For centuries it has been commonplace for people to focus on the negative and negate the positive. This innate tendency originates from our survival instincts when we needed to watch out for predators in the wilderness but it very rarely serves us in today’s relatively safe environment of everyday life. Although instinctive, all too often our negative bias ensures we remain gloomy and dissatisfied with life.
Reassuringly however it is in fact possible to strengthen the neural pathways in our brain to seek out the positive instead of the negative and by so doing we can achieve greater levels of contentment and happiness in our lives. The value of actively looking for the positive in every circumstance is immense – not only do we increase our gratitude but we also start to value things that otherwise may well have gone unnoticed.
By practising positivity we develop an even greater capacity to notice the positive which increases our happiness. As a result of looking for the positives in everyday we strengthen the neural pathways in our brains towards a positive bias, thereby making it easier and easier to be positive in future.
Higher levels of happiness, gratitude and contentment are all benefits of being more positive, but it’s important to clarify that positivity doesn’t necessarily mean being passive in achieving our goals, it isn’t simply wishful thinking. In this context positivity involves seeing the positives in everyday life circumstance whilst taking concrete positive action to ensure positive progress.
Here are my top tips to foster more positivity in your life:
- Read positive quotes every chance you get.
- Listen to uplifting music.
- Search the web for inspiring sites on positivity and personal development.
- Practise writing in a gratitude journal or mentally list five things you are grateful for each day.
- Surround yourself with positive people as best you can and let go of toxic relationships that no longer serve you.
- Most importantly be kind to, and look for the best qualities in, yourself and others.
- Give compliments freely and help others whenever you can.
- Brainstorm solutions to problems rather than focussing on the problem itself.
- Search for the lesson in every difficult situation you face – using the experience as an opportunity to develop and grow into your best self.
- Take the time to consciously visualise your future as happy and filled with realised goals and successes.
Do you do any of these positivity habits already? Do you have some of your very own positivity practises? Please comment below, I’d love to hear from you.