Most of us begin the new year full of wonderful ideas about how we can make our lives happier and healthier. The key, though, is to keep that sense of possibility alive beyond the first few weeks of the year. No matter what your New Year’s resolutions are, one universal way to help things progress smoothly is to stay in a positive mindset.
Corny as it may sound, attitude really is everything in life. Cultivating a positive energy flow can shape everything around you, make your goals more achievable, and help you be the most present friend and family member you can be. There are lots of things in life we can’t control, but one thing we can control is how we react to rough days, and whether we want to keep our eyes on the prize to achieve our goals. Positivity makes those things so much easier to manage. Practice a positive energy mindset with the mindfulness techniques below, you’ll be well on your way to a happier year.
Remember What You’re Thankful For
If you’ve ever watched The Oprah Winfrey Show, you’ve likely heard the phrase “gratitude journal” more times than you can count. (The reason it’s so popular is because it works!) The premise is simple: each day, jot down a few things you’re grateful for, and watch yourself become more joyful as the days go on. If journaling isn’t your style, there are certainly other ways to cultivate gratitude. You could try silently visualizing the things you’re most thankful for as you’re trying to fall asleep at night, or writing a thank-you note each week to someone who’s made an impact on your life. What matters is that you remind yourself regularly of all the great things in your life. Among its many benefits, this will help you tackle your goals with more tenacity and a “glass half full” mentality.
Set Aside Five Minutes a Day for Quiet
It’s intimidating to think of squeezing in an extra hour each day for wellness, but just about everyone has an extra five minutes to spare. Take this time to meditate, or to simply be still and close your eyes. Find a quiet space where you’ll be undisturbed for a few minutes, and either bask in the silence or put on a relaxing song. Finding these small slivers of time to ground yourself can make a world of difference in your overall stress levels during the rest of your day, and keeps your attitude more positive.
Take Note of Your Inner Monologue
Most of us are mean to ourselves on the daily without even noticing it. Even if we never say cruel things about ourselves or others out loud, most people’s minds consist of constant thoughts of self-criticism. You deserve so much better than that! Make it a personal rule that you talk to yourself as kindly as you would talk to a friend. Replace thoughts like “I’m such a screw-up” with “I’m doing my best today.” Instead of telling yourself, “I look terrible today,” focus on a trait you like about yourself. It takes a long time to train yourself out of a lifetime of negative self-talk, so don’t feel pressure to transform things overnight. Instead, just practice being aware and taking note of each time you are tempted to think something cruel about yourself. Once you start to see patterns, you’ll be more empowered to change your thinking. Your mind shapes how you see the world, so as you shift your thinking about who you are, you might also start to shift your thinking about how much you can actually achieve. The sky’s the limit!
Pay it Forward
Helping out your fellow humans is one of the fastest ways to skyrocket your sense of gratitude, perspective, and overall happiness. If you see someone struggling to carry something at the supermarket, lend them a hand. If you have the extra cash to spare, leave your server a surprise extra-large tip next time you’re out for brunch. Try challenging yourself to do one good deed a week. You’ll be surprised at how much you’ll love it, and how your positive energy soars when you help someone else.