“There is always light. If only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.”
— Amanda Gorman
Ever find yourself feeling stuck in negative thought patterns or struggling to see the bright side of things? If so, you're not alone. It's easy when things get real to focus on the negative aspects of life, which can lead to further anxiety, stress, and unhappiness.
Positivity can be the light in a world sometimes full of darkness. So, what if you could change your mindset and shift your focus to the positive? In this blog post, we'll explore the power of positive thinking, how and when positivity can become toxic, and practical tips to help you cultivate a more positive outlook on life.
What is positive thinking and why does it matter?
Positive thinking is a mindset that focuses on the good in life, rather than dwelling on the negative. Research has shown that positive thinking can lead to a range of benefits, including improved mental health, better physical health, and increased resilience.
What's the other side of positivity?
One thing we've been learning about the last few years is that positivity can also become toxic. Toxic positivity refers to the belief that one should only feel and express positive emotions, and that any negative emotions should be suppressed or ignored.
While positivity can be helpful in many situations, toxic positivity can be harmful because it denies the validity of negative emotions and can create pressure to hide or suppress them. This can lead to feelings of shame, guilt, and isolation for those who are struggling with difficult emotions.
It is important to acknowledge and validate all emotions, both positive and negative, in order to maintain a healthy and balanced perspective on life.
How do I cultivate positivity in a healthy way?
First, acknowledge where you're at when negativity takes over. Don't waive off negative emotions or invalidate them in yourself. It's actually very mindful to be able to say "I am feeling irritated today.", "I'm worn down emotionally and struggling with my mental health." or a good old "This &*%ing sucks." Acknowledge, reflect, and then begin to look at ways to shift your mindset to focus on the more positive.
When you're ready, here is a list of habits you can work on incorporating into your life in an effort to cultivate a more of a positive mindset.
Practice gratitude: Take time each day to reflect on the things you're grateful for. There are some great gratitude journals out there that provide daily prompts and reflective questions on being grateful.
Reframe negative thoughts: As hard as a situation may be, try to find the positive in it. DO know it's okay if you're not ready to go there when in the darkest of moments. But, after you've had some time to process, try asking yourself where you can find the positive an otherwise challenging experience.
Surround yourself with the right people: Spend time with people who lift you up and engage in activities that bring you joy. No 'Negative Nellies' allowed!
Use positive affirmations: We love affirmations. Find a few statements that resonate for you and repeat them to yourself each day to reinforce positive beliefs. Place stickies around the house in places you'll see them and read them to yourself every time you walk by.Practice mindfulness: Stay present in the moment and avoid worrying about the past or future. Try gentle movement, yoga, reading, or just putting the phone down and looking out at the sunset for a few minutes.
Celebrate your successes: Take time to acknowledge and celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small. Try choosing a celebration ritual - something repeatable, like buying yourself fresh flowers or a new essential oil - and commit to treating yourself each time there's something to celebrate.
The bottom line is that positive thinking is a powerful tool that can help you lead a happier, more fulfilling life.
By cultivating a positive mindset and practicing positivity on a daily basis, you can change the way you think and feel about yourself and the world around you. Begin by choosing two or three of the above suggestions. Work on incorporating those tips into your daily routine, and see how the power of positive thinking can transform your life.