I have decided to create a Happiness Challenge for myself. Could positivity really affect your everyday life?
The answer is yes.
We all get in the habit of creating negative thoughts. I mean, there’s negativity all around us! You’re running late, the traffic is bad, you didn’t have your coffee, there’s 50 emails in your inbox. Negativity builds. But you don’t have to let it affect your day – or your life.
A few weeks ago, I started a Happiness Challenge. I had to go the ENTIRE day without saying one negative thing. Could I do it? It was a lot harder than I expected, but I created 3 tips on how to navigate the Happiness Challenge and incorporate this into your daily life!
1. Your Negative Thoughts are NOT Fact
A lot of times, we can very easily talk ourselves into a bad mood. One negative thought can spiral into a ton of negative thoughts. The longer you focus on these negative thoughts, the more time you give these thoughts to take hold of your life.
Guess what? Usually these negative thoughts aren’t even true!
- “I never win!”
- “I’m always late for work.”
- “I can never remember to do my errands.”
- “I never make it to the gym.”
Write down some statements that are taking over your mind – the negative thoughts. Are these actually true thoughts? Of course you win sometimes! Just because you don’t make it to the gym every day does not mean you are a failure. Yes, your brain is trying to trick you.
If you feel like something you have wrote down on your list IS true, maybe it’s time to find a solution! If you’re always late for work, how can you change your morning routine to make time for everything you need to get done? That’s one way to create a positive out of a negative.
2. Find the Positive
Sometimes, it’s not out in the open like you hoped. Getting rid of the negative was NOT easy. You can rewire your brain to do incredible things and form new (and positive!) habits.
It is actually a practice in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (or CBT) to find 3 good things in every day. This creates a schedule and trains your brain to look out for the positive things that transpire during the week. Not only will you feel thankful, but finding three good things might lead to even better days.
A super easy way to start this positivity habit is to find just ONE good thing in every day (I am a big fan of finding ONE thing!). It could be the smallest thing that turned your mood around. It doesn’t matter – as long as it created a positive impact. Create a “Note” in your phone (and date it!) to look back on these moments when you’re feeling especially negative.
Did any of your positive/grateful statements have the word “not” in it? For example, “I’m grateful I am not sick.” “Not” is a negative word. Change it up! Instead, say, “I am grateful to be healthy.” Which statement sounds better to you?
3. That Attitude of Gratitude
Spread the gratitude around! Tell the people you love that you love them. Did you know there was a study done by the University Pennsylvania that showed individuals receiving a “thank you” note felt happier for a full month? Express your gratitude for the people who impact your life.
Think about all that you have accomplished in the last day, week, or even year. Do not sell yourself short. Society makes it easy for us to compare ourselves to others on a daily basis, but it is important to focus on your personal growth and achievements (no matter how small).
When you choose a more positive outlook, you can change the way in which you look and approach challenges. When you stop downplaying your success(es), you will only increase your success.
If you are a leader at work, rethink the way in which you approach work-related meetings. Instead of speaking about the negatives and the failures, perhaps you should start the meeting promoting and celebrating the successes.
What has your team done that really blew you away? Is a certain team member going above and beyond? When you focus on the positive, this will only increase your relationship with your employees. Who doesn’t like to feel appreciated?
Tell me how YOUR positivity challenge goes! What are you most grateful for…?
Until then, Keep Living the Dream…