“Stay positive”, some say. But, is this merely a platitude or is it a lifestyle? What difference does it really make? Read one woman’s experience as she tackles this issue with some straight-forward advice. Little practices, reaping big rewards.

 

Between taking care of all your life’s responsibilities, sometimes it is difficult to set aside time for personal reflection and take stock of where you’re really at. How am I truly feeling? How is that impacting the people around me, and most importantly, loved ones?

 

That is where my husband and I found ourselves recently after after attending a parenting workshop. On a rainy Thursday, after we both had already put in a long day’s work, we asked ourselves “what were we thinking signing up for this?”, as the evening ahead was the last thing we wanted to do. But our annoyance quickly turned to fascination as we watched a DVD from the ’80s called “Creating Family”. In the film, a psychologist was counselling married couples on how to keep the family unit a strong one. Ultimately it all came down to not living in the past, letting go of grudges and maintaining positive attitudes. He went on to demonstrate how easy it is to transfer negativity from one person to the next—without even speaking. Just think a negative thought, and someone else will feel it. His point being how easily your children could feel and be affected by your negative energy.

 

This was essential learning for family life, but also qualities that are transferable to all situations. And there are so many benefits that come from abandoning negative ways and living life as positively as possible. According to the Mayo Clinic, your health can benefit in big ways from being a “glass half full” person. A longer life, less colds, stronger coping skills and reduced depression rates, just to name a few.

 

And it’s actually quite easy to change these toxic ways. Try these simple tricks and you’ll soon find yourself smiling more, frowning less and living a healthier life.

 

Practice Gratitude. Make it a priority to take a few minutes every day to give thanks for the things in your life you’re thankful for. Soon enough it will become second nature and you’ll find yourself doing it automatically.

 Ditch negative influences. Ok this one may be easier said then done, but when you have negative people around, their attitude’s can become contagious. It may make life happier if you spend less time with someone who may be dragging you down with their water cooler gossip.

 Spread the joy. On the other hand, if you don’t have the heart to break up with a friend, try to convert them to your new way of thinking and living. By smiling, being complimentary and just plain delightful to be around, your friends and family will pick up on these vibes and begin to incorporate them.

Find a mantra. When you feel those nasty thoughts trickling in, find a mantra that will shift your train of thought. One easy one to remember comes from “The Secret Daily Teachings”. When you feel yourself getting down,  try saying this to yourself: “Good-bye bad thoughts, you don’t belong here!”  Or pin this famous quote somewhere you can give it a quick glance when the going gets tough:  “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”—Winston Churchill

 

 ~Stacy Rinella

 

What are the ways that you practice positivity in your daily life? Share your tips and tricks in the comments section below!