Take the positivity challenge and you could feel happier, healthier, more energised and less stressed. Are you fed up listening to people moan? Do you feel deflated when surrounded by people who are negative? Do you catch yourself moaning, criticising and thinking negativity too?
It’s hard to be positive and to see the bright side when we are in a negative environment. Even if you consider yourself to be a positive person, other people’s negativity and pessimism are infectious. Over time even the most up beat people can have their positivity zapped out of them by negativity.
This article aims to help you recharge your positivity. We are going to look at the power of positivity on mood, productivity and health. We are then going to set positivity challenges for you to try out to fight off those critical conversations and negative energy.
The Power of Positivity and Negativity
There are many health benefits linked to positivity including:
- Greater life expectancy
- Less incidents of depression
- Less distress
- Greater resistance to colds and flu
- Increased psychological and physical well-being
- Improved cardiovascular health and reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
- More effective coping skills for stress
Positive thinking can help us to cope better in stressful situations. This can reduce the negative health effects caused by stress. We are also more likely to engage in healthier habits if we have a positive outlook, which further aids us in managing stress.
Negative thinking is linked to increased stress, by comparison. Negativity can reduce our creativity and productivity, it can reduce our confidence and encourage us not to step out of our safety zone. It can also zap the fun and vibrance out of everyday life.
The Positivity Challenge
Below are three challenges aimed to increase your positivity. Give them a try and see if you can keep them up for a week. What have you to lose? If you find them helpful, the challenge is to keep them going.
1 – Turn it around
The first challenge is to turn around other people’s negative comments into positive ones. Try it. It isn’t as hard as you may think. You have to make a conscious effort to do this as it will feel very unusual at first. You may be used to agreeing with others and joining in with what they say. This is normal. Most of us want to fit in and will avoid disputes. When someone is complaining about something, we may find ourselves also complaining to show our support to that person. For example:
Colleague A says “I’ve got absolutely no time today and then I get the email stating we have a 4pm meeting that we have to attend. It’s a joke. I really could do without this meeting. It will be totally pointless anyway…..”
We might be tempted to say “I know I am so busy too. 4pm meetings are the worst.”
Now hypothetically if you were in this situation, how would you now feel about this meeting? Negative? You might have even found yourself saying something you didn’t really mean.
So the challenge is to be supportive by being positive and to prevent the negativity rubbing off on you.
Here is what you could say in reply: “At least we get a chance to have a tea or coffee in the meeting, I’ve been so busy too. I’m looking forward to putting my feet up tonight.”
Being positive isn’t about lying or pretending there isn’t anything negative happening. It is about choosing your attitude to negative occurrences and difficulties. You can choose to focus only on the negatives or you can find the positives. Finding the positives will make you feel a lot better than only focussing on the negatives. You have the power to change the energy and you can help others feel more positive too by your positive comments and attitude.
Practice in your head first. Stop yourself from joining in the conversion straight away and think of a positive comment instead. Or if you find yourself joining in with negatives, reflect after the conversation and think if you could have said something positive. It takes time and practice.
Keep a log of how you feel when you say or think positively. You might even notice that people reply with a positive comment to your positivity.
2 – Positive Statements
The second challenge is to write out a list of ten positive statements that you can relate to and put them up somewhere you can read them everyday. It might be on your fridge or on a piece of paper beside your bed. Or in your wallet. Make sure it is visible to you everyday so you are reminded to think positively. This is helpful in restoring your positivity as you are often not in control of many negative comments you take in.
You may want to add more than 10 over time. Or you may want to rewrite your list every so often if that feels appropriate. Read your statements and remind yourself of one or two of them throughout your day.
Here is a list of positive statements to get you thinking about your positive statements:
I am allowed to be happy
I feel hope, joy and enthusiastic towards life
I can do it
Everyday is a new day with new opportunities
I am so grateful to be waking up to this day
I may not be able to control what happens but I can choose my attitude
I choose to smile today and be thankful for what I have
I am great and my personal qualities are….
People are amazing
I am able to do so much more than I even know I am capable of
I can trust myself to make decisions
People are funny and make me laugh
I love my family and friends
Weather is amazing and powerful
Don’t cry because it is over, smile because it happened
Nothing that is for me will go by me
Making mistakes are opportunities to learn, improve and try again
One person’s rubbish is another person’s gold
There is beauty everywhere
I am in control of my own happiness
I have the ability to love and be loved
3 – Acknowledging Three Good Things
The third and final challenge is to end you day, everyday, writing down three good things that has happened that day. If you are not a writer, say it out loud or acknowledge the three good things in your mind. Even if you think nothing good has happened, go over the day and find three positive things that has happened, or three good things in your life you are grateful for. It could be as simple as getting to an appointment on time. However small or big, the aim is to think of three good things to end your day.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this article. Hopefully it has brought a bit more positivity to your life. I welcome your comments. What helps you to be positive?
With thanks to Branden Harvey for this week’s feature image.