Do you ever envy people who are constantly positive and radiating sunshine – no matter what – and wonder how on earth they do it?
Well, the truth is that anyone can become that optimistic. While there are obviously times when the going gets tough and our attitudes are tested, research shows that happiness is actually akin to a skill. Just like you learned to ride a bike or excel at your career, you can practice and strengthen positivity daily.
Here are some of the positive thinking habits to start using today:
Nobody enjoys complainers, but besides giving us a headache, research shows that complainers are quite contagious. Their negative attitude can actually spread, and the effects are quite serious, since unnecessary complaining has measurable effects on our brain power.
Sure, you can’t completely avoid this (and sometimes, complaining is downright necessary), but the next time everyone in the office is airing their dirty laundry, think twice about joining in.
Keep a gratitude journal
Entrepreneurs such as Oprah Winfrey and Arianna Huffington swear by a gratitude journal as one of their positive thinking habits. That’s because it’s a research-backed way to reflect on your blessings daily, and it leads to a slew of benefits, like better health, productivity and mental strength.
To start reaping the benefits, write down and reflect on five things you’re grateful of weekly. They can range from small (a good Frappuccino) to sublime (the support of friends). Before you know it, you’ll start seeing the positive side of every week.
Smile a little more
Smiling does more than make you look happy; it actually makes you feel happy. Even if you’re in an awful mood, smiling tricks your brain into feeling good.
It also has other benefits: when you walk into a room full of happy people, you’ll feel optimistic. Your smile can actually spread and make your team or office have a better mood. So turn that frown upside down as one of your positive thinking habits.
Take a breather
During a hectic day, taking a break is usually the last thing on our minds. But even the US Women’s Soccer team needs some bench time every once and a while, and so do you.
According to Sharon Salzberg, the author of Real Happiness at Work, “without some breathing space in the face of constant demands, we won’t be creative, competent, or cheerful.”
The little time taken off from work is one the strongest positive thinking habits, and well worth the investment. Put everything down for a few minutes and take a walk, read your favorite book–whatever it takes to get your mind off work for a few minutes. I promise, whatever you were working on before your little breather will still be there when you get back – and you might even have your next big idea when you return.
Helping others isn’t just a good life practice. A long-term research project called Americans’ Changing Lives found a bevy of benefits associated with selflessness: “Volunteer work was good for both mental and physical health. People of all ages who volunteered were happier and experienced better physical health and less depression.”
If you can’t volunteer, do something as simple as helping a neighbor or friend. You’ll both be happier because of it.
Business opportunities are like buses
If you think being a successful entrepreneur or business person means saying “yes” to every opportunity, you’re doing it wrong. The best entrepreneurs take smart, calculated risks instead of embracing every opportunity that presents itself.
If the idea of passing up on these opportunities fills you with FOMO (fear of missing out), just take a tip from Sir Richard Branson.
“Business opportunities are like buses,” he once said. “There’s always another one coming.”
Rather than dwelling on the opportunities that pass you by, realize that there’s another one right down the road.
Share your positive thinking habits
Do you have any tips or tricks to practice positivity? Share them with the LTH Tribe!