Dawn Baxter, Founder of Beyond the Dawn Digital, digital marketing expert & certified positive psychology coach shares her top 5 positive psychology tips that can be used in everyday life.
1. Hit The Stop Button When you Feel Negativity Creeping In
First things first, you are absolutely allowed to feel feelings other than happiness, that is healthy. However, when you feel negativity creeping into your thought processes, be open and willing to accept it. Then, stare it hard in the face and give it space, you are in total control of your emotions, and at this point you have a choice. You either let the negative thoughts run rings around you, or, you can apply some perspective. Say things like, “Is this thought accurate? Is this thought helpful?”. Taking a cognitive perspective can help you to take a step back, and really identify what is actually happening.
2. And Breathe …
Deep breathing and being able to fully immerse yourself into deep breathing techniques can really help to lighten the load, calm the nervous system and allow positive thoughts to flood in. This can be done by inhaling slowly up to the count of four and then exhaling slowly for four but really focusing on the breathing sensation, filling your lungs right to the very bottom. Whilst you are doing this imagine yourself in your happy place, what are you doing? How are you feeling? Who are you with? Ask yourself these thought provoking questions, immerse yourself in the answers and embody these feelings.
3. Show a Little Love
Giving a little love in the form of kindness won’t only help others, but will help you too. Acts of kindness are a brilliant way to give you and those around you a free boost of positivity. If you already hold doors open for others, holding another door probably won’t make you happier. However, why not try making a cup of tea or coffee for a colleague when you can see that they’re busy, send a text to a friend or family member to let them know you are thinking of them, or even offer to help a stranger if you see that they are struggling.
Try getting to the point where you are doing at least one random act of kindness every day, it will make you feel all warm inside.
4. Give Yourself a Boost
Embody a positive mindset with some gratitude journaling. Focus on the things that are going well for you right now, no matter how small they may seem they are worth celebrating! Write down everything that you have achieved in the past 24 hours or few days, even if it’s something as simple as making your bed, sorting the washing, running errands at the post office or finally finishing that report for work. Recognition of ALL your achievements, big, small or anywhere in between, will help to cement the feeling that you are doing well and will flood the mind with positivity.
5. Just Smile
Whether you know them or not, greeting those around you with a simple smile may not just make your day, but it may make theirs too! It’s like the poem, “smiling is infectious, you catch it like the flu, when someone smiled at me today, I started smiling too.” Research suggests that happiness can increase your lifespan by years, and maintaining a happy and positive mood may be an important part of living a healthy and fulfilled life2. So simple actions, like smiling more, can be a powerful step towards this state of happiness.
These positive psychology tips are actions that you can easily incorporate into your everyday life. Choose one or two of the tips that appeal to you and set an intention to practice them weekly and then daily. With practice, positive psychology can help you increase your happiness and confidence until it becomes your standard state of being.