At the start of a new year, it seems like everyone is talking about resolutions and goals. While those are great, at this time of the year I also like to reflect on my personal growth from the previous year in an area that’s not always measurable. It might not be something that you think about each and every day, but It’s something that affects each and every person’s life on a daily basis – whether they’re aware of it or not. And just what is this thing I’m referring to?
Attitude. I believe that your own attitude and the attitude of those around you play a great role in your life – whether for better or for worse.
While it’s my natural personality to tend to look on the bright side of things, I’ve really made an effort over the last bunch of years to live more consciously and positively. I live by the belief that if I work hard, be kind, and have an optimistic outlook, everything has a way of working out… and thus far, it somehow always does.
Today I thought I’d share some of the techniques that I’ve implemented into my life on a daily basis. Thinking positivity requires some effort sometimes, especially when you’re going through rough times, but what I’ve found is that the more you make the conscious decision to think optimistically, the more those tendencies are embedded into your brain and become go-to reactions and thoughts.
1.) Take a few moments to count your blessings daily.
Every day when my mind is free for a minute – such as when I’m driving to the gym or taking a shower – I use it to acknowledge what I’m thankful for. Sometimes I think about the big things, like how grateful I am for having an amazing husband and a mom as a great best friend. Other days I think about other things, like how blessed I am to live near hiking trails or by beach.
2.) Find ways to see the good – especially in less than ideal situations.
This one takes practice – more for some than others – but learning to see things on the bright side is a powerful technique in learning to cope with life. Things don’t always go the right way for anyone, but being able to move forward with a positive attitude can only improve your life.
Putting it into practice, for every negative thought I think about something, I try to counteract that with a positive one. In example, when I went to a conference last year where I knew absolutely no one and found myself in socially awkward situations, instead of only thinking, “I have no friends here. This sucks,” I counteracted it with, “This is a good opportunity for me to meet new people, and if I don’t click with anyone, at least it’s putting my networking skills to practice and I’ll learn from the conference sessions themselves.”
See how I flipped my thoughts? Next time you catch yourself being negative, try this technique. It gets easier with practice and becomes almost automatic after awhile!
3.) Practice mindfulness often.
Ever catch yourself thinking ahead, worrying about how much work you have to get done tomorrow while eating dinner or thinking about what you need to add to your grocery store list while in yoga class? Well yea, everyone does it some extent. But constantly looking to what’s next steals the moment from us and elevates our stress levels.
When you’re doing something you enjoy, are surrounded by beauty, sitting at a table with your kids chatting, sipping a glass of wine with your partner, and so much more, these are moments you need to be present in. Put down your phone, take a deep breath, soak in the moment, and realize that right here, right now is pretty wonderful.