“You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.”
― Albert Camus
Having and maintaining a positive mind is something that doesn't come easily to me. I'm not one of those naturally happy-go-lucky people that I sometimes desperately wish I could be. Too many anxieties fill my head and I often find myself waiting for the worst to happen. Having said that, I'm always striving for self-improvement and I know that this is an area of myself that I want to work on. So here are my 5 tips & habits for creating a positive mindset for yourself. I'm also writing this as a reminder for myself to do the same.
1. Start a Gratitude Journal
I got this idea when I bought my 5 Minute Journal (which I never used and ended up giving away...). It is just the simple concept of writing down 3 things you are grateful for every day. It can range from things like, 'The walk to work was really enjoyable today' to, 'I am grateful for my health and for my body which is able to go the gym and keep fit'.
This is something that I started when I began my bullet journal at the start of 2018. I'll admit, it's been really hard to maintain and to do every day. I keep my journal on my bedside table with every intention to end my day filling it in, but even then I often forget. It's a habit that I am trying to form and am getting better at it slowly.
For me, when I take just a few minutes to think about the things that I am grateful for that day, it really makes me feel so much better. I get so caught up in my head thinking of what I need to do that it just gets in the way of appreciating what I have and recognising how lucky I am every day.
2. Focus on the Present & Accept the Past
Overthinking, my number one enemy.
I dwell, I'm a dweller. I dwell on mistakes that I made 3 years ago that still makes me cringe, I dwell on embarrassing things that happened 2 weeks ago that make me wince, I just think and overthink and wonder what could have happened if I'd done something differently. Being consumed by these thoughts seems so normal, but when I write it down it sounds ridiculous.
Having a positive mind means not lingering in the past but focusing on what is here right now. Who cares what was, it has been and done so let's accept it then leave it the past. Let's ask ourselves how we can be better now, how we can achieve everything that we want and how can we be our best selves.
3. Laugh at Crappy Situations
Crappy things happen all the time. Depending on the severity of the situation, I will allow myself a little time to be sad about it, then move on and laugh about it. Because as they say, comedy is just tragedy plus time. You can't change that has happened, you can only change how you act upon the given situation.
4. Have No Expectations
Often times we have an idea of how we want something to be, an assumption of what we think is going to happen or how we are going to feel. And more often than not, we are wrong in our expectations. We overstate or overestimate which leads to disappointment and negativity. I'm learning to let go, go in with an open heart and instead of having a preconceived expectation, just let it be. If it turns out great, then wonderful! If not, then at least I will not be disappointed which helps maintain a positive mind.
5. Surround Yourself With Positive People
I think I'm quite lucky that a lot of my friends are not negative people. Don't they say something like 'You are the average of 5 people you spend the most time with'? It makes sense, people's energy and onset can rub off on you, if you spend time with positive people, you are more likely to be a positive person.
There are some people that can really drain you, that leave you feeling deflated and tired. I'm not saying to completely cut them out of your life, but to limit that time you spend with them. Strive to spend time with people that motivate you to be better, that inspire you to reach your goals, that can help you be a better person.
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