“Change your thoughts and you change your world.”–Norman Vincent Peale
It’s pretty hard to escape the negativity surrounding us in the digital age. 24-7 media, social alerts, magazines, TVs in every corner.
Pick up any paper and ‘project fear’, the idea that negativity and paranoia sell more than positivity, means that an estimated 70% of the stories will leave you feeling miserable.
So, it isn’t surprising that so many of us are reporting increased levels of anxiety, stress and disorders like OCD.
There is an answer, though – CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Training) which teaches a form of brain retraining as an answer to mental health issues – offers a number of rapid techniques to help you filter out, or transform that stream of negativity into a much better way of living.
Post Something Pleasant:
FOMO, JOMO, I-don’t-know-mo….it seems social media is designed to make us feel bad. It doesn’t have to be, though. Make it your mission to post one nice message every day. Pop a post on a friends wall, tell someone they’re gorgeous, just….be nice…
And remember, in the words of Melyssa Griffin ‘positivity is not about projecting a perfect life’.
You don’t have to do a whole journal, but it can help to write positive statements when you think negative things.
Calling yourself fat? Write down five reasons why your body is amazing every day for a week (and no, you may not believe them at first, so get a good friend to help). The more you do it, the easier it gets.
Same for any pattern of negative thought!
Give Yourself a Goal:
Always wanted to run a marathon? Chances are it seems out of reach, so you might be telling yourself you can’t, or never will do it. That’s because it’s too big a goal to start with.
The trick (used by many successful athletes) is to picture yourself every day running a marathon but schedule mini targets (like a couch to 5k) to get there. Realistic mini-achievements to help you on your way feel much better than a huge mountainous task you don’t know how to start.
Done something you don’t like? Treat yourself to a bath or something you love to say well done.
We humans, are dopamine seeking creatures – give yourself a pleasure hit whenever you’ve done something you don’t enjoy and procrastination and misery will soon be a thing of the past.
Learn to Love the Ones You Don’t Like:
Got to work, or deal with someone you really dislike? Make it your mission to work really, really hard to find something you can like about them. It might be that they always eat healthily, or even if they’re rude, they try to see everyone’s point of view, or they’re the first ones to do overtime.
None of us are all bad, or all good – there is always something better in there. You just need to find it.
Become a Fortune Teller:
Stressful situation driving you crazy? Ask yourself honestly if it will still be a problem for you in three, six or even 12 months? What seems horrendous now, rarely lasts forever – even the very painful things.
Watch a TED talk:
If you don’t already know, there are some great TED talks on positivity – Brene Brown, in particular, has a wonderful talk about shame that many find absolutely life-changing.
It’s a long-known psychological fact that if you force yourself to smile, you will start to feel happier, so do it! Smile at everyone you see – even that arse of a bus driver and we promise, that black mood of doom will lift very quickly.