“I wish I could spend a day in your head!”
I hear this comment a lot–whether it’s from people who meet me out and about in the world, from clients, or from long-time friends. They typically voice this statement right after I joyfully express how much good I see in the world, why I believe in the mission of 6 Months, or how many possibilities there really are for all of us.
“How can you be so positive?”
There are two myths I’ve heard about positive people:
- They have nothing to be upset about.
- They never have negative thoughts.
I’ve learned a secret over the years. There’s always something to be happy about. There’s always something to be miserable about. It all depends on what you seek. I’ve definitely had my share of hardships, as I’m sure everyone reading this has. I’ve had my heart smashed, been a complete outcast, and watched one of my grandmothers die weighing 55 pounds from lung cancer.
It’s important to grieve. It’s important to cry. It’s even important to feel angry at times.
Once I had moved through all those feelings, I looked for the silver lining. What can I learn from this? What can I be grateful for? How can I help others?
Rather than hardening my heart after a traumatic break up 3 years ago, I chose to take a note from Brene Brown and embrace vulnerability. Although losing one grandmother at 14 was difficult, I valued the time I spent with her while living with us before she passed. I heard her stories and got to know her. I visited her grave often throughout high school and was grateful for our relationship.
“How do you stay positive?”
Just because I’m incredibly positive, doesn’t mean I don’t have negative thoughts or go into fear. I do. Sometimes it’s for a moment and sometimes it’s for an afternoon or a week. When I notice myself going into negativity or a self-critical spiral, I usually have enough awareness to take time out and recognize, I have a choice. I can choose to take ownership for my life or I can choose to be a victim.
It’s not always easy taking responsibility for what’s not working in our lives, but in doing so, we allow ourselves the freedom and power to change.
How can I be more positive starting right now?
Sometimes I start small. Like Jane McGonigal discusses in her Ted Talk, make a game out of happiness. In her talk, she shows through math and science that adding 4 simple practices to your life can add 10 years to your life expectancy, not to mention avoiding The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying.
3 things that have the power to shift your mood instantly:
- Movement–dance, step quickly, do jumping jacks, or do a cartwheel. Studies have shown that movement helps.
- Music–listening to a song that makes you happy will instantly lighten your mood because you will vibrate with the higher frequency. Points for singing!
- Gratitude–this one is probably the most important. When in gratitude, it’s pretty much impossible to simultaneously be in fear or to be negative.
Ultimately, the true secret of a positive mind is belief. I believe life is an adventure and most importantly, that life is fun! The more you believe that good will come to you, the more it inevitably does.
What are some of your favorite ways to shift your mood?