By: Aubrie Jean
As the grey skies of winter take-over, I wanted to talk about simple ways to incorporate positivity into our lives!
1. Writing three gratitudes/blessings a day
By writing three things we are grateful for or feel blessed by at the end of each day, we remind ourselves of the positive aspects of our days that can easily be forgotten. This brings attention to the little things in life and helps develop a pattern of positive thinking. With practice, we begin to search for these blessings throughout the day.
2. Encouraging notifications throughout the day
Setting notifications on our phones with uplifting quotes/verses or words is an easy way to integrate positivity into our lives. At the start of the day, the possibilities of the day are endless and largely unpredictable. Maybe something happens midday that is difficult or painful. Just when the day is about to be set off course by this bump-in-the-road, a simple notification message reminding us of our goals or a kindhearted compliment can help set our minds back on track.
3. Visual triggers
Visual triggers are awesome because there are so many creative ways uses them! Some examples could be: you are trying to exercise more often, so you keep a gym bag in your car. You are saving up for a vacation, so you have a photo of the vacation spot hanging on your wall. You have a test in the morning, so you plan your outfit and breakfast ahead and write yourself a note saying ‘you’ve got this’.
They can be as specific as we like and the number of visual triggers we can surround ourselves by are limitless! Something I do (which I initially didn’t realize was a trigger) is I have a letterboard hanging in my room right by my door that I leave positive quotes and messages on. Right now, it says, “Be your best self – Live your best life” and every morning I wake up and read that saying before I start my day.
4. Replacing “sorry” with “thank you”
This one can be difficult initially to incorporate into one’s life. However, once started and made a habit, it not only changes your own perception of mistakes, but it also affects the way others perceive you and situations. Suddenly things that could have been received as inconveniences or mistakes become instances of gratitude, forgiveness, and appreciation.
For example: instead of saying “I’m sorry I was late” replace it by saying “Thank you for waiting for me.” Instead of saying “I’m sorry for making a mess” try saying “thank you for helping me clean this.” Instead of saying “I’m sorry for being slow” try saying “thank you for your patience.”
Remember, mistakes are not burdening. They are the essential piece in learning and growth. They also provide opportunities to appreciate those around us and acknowledge their support through our mistakes.
5. Spending time in nature
Nature can be underappreciated and low-priority, which is unfortunate because simply being in nature can have major health benefits. Especially in the winter, when the sun is rarely visible, a lack of vitamin D can lead to symptoms of depression. All it takes is knowing the tasks of a day and asking yourself, “how can I do some of my daily tasks outside?” Exercise is also an important piece of health. By incorporating nature into the exercise plan we will exercise both our bodies and minds in positive ways.