Want to keep your life positive? YOOCAN!
I've often heard, "People that are always positive are fake." "How can I be positive when things aren't great? OR "How do you stay so positive all the time?"
The truth is that anyone can have a positive mindset! If you have challenges in your life, it may take work (like most things in life), but YOOCAN DO IT!
Here are 10 tips for creating positive vibes in your life!
Tip #1: Focus on the Good Stuff
Nobody said life would be easy, but when you focus on the negative aspects or events in life - that's what you're going to get, more negativity. We've all been there: You feel heavy, low and depressed. You can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. You have 0 motivation.
All it takes are a few positive thoughts to pull you out of the abyss of sadness.
Grab a piece of paper & pen. I want you to write down all of the positive things in your life. I'll help you start...
1. You're alive! (You may think this is silly, but life is so precious and not to be taken for granted.) Keep going! I know you can come up with at least 10 positive things in your life!
Don't overthink your list! The tiniest positive things in your life are just as important as the big things - like landing your dream job. Without those tiny victories, the large victories wouldn't be possible.
Tip #2: Say Cheese
Maybe you've heard these encouraging facts about smiling...
• Smile when you are sad to create endorphines in your body. This reminds me of the saying,"Fake it until you make it." That's exactly what you need to do in this case!
• Genuine smiles boost your immune system by decreasing cortisol in your body. How cool is that?!
• Smiling is contagious. Not only will you make yourself happier by smiling, but you'll also lift up the people around you. Sharing is caring!
Show those pearly whites, and begin feeling better!
Tip #3: Unplug
I think we can all agree that many people are addicted to their electronics - more specifically, the internet.
There's a great quote by Anne Lamott that is simple but true...
"Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you." -Anne Lamott
I've noticed when on social media I tend to be envious or experience other unhealthy and negative feelings about my life. I'm so busy comparing myself to others and their lifestyles that I forget all of the wonderful things within my own life. This can often lead to sadness.
"Unplugging" has been on the rise, as more and more people recognize the unhealthy side effects of staying virtually connected 24/7.
Life is happening NOW! Right in front of your eyes! Put down the electronics, get away from the overstimulation and go experience life, rather than trying to capture it on your device.
I promise, living life is much better than showing off what you've done in a day on social media.
Like nature? Go outside. Like reading? Grab your favourite book. Creative? Start doodling. (or noodling, if you're a musician) It doesn't have to be anything out of the ordinary.
Learn to be present & enjoy the moment, rather than showing it to the world via the internet. We will all believe you when you say you went to that place or did that thing that is supposed to be the "newest, latest & greatest."
Tip #4: Stay Grateful
Living in a place of gratitude is one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life. When you genuinely recognize all the things that we are grateful for, it's difficult to feel bad.
Remember that list of positive things in your life that you were making? This is the second part of that list.
While we may be grateful for positive aspects of our lives, it's also important to recognize and be grateful for the bad things in our lives. WHAT?! BE GRATEFUL FOR THE BAD THINGS?! Yes, you read that correctly. BE GRATEFUL FOR THE BAD THINGS! Why? I'll tell you why...
The bad things in life teach us lessons and make us stronger people. When you endure and get past bad situations you have tougher skin for the next things you will go through.
I believe having epilepsy has made me an incredribly strong and determined person. Without having epilepsy, I don't know if I would be where I am today... a place of happiness & joy.
Make another list & write down the tough stuff in life. Beside each thing or situation, write what you learned & how it helped to contribute to the person you are today.
Stay grateful, always.
Tip #5: Pray
I used to be scared of the word "pray." I'm not a religious person in my adulthood, but I was raised in a religious family. To me, the word "pray" always meant to thank or ask a particular religious figure for something.
I've been to multiple churches and learned about multiple religions, but the idea of religion just never resonated with me. I guess I would consider myself to be "spiritual."
I do believe in some sort of higher power, that we are all connected and that everything is enegry. I also believe in being a "good" person, doing the "right" thing, having compassion & empathy, doing no harm, and helping others.
Then, something clicked one day after reading a quote by Eckhart Tolle.
"If the only prayer you ever say is "Thank you," that will be enough. - Eckhart Tolle
I thought to myself,"Thank you is a prayer? But, who am I thanking? What am I thanking them for?" Regardless, I decided to give it a try.
I began praying each morning on my way to work. I would put instrumental music of some sort on, enjoy the music for a few minutes - until I calmed my morning anxiety, take a few deep breaths and say, "Thank you." quietly.
I noticed a different type of calmness come over me after saying this. Even though I never heard, "You're welcome." I felt it. Not in the typical fashion of someone replying after doing a favor, but more of a "Don't worry about anything. Let go." I felt lighter...
As months progressed, I began incorporating more into my prayers, still not knowing whom I'm praying to each day. Then, one day my husband was in an accident. I prayed. I prayed to whomever was listening. I prayed harder than I had ever prayed before.
When I began not only thinking but voicing my gratitude, my life shifted. My perspective shifted. I could see how the good & bad things in life created not only balance but a path. And, though the path is not always easy, it is what's necessary for you to learn lessons and get to where you're supposed to be in life.
Eventually, my life and mentality began to improve. I had a happier outlook, I understood things a little bit better, I was more grateful, and I found myself letting things go a little more each day. So remember...
"If the only prayer you ever say is "Thank you," that will be enough."-Eckhart Tolle
Tip #6: Happy Music
Happy music is characterized by major keys and an upbeat tempo. When you listen to happy music, your brain releases dopamine, which makes you feel happier.
Not only does it cause your brain to release dopamine, but it also helps to alleviate pain. Don't expect miracles, but there are scientific studies to prove the healing effects of music on the body.
When you are in a good mood, you want to listen to happy music. When you are in a sad mood, you want to listen to sappy songs. Turns out, when we are listening to music, we are searching for songs that match our current emotions. In this way, music helps to keep our emotions balanced.
The above reasons can all contribute to this next reason for listening to music... Music improves your mood. It not only improves your mood, but it contributes to a better quality of life. It only takes 2 weeks to improve your overall happiness by listening to happy music.
So put on your favourite jams, and do a happy dance!
Tip #7: Meditate
I'm not going to lie. I haven't meditated in a while, but I should. Meditation is beneficial for many areas of your life, but here are some specific reasons related to keeping positive vibes:
• Meditating reduces stress. There have been so many studies on stress and how mediation can improve life's stress. While mediation is great at reducing anxiety, other studies have shown that mediation literally reduces the densite of brain tissues that are associated with worrying and anxiety.
• Meditating decreases physical & emotional pain. This is going to blow your mind. Supposedly, meditation has the capability to reduce pain - physical & mental - more than morphine.
• Mediation boosts your immune system. There are many forms of meditation and more than a few have been proven to boost your immune system, while making you less likely to get an infection or virus.
These are great reasons to meditate, but there are so many more. (too many to list here) Not only will it improve your quality of life, but improve how you feel physically & mentally.
Tip #8: Laugh
This may seem obvious, but when we aren't happy we are drawn to things that match our mood. (sulking, listening to sappy music, watching sad movies, or reading sad books) We don't think about laughing...
Try watching a comedy movie, listen to stand-up comedy, read a funny book, or sketch silly doodles. You could even play with photo filters to amuse yourself. The list is endless.
• Much like smiling, laughing will make others happy. Have you ever heard a child's laughter and smiled? It's so joyful and genuine. Our brains are wired to smile when we see others laughing.
• Remember that saying... "Laughter is the best medicine." Laughing has been proven to improve memory, blood vessel function and immunity. It also helps improve and regulate blood sugar levels.
Some have even claimed that laughter cures cancer, while others say it is a complimentary therapy. Either way, there are definitely benefits to being easily amused!
Tip #9: Let Go
Letting go can be a bit tricky. Not only is it a multi-step process, but sometimes it requires doing the steps more than once to feel closure. The longer you've held on to the hurt, the longer it will take to heal. What are these steps to letting go? I'll tell you!
• Acknowledge the hurt you feel. Someone wronged you, and you've held on to that hurt. Not having resolution is eating you up inside. It's OK. Acknowledge and accept the hurt and understand why you feel like you do.
• Decide to forgive the person that wronged you. When you do this, understand this is not to let the other person off the hook. This is to unburden yourself or to forgive yourself for holding on for so long - depending on your situation.
• Let go of the negative emotions you've been feeling. Anger, resentment, sadness, or guilt - let them all go. These emotions have been weighing you down, and healing means letting them go and moving forward towards a resolution for the situation.
• Focus on the future. Decide how you would like this situation to play out in the future. Come up with steps to move towards a resolution and act on those steps. Let go of any thoughts of the past, and move forward with a clean slate.
Letting go reduces stress in our lives and improves our quality of lives by releasing burdens and putting less energy towards negative aspects of our lives. It is important to stay positive minded and focus on happy & healthy relationships.
Tip #10: Turn Off the News
There are so many negative news stories out there. It's rare to read or hear positive things in the news these days. With so much negativity surrouding us, how can we keep a positive mind? We can't!
Taking breaks from negative influences in your life, such as the news can be beneficial for your mental health. Try reading happy news stories or watching heartwarming videos about animals.
When we focus on the negative, that's all we see. Keep your focus on the good in your life, and you'll begin to understand the importance of being happy and keeping positive vibes.
Find positive story sources, such as YOOCAN, and surround yourself with positivity and joy!