systems include: feeling more connected to others; feeling less lonely, isolated or judged; and gaining a sense of empowerment.
Although I have always craved love, for many years I struggled to receive and give it to others. In other words I found it hard to be vulnerable because I thought it made me look weak, when in reality it meant that I was denying myself love.
Since becoming more vulnerable and accepting of love in my life, I have become much closer to my family and friends.
I now try to find the love story in every situation by being empathic, open and compassionate to others because you never know what the next person may be going through and why it’s causing them to behave the way they do.
I enjoy learning in different ways including: reading books and articles; watching television and videos; attending events; mentoring; and coaching.
I’m definitely a work in progress and will always be a student of self-development so it also helps that I love to learn…lol.
The benefits of personal development include self-awareness, self control, empathy, accountability, being motivated and managing change well.
So what works for you?
I think the best way to answer this question is ask yourself: “what allows me to be free to be myself and live my best life?”