Sep. 18 2018
With so much negativity happening in the world, and our constant exposure to it through the media, it can be difficult to remain happy and positive about our lives—let alone the future. If that’s not bad enough, as humans, we’re generally hardwired to notice negativity more, which stems from being in “survival” mode. The good news is that we can retrain our brains to place more emphasis on happiness and positivity. Here are a few tips on how to do that, to enhance your life on a day-to-day basis.
Take Time Away from the Online World
While the internet and social media serve great purposes, they can also take us right out of the present. Instagram culture can insidiously lead to comparison and a feeling of being “less than.” When you can take time away to be present in your own life and the people around you, it can help reaffirm all the great things you have in your life.
Start Your Day with Positive Intentions
Something I love to do is start every day with an intention. These for me often include things like fun, humour, gratitude, compassion and connection. That intention becomes my mantra and is the foundation of everything I do that day. Some people like to have intentions for the month, week, or year so you can do whatever feels good for you! This is a great exercise in rewiring your brain’s neural pathways to think and act more positively, in a focused way.
Do Things You Love
In today’s world, the emphasis often seems to be around hustle, grind, hard work and the belief that struggle equals reward. These can sometimes work in our favour, but it’s also important to balance that out with doing things for the purpose of fulfilment and having fun. Make it a priority to fill your week with fun things to look forward to and you’ll soon notice your happiness increase!
Connect with Others
Human interaction, connection and laughter is so important for our overall happiness. Spending time with loved ones and people who have a positive influence on your life is an instant feel-good boost! Make plans to meet up with people for coffee, drinks or dinner more often (and away from your phone!) and carve time out in your diary to do this. When you look back at your happiest memories, they’ll likely be times filled with other people, so use this as a reminder to connect more.
Putting some time into helping others is an amazing way to find extra purpose and happiness. With all the negative events happening in the world, it’s easy to feel like making a difference in any way is an insurmountable task. But even just paying someone a compliment, volunteering an afternoon a week or taking the time to listen to someone in need has a ripple effect. If everyone did this more, the world would certainly be a more positive place. The smallest acts of kindness make a profound difference.
Happiness is often equated to things like image, wealth and “success.” These can enhance your life to an extent of course, but if you dwell on the external too much, it can lead to feelings of unworthiness and constant negative self-talk and criticism. All of a sudden nothing you do is “good enough.”
Treat yourself like you would a friend; be your own cheerleader, celebrate your accomplishments, talk to yourself kindly and practice self-care. Keep reminding yourself what a good and happy life means to you – not what the world tells you it means. Increasing self-compassion has a direct correlation on positive emotions and happiness.
While it can feel overwhelming to find happiness in a negative world, it really just takes consistency and focusing on creating positivity in any way you can. And remember, a little goes a long way!