Positivity Mindset: 7 Practices


Positive emotions—a core component of well-being—are associated with a myriad of desirable outcomes. Positivity has been shown to improve mental and physical health, boost our happiness, and keep the stress chemicals at bay. But let’s face it - we aren’t always a ray of sunshine at every moment of every day. We all have those days or moments that call for an ‘attitude adjustment.’ On to the good news: Positivity is a skill we can develop and with practice, our minds become stronger and more resilient.

Here are a few positivity practices to use for a mindset shift when negativity seems to put a damper on your day!!

  1. “This is good, because…..”

    Whenever you feel annoyed or upset by an event, make the statement “this is good because…”  Miss the lunch delivery due to a long conference call? “This is good because… leaving the office to grab lunch will give me a much-needed break for sunshine and fresh air.” Rewire your brain to look on the bright side!
  2. Welcome opposites

    When you are experiencing negative thoughts or emotions, welcome opposite feelings. Perturbed that you were excluded from an important decision? Imagine a time when your input and expertise were valued and you felt at ease. This technique allows you to deactivate the brain’s default network that’s responsible for holding you hostage to your negative emotions!
  3. Drown yourself in affirmations

    Train your brain to think differently by using positive affirmations. Determine what you need to hear the most and silently repeat it throughout the day. When a negative thought seeps in, stop it in its tracks by replaying your affirmation: “I am happy, healthy, and productive” (or whatever phrase best suits you). Say it enough and it will become your reality!
  4. Focus on successes

    How we focus our attention is the key to promoting positive changes in the brain. Set the tone for your day by recalling the the victories of yesterday, and certainly don’t omit the events of your workday. As you recall your successes, don’t be afraid to toot your own horn. Congratulate yourself with positive self-talk or treat yourself with a reward for an accomplishment, whether it’s big or small. What we focus our attention on grows!

  5. Halt judgments

    It’s human nature to insta-judge ourselves and each other, but too much of this clouds the mind and leads to negative thought patterns. When you find yourself gravitating toward judgment, take note of your thoughts and stop to ask yourself the questions: “Are these thoughts kind and compassionate? Are they helping me or the other person in any way? Are they even true?”  Free yourself from judgment and experience more joy.

  6. Use your imagination

    Discourage negativity by using your imagination. Before getting annoyed or angry at the guy who cut you off on the road, imagine he is late for an important meeting at work or rushing home to help his sick child. Compassion creates feelings of warmth and love, reduces stress, and leads us to a more positive state.

  7. Resort to laughter

    Okay, okay - so it’s a really bad day and you simply aren’t feeling all of this positivity jazz? Resort to laughter— it never fails. Watch a cat video, play a clip from The Office or pay a visit to the office comedian down the hall. Laugh your way to a better day!

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Amy FlahertyPositivity