Strategies To Help You Stay Positive
For many people today is the first day back to work since Christmas. Today is also the first day of winter weather here in Ottawa and across Ontario. It can be tough waking up to snow drifts, howling winds, an icy walk to the car and a slow drive into work. A positive attitude can sometimes be tough to muster in these conditions. Here are some strategies to help you see the light (even when there isn't any) and find the good in each day.
Start A Gratitude JournalRegularly take time to write down what you are grateful for. Try to describe in detail why you feel this way and imagine life without these things. You can even try this phone app that encourages you to list five things that make you happy each day.
Make Time For ExerciseExercise is a recommendation we like to give in many situations, especially when it comes to boosting mood and cultivating positive thoughts. Exercise produces feel-good endorphins, which promotes health of the mind and the body!
Studies have shown that volunteering can boost levels of happiness and even lower depression, especially in senior populations (source). Volunteering can help to foster social relationships, which is a key factor in feelings of happiness and positivity. A study done by the University of Exeter showed that volunteering can even lower your risk of death (source). Looking for local volunteer opportunities? Check out Volunteer Ottawa!
Surround Yourself With Positive PeopleTalk to someone who can provide constructive, yet positive feedback. Avoid talking to individuals who may feed into your negative thoughts or who are prone to gossip, which is the furthest thing from constructive. Having a support group that can provide positive feedback and uplift you is an important aspect of mental health. Professionals such as a guidance counsellor, naturopathic doctor or a yoga/meditation instructor can help guide you in a positive direction and provide a safe space to communicate.
Find The Lesson
I like to treat every situation as if it is there to teach something. All situations, both good and bad can provide a valuable lesson if you take the time to evaluate it. Even a truly awful situation will have something to teach you and will therefore help to guide you in future decision making. Finding the lesson can help to put a positive spin on something negative.