On the whole, I have remained very positive throughout the last three or so months of lockdown. I can clearly see the benefits this has had for me and those around me.
This hasn’t just come around by chance. I don’t just BE positive. I make the choice to be positive every day and I have made the choice to be positive about the situations that I find myself in.
It’s led me to wonder, are there people out there who are just naturally positive or is that they too take the decision, knowingly or unknowingly, every day to be positive? I believe it to be the latter.
I haven’t always been a very positive person. I have been the kind of person to go on a downward negative spiral in a moment when something didn’t go the way I wanted or hoped that it would go. One seemingly tiny set back would lead me down a route where every thought I had was completely negative. Not a good place to be.
I have learned a few things over the past couple of years:
Negativity and positivity are states of mind.
YOU can CHOOSE your state of mind. No matter what. You can choose to be either negative or positive.
The state of mind that you choose WILL affect the way in which you behave, your actions, your decisions and inevitably how you feel.
It takes the same amount of energy to be negative as it does to be positive.
Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to that.
When an event occurs, we can choose to look at that event from a negative or positive perspective. People will automatically choose one or the other.
The best place to be is actually, where you can look at things from both a negative and positive perspective and react accordingly. This is called a balanced perspective.
Believe it or not sometimes looking at something from a negative perspective can be a good thing.
Take Covid for example. Taking a negative view that running about seeing friends and relatives and potentially spreading the virus would have been a good thing to do.
Once you know that you can choose your own state of mind, I think it’s a revelation. You no longer HAVE to be negative if you don’t want to be. You don’t have to think bad things are going to happen, that life is rubbish, that you are no good at something…that’s simply your choice and you can change it.
There are many ways that you can train your brain to think more positively. Some of the best ways I have found are to write things down. If it helps you could do one or all the following things in response to an event/situation.
Take some time to write down the positive and negatives of the event so that you can gain a balanced perspective
If you are in a really negative place about an event take some time to write down 10 positives about it. This may sound difficult, but it is possible. When all my work dried up due to Covid and I was stuck in the house on my own I was able to write down 25 positives of that situation.
Decide how you want to feel about an event and write that down. Then write down WHY you want to feel this way and WHAT you are willing to do to feel this way.
Think about when you are in a negative headspace. How tired you feel. How much energy it takes up being angry, moody and stressed out. You may think it’s too hard to think positive. Actually, it takes the same amount of energy that it is taking you to moan and be negative. Put your energy to better use. Use it to do something to benefit you, like taking the time to write down the above things to change your perspective.
I’ll give you an example:
Event: No work due to Covid and lockdown
I can work on the Sally Shortcake Academy
I can rest and do things round the house that need doing
I am certain I will get some financial help
I can make more of an effort to connect with my friends and family in different ways.
I could quite easily have lost the plot because of lockdown and started to feel sorry for myself. Why me? Why has this happened when everything was going so well…. But I didn’t even think that way at all.
Some days through lockdown I have really had to decide how I have wanted to feel to pull myself out of a slump (I mean, I allow myself one or two bad days, I’m only human!)
Today I want to feel…HAPPY & POSITIVE
Why? Because it feels great to feel this way. I get much more done when I feel this way. I enjoy my day more when I feel this way.
What am I willing to do to feel this way?
Listen to my favourite music when I wake up
Plan to call my mum at 11am
Go on a run as I always feel better after I have done this.
Arrange a video chat with my friends
When I am baking, I am intrinsically positive. A cake can go wrong or I can make a mistake, but I am hardly ever negative. I just think about what I can do to make the best of the situation or what I need to do to make things better and I do it. It is not the end of the world.
I have always been like this with baking. I am glad that I have now started to be like this in my everyday life too.
Being positive is a choice and I chose to be positive!