Many of us may have heard of the importance of positivity but few can really tell why it’s important.
According to research, participants were asked to tally some objects they listed. Results showed that participants with negative emotions named remarkably fewer than those with positive or neutral emotions.
The conclusion is, negative emotions do narrow our mind, forcing us to pick from limited options. This phenomenon is especially observable when we are in life-threatening situation, where we have to take immediate action.
When we are trapped with a reduced number of choices as a result of emotions coming into play, we make wrong regretful decisions.
So it’s really important to think positive But… how?
Thousands of articles online teach us how to think positive in the most clichéd ways possible. You should cheer up, crack a smile, look on the bright side of life…blah…blah..blah…
Don’t worry! The tips you are going to see below are nothing like those. We aim to offer some practical and specific tips for you to start making REAL changes.
sit up straight! It’s more than etiquette
While one may think cultivation of positivity always requires conscious effort, indeed it doesn’t.
So, sit up straight right now! Sometimes tiny things in life all contribute to our well-being without us noticing.
All we need is a teaspoon. Nothing more.
Well, technically, we also need a pair of pants with pockets. In case we are not wearing any.
What we do is to put the teaspoon into either one side of the pocket. Whenever we feel like formulating a negative thought, put the teaspoon into another pocket. Just that simple.
The principle behind is that the action occupies our brains so we don’t have spare resources to bring up any negative thoughts. Usually we are quite impulsive to have negative thoughts and by the time we finished transferring the teaspoon, the urge is long gone and SNAP! We successfully stop a negative thought.
At first we may find ourselves doing it over and over again. But eventually, we will do this less and less.
After all, we can choose whatever utensils or stationery or anything that fit us. It’s just a medium.
Instead of news, read something uplifting in the morning
It is common to watch morning news reports. For the sake of keeping abreast of the latest news. This is definitely good not to block ourselves off the outside world. But, what news is mostly about?
Car crash. Terrorist attack. Natural disaster. All sorts of disheartening incidents.
I am not suggesting us not read any news but a trade off. Devote part of your morning on something more uplifting.
Start our daily confidence programming habit. Instead of news update, begin our day by reading a chapter of an empowering book. We can also go for our favorite spiritually boosting and inspirational materials.
One easy way to start cultivating our positivity is to write down our small wins on a daily basis. And research has reassured the potential benefits of doing so.
Progress is a lot more than just a step closer to success, as Amabile and Kramer suggest. In fact, if we properly record our progress, no matter how small it is, we instantly receive a confidence boost!
According to another research Teresa Amabile from Harvard Business School and Steven Kramer read through approximately 12,000 diary entries written by 238 individuals from 7 different companies. The employees were asked to write about their emotions and moods, motivation levels, and perceptions of the work environment as well as what work they did and what events stood out in their minds on a daily basis for 4 months.
The result showed that any accomplishment, regardless of its size, activates the reward circuitry of our brains. Once activated, a chemical dopamine is released and this chemical is associated to the feeling of pride and achievement.
More importantly, the chemical also motivates us to continue on with the taking challenges and to attempt to repeat the same achievement next time. This forms a positive reinforcement loop that makes us more likely to be successful.
So pay close attention to what you achieved. Ran for 400m? Got up 10 minutes earlier? Mark these down and recognize yourself! It’s never too much.
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