Do you find yourself in awe and maybe even a little envy of people who radiate happiness and who burst with sunshine when they walk through the door. We often believe that a happy state of mind is something that someone is just born with. In reality, having a positive outlook towards life takes hard work and daily effort. Even the happiest people feel low and have bad days, but what we really need to ask is how they get back up on their feet, and how do they see the silver lining even in the hardest times.
With the added stress to our lives from things like COVID-19, financial burden, loss of jobs, income and even family and friends–it may seem like the hardest time to start thinking positively. But it is exactly when we hit rock bottom that we know there is only one way up. We also know that when the hardship of life starts to cloud our vision it’s even harder for us to find the means and tools to shift ourselves out of a rut and into happiness. But we can try. If we can do this, it will help us see our goals better, identify the things we can do to make ourselves feel better and train our brain to see the positive in every situation–leading us to be more resilient to tackle life’s challenges.
So, we reached out to Life and Happiness Coach, Shireena Shroff Manchharam, to help us understand the secret of being positive. Shireena says,
I definitely wasn’t always so sunny and positive. It took years of hard work to identify the things that were holding me back, learn how to cultivate more gratitude, see the silver lining in every situation and shift my mindset to be more optimistic and forward-thinking.
To start to cultivate a more positive way of thinking there are several things you can do. Scroll down to read three things Shireena recommends!
Mindfulness can help ground you to be more present. With so many distractions around, the first thing we need to do is be focused and present. Start by doing the things you do on autopilot like driving, taking a shower, eating, etc. and do it mindfully. That means doing these tasks without distractions like scrolling aimlessly through Instagram. It means when you eat, you smell the aromas of your food, you think about the tastes, and you do it with your full concentration. Even while you shower, feel the sensation of the water on your body, smell the soap, and appreciate how the shower makes you feel.
Another great way to move towards a more positive mindset is by practicing gratitude. This simple task takes practice and trains our mind to see what you have versus what you don’t. Start by identifying three things that you are grateful for from your day, every night. You can share it with someone or even write it down in a journal. Over time you will notice how you are able to see the silver lining even in the hardest moments.
To move to a more optimistic way of thinking we also need to learn to let go. It isn’t easy to “let things go” if we are unable to assess what we need to let go of. So, at each moment when you feel stressed or bogged down, ask yourself if you have control over the situation. And if you don’t, toss it away into the wind. Occupy your mind with things that are in your control. Changing others, hoping and praying for things out of your control will lead you to feel deflated and negative.
By practicing these few simple things, we can train our brain to move away from the sad into the happy.
What would you recommend to cultivate a positive attitude? Please share it with us in the comments!
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